COLUMBUS, OH - On a night when the Oilers were feeling the heat from a 3-1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings, the club came out and checked all the boxes in their second of a back-to-back, defeating the Columbus Blue Jackets by a 4-1 score. Video: OILERS TODAY | Post-Game at CBJ 10.30.19
A good start? Two goals in the first period, one by
James Neal for his 11th of the year and eighth on the power play plus another marker courtesy of Leon Draisaitl. Check.
Secondary scoring? A
Jujhar Khaira goal less than two minutes into the second period off a rebound from his centreman Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Check.
Special teams? Neal's power-play tally in the first plus a massive 5-on-3 kill late in the second period. Check.
Mike Smith, with 23 saves including some high danger ones as the Blue Jackets raised their desperation level. Check.
All in all, it was a good night for the Oilers, who bagged another two points to increase their total to 19 with a 9-4-1 record.
"We did a 180 today," said Khaira.
"We had a great start and then we played solid defensively throughout. We answered the bell and now we have to consistently play like that."
The jubilation on the bench was apparent when Khaira notched his first of the season. For Khaira himself, there was a strong sense of relief.
"It's been 14 games and I can tell you one thing: I thought about it every single day," said the Surrey, BC, product of his greasy, go-to-the-net goal.
"The bench is happy for everyone who helps out in any way. I was fortunate to get a goal and my teammates were happy. I can't ask for much more."
Nugent-Hopkins, who was self-critical after Tuesday's outing, chipped in with two assists to bolster the team's supportive scoring.
Video: Draisaitl scores twice as Oilers top Blue Jackets
"He's an amazing hockey player," Draisaitl, who took over the NHL scoring lead with 25 points and is tied for first in goals with 12, said of No. 93.
"He does so many things that you just can't teach. The goals will come for him."
Oilers Head Coach Dave Tippett had no qualms following the win, liking the effort his group orchestrated on the night.
"We were solid in a lot of areas on the ice," Tippett said.
"Just a solid win."
The only piece of misfortune for the Oilers was losing
Riley Sheahan to injury in the first period. He did not return and there was no update on the player post-game.
Edmonton concludes their three-game road trip Saturday in a matinee meeting with Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins.