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Under the Scope: Oilers at Blue Jackets

by Ryan Frankson / Edmonton Oilers

Magnus Paajarvi scored the game-winning shorthanded goal with 3:10 remaining in the third period as the Oilers defeated the Blue Jackets 3-1 on Sunday at Nationwide Arena in Columbus. Ales Hemsky also scored for Edmonton, while Sam Gagner had a goal and an assist, and Devan Dubnyk had an outstanding performance between the pipes with 39 saves. The Oilers improved to 5-4-3 with the much-needed road victory.  

Take a closer look at the game as we go Under The Scope:

The Blue Jackets had tied the game at 1-1 seven minutes earlier and they were pressing hard for the go-ahead goal on the power play when Sam Gagner and Magnus Paajarvi broke free down the ice shorthanded. Gagner slid the puck across to Paajarvi for the one-timer shot top-shelf for the game-winner. 

7 Power-play goals scored by Oilers rookies Nail Yakupov and Justin Schultz this season. All other NHL rookies have combined for the same number of power-play goals. 
50 Oilers faceoff percentage against the Blue Jackets as each team won 26 draws, with Eric Belanger (12) and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (8) combining for most of Edmonton's wins.
23 Minutes of playing time for defenceman Jeff Petry, three minutes more than any other Oilers player on Sunday. 
3 Stick infractions taken by Ryan Smyth against Columbus, as he was penalized twice for slashing and once for hooking. 
13 Points for Sam Gagner on the season to lead the Oilers in scoring, accounting for more than a point-per-game average.

Devan Dubnyk
40 39 2 60:00 .975

Sam Gagner
1 1 2 +2 0

R.J. Umberger
1 0 1 +1 0

Sergei Bobrovsky
13 11 2 58:39 .846

Devan Dubnyk
40 39 2 60:00 .975

Jack Johnson - D

26:04 - 0 PTS, -3 rating

Jeff Petry - D

23:01 - 0 PTS, +2 rating

The most impressive play of Sunday's game in Columbus was a goal that didn't even end up counting. Jordan Eberle batted his own rebound out of the air and past Sergei Bobrovsky for what would have have given the Oilers a 2-0 lead in the middle frame, but the amazing display of hand-eye coordination was negated as the officials deemed the puck was knocked in with a high stick.

Devan Dubnyk was the undisputed first star of Sunday's game, as he stepped up with a near-flawless performance when the Oilers needed him the most. Edmonton was outshot 40-14 but Dubnyk turned aside 39 of those shots, many with highlight-reel saves, to backstop the end of the team's five-game winless skid.

Defenceman Mark Fistric had a quiet yet effective effort in his return to action after missing two games with a sore back. The Edmonton native had a +2 rating and was his usual dominant physical self, laying six body-checks. Fistric also logged 16:26 of playing time, including 5:40 shorthanded.

Oilers winger Darcy Hordichuk and Blue Jackets head coach Todd Richards were teammates with the Orlando Solar Bears of the International Hockey League, winning the 2001 Turner Cup in the last season of the IHL's existence. Hordichuk had 10 points and 369 penalty minutes during the regular season, with six points and 41 PIM during the playoffs.

"You need a goalie to steal one for you once in a while. We were flat as a team and he was world-class."

– Oilers Head Coach Ralph Krueger on his netminder Devan Dubnyk 

Tuesday, February 12 vs. Dallas 
7:30pm MST

The next five Oilers games will all be played on home ice at Rexall Place, starting Tuesday against the Dallas Stars at 7:30pm (Sportsnet West, 630 CHED). It's the second meeting in a week at Rexall for the Oilers and Stars, as Dallas won 3-2 in OT this past Wednesday. The Colorado Avalanche visit Edmonton on Saturday at 8:00pm (CBC, 630 CHED). 

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