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PRE-GAME REPORT: Oilers at Blue Jackets

by Chris Wescott / Edmonton Oilers



News, notes and line combinations from Wednesday's Oilers practice in Pittsburgh.





COLUMBUS, OH - Tonight marks the first of two meetings this season between Edmonton and Columbus.

After losing seven-straight games, the Columbus Blue Jackets have one three of their last four and are coming off a 3-1 victory in Detroit on Thursday night. The Oilers are 0-4-1 in their last five games. On Thursday night, the Oilers battled back from being down 4-0 to tie the game in an eventual 6-4 loss to Pittsburgh.

In that loss to the Penguins, the Oilers scored twice on the power play. Their power play is ranked 23rd in the NHL (16.9%), but in their last six games the Oilers have scored 10 on the man advantage (31.7%). It may be clicking at the right time for the Oilers, who play the 25th penalty kill unit in the league in Columbus.

Also clicking at the right time is the duo of Nail Yakupov and Derek Roy. Yakupov has four goals and three assists in his last 10 games. Roy scored a goal and an assist against Pittsburgh on Thursday, and now has two goals and an assist in his last five games.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins recorded two assists in Pittsburgh. He has three goals and four assists in his last five games. His linemate Jordan Eberle scored a goal and an assist on Thursday and he now has 50 points on the season.

The Oilers are expected to make a lineup change, putting Luke Gazdic in. No word yet on who comes out of the lineup or who starts in net.

-- Chris Wescott,




OILERS (18-39-11) at BLUE JACKETS (29-34-4)


Season series:
The Edmonton Oilers and Columbus Blue Jackets split two games in 2013-14, with each team winning at home. Oilers forward David Perron had two goals and two assists in a 7-0 win on Nov. 13, 2013. The Blue Jackets scored four unanswered goals in a 4-2 win on Nov. 29, 2013.

Oilers team scope:
Edmonton trailed 4-0, tied the game 4-4, but lost 6-4 to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday to extend its losing streak to six games. "I thought our team as a whole was sloppy at the start," Oilers coach Todd Nelson said. "Our execution was off. We had some opportunities to get some decent shots, but we missed the net. We just weren’t sharp. After the first period, I thought we got a lot better. We got better as the game went on. We battled back and never quit. Against a team like that, we can take something away from this game." Goalie Ben Scrivens was pulled after allowing four goals on 13 shots; Richard Bachman made 19 saves in relief. Center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had two assists and has three goals and six assists in his past seven games. Forward Jordan Eberle had two points and has two goals and four assists in his past three games.

Blue Jackets team scope:
Columbus begins a two-game homestand after winning back-to-back games for the first time since Feb. 17 and 19. Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky made 41 saves in a 3-1 win against the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday. "It was one of those games we should use as an example and move forward," defenseman Fedor Tyutin said. "That's the way we were built to play: Keep it simple." Forward Cam Atkinson scored for the first time in 13 games. "Always nice to score a goal," Atkinson said. "Especially after going 13 games without one, not that I was counting. Better to get two points and a win." Forward Nick Foligno returned to the lineup after missing a 4-3 shootout win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday because he was ill. Center Brandon Dubinsky did not play Thursday because of an illness. The Blue Jackets have won seven of their past nine games against the Oilers at Nationwide Arena.

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