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Blue Jackets get payback, beat Oilers

by Craig Merz

COLUMBUS - The Columbus Blue Jackets were eager to avenge a 7-0 loss at the Edmonton Oilers 11 days ago that they almost forgot that finishing the game is the first priority. After racing out to a four-goal lead through two periods, the Blue Jackets allowed two goals in the final 10 minutes but were able to hold on for a 4-2 win Friday night.

"My message to the team wasn't to go out and score more goals after the second," Columbus coach Todd Richards said. "I wanted us to continue to come out and play a hard game and make it difficult on them. We went the opposite direction."

Ryan Johansen had a goal and an assist, Matt Calvert had two assists and the Blue Jackets scored a pair of power-play goals in the second period. They appeared poised to try and match the beating the Oilers put on them.

But Sergei Bobrovsky lost his bid for a second shutout in three games when Sam Gagner scored at 10:36 of the third on a bad angle shot from the goal line to make it 4-1. Edmonton (8-17-2) made it interesting when Jordan Eberle added a power-play goal with 4:21 remaining.

"In a 4-0 game like that the other team kind of gets out of sorts and the game opens up a bit," Calvert said. "That was something we did and obviously penalties killed us."

Still, there was a sense of satisfaction in responding to the loss at Edmonton.

"It was embarrassing," Calvert said of the beating at Rexall Place. "We wanted to come back in our building, especially get a win in front of our fans and beat these guys up. I felt like we did."

Bobrovsky finished with 25 saves to beat Ilya Bryzgalov, who blanked the Nashville Predators 3-0 on Thursday but was pulled after two periods Friday. Bryzgalov stopped 19 of 23 shots but got little support from his penalty-prone teammates.

The goalies, teammates on the Philadelphia Flyers in 2011-12, figure to contend for the starting job for Russia at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Artem Anisimov and Nick Foligno had power-play goals, and Jack Skille also had a goal late in the decisive second period.

"We weren't ready to go right out of the gate," Edmonton coach Dallas Eakins said. "Even though we slowly fought our way back there were a lot of head-shaking moments from not only the coaches but the players themselves. There were a lot of mental mistakes."

Bryzgalov did what he could to keep the Blue Jackets from adding to the first-period goal by Johansen when the Oilers ran into penalty problems early in the second.

Nick Schultz was sent off for tripping at 1:21, followed 13 seconds later by Jeff Petry, who was called for delay of game when he inadvertently sent the puck over the glass.

Richards called timeout to have a fresh first power-play unit on the ice. That's when Bryzgalov went to work, denying Johansen from in front before getting a paddle on the goalmouth attempt by Cam Atkinson.

With 39 seconds left on the two-man advantage, the Oilers' Andrew Ference was whistled for holding at 2:56 and had to wait to serve his penalty.

It was too much for Edmonton as Anisimov was parked alone in front while Calvert patiently waited for an opening. He fired the puck through the crease for the redirect by Anisimov at 3:34 just as the 5-on-3 expired.

The Blue Jackets were 2 for 5 on the power play while Edmonton scored once in seven chances, including four in the third period.

"They came with a lot of jump and aggressiveness, and we just couldn't handle it," Eberle said. "We got a few opportunities on the power play and we were brutal. We played two bad periods. In the third period we came out and made some plays."

Columbus made it 3-0 at 10:30 when Foligno stuffed his own power-play rebound through the pads of Bryzgalov. The original shot came off a centering pass by Boone Jenner.

"It was a big play for us, Foligno said. "It's always good to make them pay on the power play."

Skille made it 4-0 at 17:06 on a breakaway after taking a long outlet pass from Corey Tropp, who was playing his first game for Columbus after being claimed off waivers from the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday.

Columbus managed seven shots on goal in the first period - the 18th straight regulation period with eight or fewer - but scored on the second one. Johansen took advantage of the forechecking by Atkinson and Calvert to grab a loose puck and fired a quick shot past Bryzgalov at 7:50 for his team-high ninth goal.

"The lack of urgency early on is what cost us," Gagner said. "We took penalties but they took penalties as well but we couldn't capitalize. We've got make sure we stay out of the box and if we do take penalties we've got to kill them."

The game started ominously for the Oilers when they did nothing after being awarded a power play 20 seconds after the opening faceoff.

"A lot of nights you want to feed off your power play and feed off the chances they get," Eakins said. "Our first power play was abysmal."

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