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RECAP: Paajarvi's late shorthanded goal vaults Oilers to 3-1 win

by Ryan Dittrick / Edmonton Oilers

Ales Hemsky collects a rebound and scores a goal on Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky on Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, OH (Photo courtesy of Getty Images).

The Edmonton Oilers were outshot 40-14 by the Columbus Blue Jackets Sunday night, but Devan Dubnyk was sensational in stopping all but one. Ales Hemsky got the Oilers on the board early, while Magnus Paajarvi tallied the game-winner, shorthanded, with 3:10 to play.

Sam Gagner added an empty-netter to secure a 3-1 win.


Just 1:15 into the game, Jordan Eberle (who's been snakebitten of late) cut down his off wing on a play reminiscent of his goal on opening night in Vancouver, but the sniper's backhand shot was smothered by Sergei Bobrovsky.

Moments later, Devan Dubnyk provided some early heroics of his own. Nick Foligno and Matt Calvert peppered the netminder with several in-tight chances, but Dubnyk scrambled on his belly and came up with several right pads saves to preserve the scoreless tie early.

At 4:16, a lazy change by the Oilers resulted in a penalty for too many men. With 23 seconds left in the bench minor (served by Nail Yakupov), Ryan Smyth was sent off for high-sticking. On the ensuing 5-on-3, Dubnyk was brilliant in stoning Brandon Dubinsky with a sensational left pad save.

By the end of the power-play, the Blue Jackets had jumped out to an 8-2 lead in shots.

With 10:17 remaining in the period, the Oilers went to their first power-play when Blue Jackets defenceman James Wisniewski was assessed a holding minor. As it did in Satuday afternoon's loss in Detroit, the man-advantage couldn't generate anything of consequence.

The Oilers took a 1-0 lead at 13:58. Bobrovsky attempted to clear the puck up the middle, but it deflected off Taylor Hall's left leg and back into the crease. The Columbus goalie kicked it out with a circus-like effort, but Ales Hemsky was quick to the scene and deposited the puck into the empty cage.

Smyth picked up his second minor of the period when he was charged for slashing at 19:02. The Jackers were unsuccessful on the first 58 seconds, but had 1:02 remaining on the power-play heading into the second period.

With 20 minutes in the books, the Oilers led 1-0 but trailed 13-7 in shots.


The Oilers killed the remaining 62 seconds of the power-play.

Derek Dorsett was assessed a questionable slashing penalty when he attempted to poke the puck free of Dubnyk's glove, putting the Oilers back on the power-play. Late in the advantage, Teemu Hartikainen raced down the cut and bulled his way to the net, but the Finn's weak forehand shot was blocked by Bobrovsky.

Just as Dorsett's penalty expired, Taylor Hall took one of his own -- an interference minor at 6:03. As he had been all game, Dubnyk was the difference in denying a number of high-quality scoring chances by the Blue Jackets. As a result, his team's 1-0 lead was maintained.

With 10:42 to play, it appeared as though the Oilers grabbed a 1-0 lead. Jordan Eberle connected with some ridiculous hand-eye coordination to bat the puck out of mid-air at the doorstep, but he was deemed to have done so with a high stick. The call on the ice was no goal and the official video review was inconclusive.

The strength of Teemu Hartikainen down low put the Oilers back on the power-play at 10:36 as Dubinsky was sent off for holding the stick. Hall, Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins all came close but the puck didn't bounce their way as the infraction expired without incident.

Down 21-11 in shots, the Oilers went back to the penalty kill with 4:51 on the clock as Hartikainen tripped Wisniewski. The power-play was nullified 1:18 in as Vinny Prospal clipped Corey Potter with a high stick. Dubinsky was sprung on a partial break late in the power-play, but Justin Schultz raced back and denied the attempt with some nifty stick work.

The Oilers registered only four shots on goal in the second for a two-period total of 11. Columbus had fired 25 at Dubnyk, all of which were stopped as the visitors continued to lead 1-0.


The Blue Jackets controlled the pace early on, hemming the Oilers in their own end constantly for the first five minutes. The visitors were still without a third-period shot at the seven-minute mark.

Columbus went to the power-play at 7:13 when Mark Fistric was assessed a cross-checking penalty. Artem Anisimov nearly brought the Blue Jackets on even terms, but Dubnyk put up the wall with a solid save at the lip of the crease.

But with 10:17 to play, the home side got the goal anyway. RJ Umerberger slalomed his way through the slot and wristed a shot up and over the right pad of Dubnyk to make it a 1-1 game on his club's 33rd attempt.

The Oilers still hadn't recorded a shot in the third period.

Edmonton got their first shot 10:33 into the period and, dating back to the second, went over 20 minutes without one. Columbus continued to carry the play as the third wound down.

With 4:45 to play, Smyth was assessed his third minor of the game when he picked up an unnecessary slashing penalty in the offensive zone. This time, it was the Oilers who took over. Shorthanded, Sam Gagner raced up ice and made a slick drop pass to a hard-charging Magnus Paajarvi. The smooth-skating Swede made no mistake, one-timing the puck up into the shelf behind Bobrovsky to give the Oilers a 2-1 lead.

The Blue Jackets pulled Bobrovsky for an extra-attacker with 1:34 to play, but the Oilers held off the late push. Gagner salted the outcome with an empty-netter with 12 seconds to play. As a result, the Oilers won the game 3-1.

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