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RECAP: Blue Jackets 5, Oilers 4 SO

by Chris Wescott / Edmonton Oilers

COLUMBUS, OH –  The Oilers scored three goals on the man advantage and battled back from down 2-0, but they couldn’t score in the shootout as Columbus took the 5-4 win.

43 seconds into the game, the home team opened scoring. Marko Dano sniped a beautiful shot over the glove of Ben Scrivens. Dano was assisted by Alexander Wennberg.

Derek Roy took a double minor for high-sticking at 17:56 of the first period. After killing off the first two minutes, Matt Hendricks broke his stick and raced to the bench to get another.The Blue Jackets capitalized. With 2.7 seconds left in the first, Cam Atkinson blasted a one-timer past Scrivens, assisted by Nick Foligno and Jack Johnson.

The Oilers drew within one at 13:42 of the second period, courtesy of a Jordan Eberle power play goal. With Artem Anisimov in the box for hooking, Eberle roofed a shot past Sergei Bobrovsky.

“I thought we played well,” Eberle said. “Even when we were down 2-0 in the first period, it all had to do with penalty trouble. We were playing well and we thought if we stuck to it we’d come back and we did.”

Derek Roy tied the game at 2-2 with an unusual power play goal, at 12:56 of the second. Bobrovsky went behind the net to play a puck he though would wrap around the boards. Unfortunately for the Columbus goaltender, the puck instead bounced off the wall and out to the side of the net where Roy buried it. Oscar Klefbom and Scrivens were credited with the assists, although the boards deserve some credit.

Anisimov responded for Columbus at 16:51, assisted by Foligno and Corey Tropp.

The Oilers had the last laugh of the second, with Andrew Ference scoring from long distance. The puck might not have went through so cleanly had it not been for a terrific screen in front by Rob Klinkhammer. That goal, assisted by Justin Schultz and Benoit Pouliot, came at 19:11 of the second and tied the game at 3-3.

The Oilers took their first lead of the game at 3:26 of the third period as Eberle set up Nail Yakupov on the 5-on-3 man advantage. That was the Oilers third power play goal of the game, a season high. Nugent-Hopkins recorded his second assist of the night to pair with Eberle’s.

The Oilers power play continued its red-hot streak. Edmonton has now scored at least one power play goal in each of their last four games. Over that span, the Oilers man advantage is 8 of 17 (47.1%).

“I think just chemistry with the units that we have right now,” Oilers Interim Coach Todd Nelson said of the power play run. “We’re looking to shoot the puck more, but I think just the chemistry that we’ve had with the two units. They seem to work well together. It seems that if one unit doesn’t get it done, the other one does. We’re doing a better job of having a good net-front presence and just simplifying it and keeping where we’re shooting the pucks on net.”

Scott Hartnell tipped in a goal at 16:23 of the third to tie the game at 4-4. That goal sent it to overtime.

The overtime period saw back and forth hockey between the two clubs. After initial pressure from the Blue Jackets, the Oilers got a glorious chance. Teddy Purcell had a partial breakaway but failed to convert. Then Roy’s one-timer was denied by Bobrovsky. The Blue Jackets took it back the other way a couple times, but neither team could net the winner.

It was Alexander Wennberg who scored the lone goal in the fifth round of the shootout to seal deal for the Blue Jackets, handing the Oilers their seventh straight loss.

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