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Oilers 3, Blue Jackets 1 @NHL

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The Edmonton Oilers once again had all the answers against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Fernando Pisani's third-period goal gave goaltender Jussi Markkanen all the offense he needed in the Edmonton Oilers' 3-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday night.

Pisani's third goal of the season came 7:36 into the period and gave the Oilers a 2-1 lead.

Jason Smith had a goal, and Radek Dvorak added an empty-netter as the Oilers won for the first time in three games. Ryan Smyth helped set up all three goals, and Shawn Horcoff added two assists for Edmonton, unbeaten in its last 12 meetings (9-0-3) against Columbus.

"Obviously, when you're successful, it's a great feeling to come down here," Smith said of the trip to Columbus. "We've been fortunate to come out with some wins, especially with some great goaltending."

It was vintage Oilers hockey - outskating an opponent when the game was hanging in the balance.

"Once we get in a rhythm, when everyone is on, we're a tough team to beat," Smith said. "If not - if we're not executing properly - it's a matter of fighting to the bitter end."

Markkanen stopped 29 shots, saving his best for last as the Blue Jackets pressured him near the finish.

Todd Marchant had his second goal in as many games for the Blue Jackets, who had won three straight at home.

With the score tied 1-1, Edmonton's Ales Hemsky took a hard check in the offensive end but bumped the puck to Horcoff. Horcoff then tossed a centering pass that Pisani chipped past goaltender Marc Denis.

"I was in the slot just going to the net," Pisani said. "I had my stick on the ice. It just bounced off my stick and went into the corner (of the net)."

With just under 2 minutes left, Columbus' Francois Beauchemin's long slap shot was blocked by Markkanen, with Jason Chimera - who had been hit in the helmet by a shot early in the period - whiffing on the rebound in the crease.

Marchant also had two cracks at a loose puck just seconds later, with Markkanen making a big save and Marchant missing on the second shot.

"We definitely didn't play that great tonight, especially early on," Markkanen said. "We got away with a slow start to have it 1-1 after the first period. We came better for the second and that continued for the third. We got the important goal and got a big win."

Smith's slap shot from the top of the right circle eluded Denis at 2:54 of the first period - 7 seconds after the Oilers killed off a penalty.

Markkanen got a piece of Marchant's shot and the puck bounced over him and off the right post, but Marchant crashed the net and tapped in the rebound to tie it at 10:53 of the period.

The Oilers were outshot 13-2 in the opening period, matching their season low.

"We were the better team tonight," Blue Jackets coach Gerard Gallant said. "We should have won the hockey game but we didn't. The guys played their tails off. I can't go in there (the dressing room) and tell them they didn't play well. They know they played well."

The Blue Jackets were 0-for-5 on the power play, failing to convert on four first-period chances. Edmonton had only one power play and didn't score.

"This was certainly not one of our better efforts," Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish said. "We relied on being in pretty good position defensively and we got excellent goaltending."

Notes: Columbus-based Lima Company, the hard-hit unit that lost 16 Marine reservists in Iraq, was recognized before the game and received a 2-minute standing ovation. ... Edmonton is 5-3 in a stretch of playing 10 of 11 games on the road. ... During a "kiss cam" segment late in the game, Pisani was kissed on the helmet by teammate Raffi Torres, touching off one of the loudest cheers of the night.

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