Blue Jackets top Oilers, continue push in Metropolitan
Vanek's hat trick helps Columbus move within point of second place; McDavid scores 40th goalby Derek Van Diest / NHL.com Correspondent
EDMONTON -- The Columbus Blue Jackets moved within one point of second place in the Metropolitan Division with a 7-3 win against the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place on Tuesday.
Thomas Vanek had a hat trick and an assist for Columbus (43-29-5), which trailed 3-0 in the first period. The Blue Jackets are one point behind the Pittsburgh Penguins, who lost 5-2 at the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday, for second in the Metropolitan.
"We were down 3-0, but it didn't feel like it because it was just a couple of dumb mistakes that cost us," Vanek said. "We felt fine about our game, and even being down 3-0 we felt OK. We showed a lot of character and it was a big two points again."
[WATCH: All Blue Jackets vs. Oilers highlights]
Boone Jenner had a goal and two assists, and Sergei Bobrovsky made 22 saves for Columbus.
"We had some good shifts, but they were up 3-0 kind of quick with a power-play goal, a shorthanded goal and their first one," Jenner said. "We just wanted to chip away and [Vanek's] goal was huge getting us going. I thought we took off from there, obviously."
Connor McDavid scored his 40th goal and had two assists for Edmonton (34-37-6). Cam Talbot allowed five goals on 18 shots before being pulled at 6:24 of the second period. Laurent Brossoit made seven saves.
Video: CBJ@EDM: McDavid nets his 40th on gorgeous backhand
"I thought we were fortunate to be up 3-0, not the fact that we scored the goals, but the fact they didn't score any earlier than that," Oilers coach Todd McLellan said. "They were probably better than us early and they were better than us all night. They valued the defensive side, the checking side a lot more than the team wearing orange."
Vanek began the comeback at 12:39 of the first period to make it 3-1.
Artemi Panarin scored on a rebound at 13:31 to make it 3-2, and Vanek tied it 3-3 at 16:40 on a redirection in front.
"It wasn't like everybody was in a panic; we just kept on playing," Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said. "I thought everybody contributed. I thought (Pierre-Luc) Dubois had one of the best games I've seen him play as far as strength. Thomas shot the puck, and I hope he understands when you shoot the puck you score goals instead of all the passing. Everybody contributed."
Jenner scored at 1:38 of the second period, batting the puck out of midair to give the Blue Jackets a 4-3 lead.
Cam Atkinson made it 5-3 at 6:24 of the second. Vanek scored his third goal of the game at 15:02 of the second to make it 6-3.
"It felt like even though they took the lead, we just had to keep playing, keep fighting and just get back to our game," said Blue Jackets forward Alexander Wennberg, who had two assists. "Even though we were down 3-0, we just kept pushing and at the end of the day we played a really good game."
Video: CBJ@EDM: Vanek rips slap shot to complete hat trick
Markus Nutivaara scored at 11:57 of the third period to give Columbus a 7-3 lead.
Nugent-Hopkins opened the scoring at 3:37 of the first period on a set up by McDavid. The assist gave McDavid 100 points for the second straight season.
McDavid scored shorthanded at 6:06 to make it 2-0. He became the first Oilers player to score 40 goals in a season since Petr Klima in 1990-1991.
Drake Caggiula made it 3-0 on the power play at 10:08 of the first.
"It was awful, horrible," McDavid said. "We had the good start, and then the game just went right back to where we were at during the start of the year. It's disappointing, as we had been pretty good of late. We have to find a way to keep pucks out of our net."
Goal of the game
Jenner's goal at 1:38 of the second period.
Video: CBJ@EDM: Jenner knocks it out of the air and in
Save of the game
Bobrovsky's save against McDavid at 11:15 of the second period.
Video: CBJ@EDM: Bobrovsky shuts down McDavid on a breakaway
Highlight of the game
Atkinson's goal at 6:24 of the third period.
Video: CBJ@EDM: Atkinson beats Talbot from the circle
They said it
"This guy has bailed our [butts] out so many times this year, it was good that he stayed in and made some big saves at key times towards the end of that first period. We bailed him out, and it's high time that the guys need to do that for him because he's been the backbone of our team this year." -- Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella on not pulling goalie Sergei Bobrovsky
"We just got up three and stopped playing hard. We gave them a lot. They kind of took over the game and didn't show much push back. Disappointing to be up three (goals) and have seven unanswered." -- Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
Need to know
Wennberg was plus-6, which set a Blue Jackets record. … Tortorella has 127 wins with the Blue Jackets, tying him with Todd Richards for the most in their history. … McDavid is the seventh player in NHL history to have multiple 100-point seasons before his 22nd birthday. He joined Wayne Gretzky (four), Dale Hawerchuk (three), Mario Lemieux (three), Sidney Crosby (three), Jimmy Carson (two) and Joe Sakic (two).
Blue Jackets: At the Calgary Flames on Thursday (9 p.m. ET; SNW, FS-O, NHL.TV)
Oilers: At the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday (10 p.m. ET; SN1, SNE, SNO, SNP, NHL.TV)