Blue Jackets-Oilers Preview
GAME: Columbus Blue Jackets (20-40-8-4) at Edmonton Oilers (29-27-12-4).
TIME: Tuesday, 9 p.m. EST.
The Edmonton Oilers look to continue piling up points and move closer to one
of the Western Conference's final playoff spots when they host a Columbus Blue
Jackets club they haven't lost to in more than two years.
The Oilers snapped their NHL-record consecutive overtime streak at seven
games on Sunday with a 3-1 home win over the Ottawa Senators. Edmonton's streak
began Feb. 29 and broke the record of five straight overtime games, set by
seven teams on eight occasions.
Edmonton has earned at least one point in nine straight (4-0-2-3) and 12 of
its last 13 games to move within five points of the Los Angeles Kings and
Nashville Predators, who are tied for seventh place in the West.
"Seven overtimes - that's enough," said Oilers forward Radek Dvorak, who
scored the first of Edmonton's three straight goals in the second period. "To
get a win against a team like Ottawa is obviously big. It'll give us more
confidence for the games coming up."
Edmonton, 7-1-1-2 in its last 11 home games, plays Los Angeles twice in the
next 11 days.
The Oilers are looking to extend their point streak against a Columbus team
they've gone 6-0-3 against since a 2-1 loss in Edmonton on Nov. 2, 2001.
The Blue Jackets come into this contest on a six-game losing streak after
falling 3-2 on the road to the Minnesota Wild on Sunday. Columbus lost a
season-high seven in a row from Oct. 18-Nov. 1.
Columbus took a 2-0 lead at 8:50 of the second period on Sunday, but
couldn't hold on in falling to 5-24-4-2 on the road this season. The Blue
Jackets are 1-6 all-time in Edmonton.
"Obviously, things haven't been going that well lately," Blue Jackets
coach Gerard Gallant said. "We see the same mistakes from the same people game
after game. We have to learn to play for 60 minutes."
STANDINGS: Blue Jackets - 52 points, 5th place, 44 PB, Central Division.
Oilers - 74 points, 4th place, 19 PB, Northwest Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Blue Jackets - Rick Nash, 37 goals and 51 points; David
Vyborny, 30 assists; Jody Shelley, 191 PIM. Oilers - Ryan Smyth and Raffi
Torres, 20 goals; Smyth and Dvorak, 32 assists; Smyth, 52 points; Jason Smith,
SPECIAL TEAMS (through March 14): Blue Jackets - Power play: 15.1 percent
(54 for 357), 21st in NHL. Penalty killing: 83.6 percent (244 for 292), 20th.
Oilers - Power play: 12.7 percent (38 for 299), 28th. Penalty killing: 80.3
percent (252 for 314), 28th.
GOALTENDERS: Blue Jackets - Marc Denis (17-32-7, 4 SO, 2.62 GAA); Fred
Brathwaite (3-10-1, 3.35). Oilers - Ty Conklin (12-12-4, 1, 2.39); Jussi
Markkanen (8-13-3, 2, 2.46).
SEASON SERIES: Oilers, 1-0-2.
LAST MEETING: Jan. 18; 4-4. At Columbus, Ohio, Nash gave the Blue Jackets a
4-3 lead one minute into the third period, but Edmonton defenseman Eric Brewer
scored his second goal of the season 5:45 into the third to tie it.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Blue Jackets - 5-24-4-2 on the road; Oilers - 18-12-4-2