The Blue Jackets took a 1-0 lead into the locker room after 20 minutes of play, but the Edmonton Oilers came back with a second period that put the game out of reach.
Chris VandeVelde scored the tying goal in his first NHL game, Ladislav Smid’s second goal in three games gave Edmonton the lead, and Devan Dubnyk stood tall in goal as the Oilers walked away with a 6-3 victory before 12,295 at Nationwide Arena this afternoon. Edmonton extended its points streak to seven games (5-0-2) and ended a long trip with their third win in four games overall.
Columbus opened the scoring late in the first period off a face-off won by Mark Letestu. Aaron Johnson pinched in from the point and drove hard to the net, putting a quick wrist shot into the pads of Dubnyk. Letestu pounced on the rebound, lifting it top-shelf for a 1-0 Blue Jackets lead at 16:46. The Oilers answered on Ryan Jones’ 17th goal of the year at 3:40 of the second, deflecting Ryan Whitney’s one-timer into the top corner to tie the game at 1-1.
Rick Nash’s team-leading 26th goal of the season came via a penalty shot at 7:42 of the second, after he was hauled down by an Oilers defenseman on a partial breakaway. He froze Dubnyk on the penalty shot and ripped a wrist shot between the goaltender’s legs for a 2-1 lead, one that would be short-lived. VandeVelde’s tally at 11:20 looked to change direction off a Columbus player before it went in, but nevertheless, drew the Oilers even at 2-2. Jones got his second point of the period by driving around the Blue Jackets net, then hitting Smid with a pass at the left point for the one-timer. Smid’s blast beat Mason far side to make it a 4-2 game with 5:28 left in the period.
Ben Eager and Sam Gagner capitalized on turnovers by the Blue Jackets inside their own blue line to increase Edmonton’s lead to 5-2 after two periods. Derick Brassard’s 13th of the season came on the power play with 5:38 left in regulation.
The Blue Jackets seemed to be in control of the game before and shortly after Nash’s penalty shot goal gave them the lead, but VandeVelde brought the Oilers’ bench to life with his tying marker. From that point, Edmonton went on to score three goals in the final 5:28 of the second period and take a commanding lead.
Aaron Johnson has assists in two of the last three games after picking up an assist on Letestu’s goal. The assists come after he went pointless the previous 11 games and without an assist the previous 20 games.
Nash has goals in two of the last three games after being held goalless the previous seven games. He added an assist on the night for his first multi-point game since recording 2-1-3 on Mar. 3 at Phoenix. In 34 career games against the Oilers, he has 12-13-25.
Brassard snapped a nine-game goalless skid with his 13th of the season today. He had last scored Mar. 3 at Phoenix. He has points in back-to-back games after being held pointless the previous six outings. He has tallied 11-21-32 the last 42 games after opening the season with 2-3-5 the first 24 games.
Letestu has goals in back-to-back games after scoring his 10th of the season today. He has five goals the last nine games after being held goalless the previous 15 games. He has tallied 5-3-8 the last 10 games after being held to 0-1-1 the previous eight outings.
vs. Detroit Red Wings
Joe Louis Arena | Detroit, Michigan
Monday, 7:30 p.m.
TV: FOX Sports Ohio (HD)
Radio: 97.1 The Fan FM & BlueJackets.com