NHL Game Summary - Columbus at Edmonton
(Thursday, February 2nd)
Final Score: Columbus 2, Edmonton 1 (SO)
Edmonton, AB (Sports Network) - Jason Chimera's goal in the eighth shootout round lifted the Columbus Blue Jackets to their franchise-record fifth consecutive victory with a 2-1 decision over the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place.
Marc Denis was stellar in net with 27 saves for the Blue Jackets, who won in a shootout in Alberta for the second straight night. On Wednesday, Columbus edged Calgary, also by a 2-1 margin. Nikolai Zherdev scored the Blue Jackets' regulation goal.
"It is probably our best back-to-back on the road in franchise history," said Denis. "To come out of Alberta with (wins over) two teams fighting for the top spot in their division is outstanding."
Steve Staios tallied the lone goal for Edmonton, which entered the contest unbeaten (9-0-3) in its last 12 against Columbus. Jussi Markkanen made 18 saves for the Oilers, who saw their three-game winning streak halted.
After the teams traded goals late in the third period to create a 1-1 tie, both goaltenders stood tall in an exciting overtime period and the lengthy shootout commenced.
After seven rounds, each side had scored three times. Finally, the first shooter of the eighth round was Chimera, who made a nice forehand move and beat Markkanen up high. Edmonton answered by sending Shawn Horcoff in alone against Denis, whose left pad stopped Horcoff's attempt and the visitors skated off with the 2-1 victory.
In the first two periods, neither team found the back of the net. The second period belonged to the Oilers, who produced 13 shots on goal and had three chances on the power play.
Late in the second, Georges Laraque had a good look from the lower left circle before Ryan Smyth took a drop pass from Horcoff and fired a wrister from the slot, but Denis was quicker both times and the contest remained scoreless after 40 minutes.
At the 7:49 mark of the third, Columbus forward Trevor Letowski was whistled for interference and the Oilers skated 5-on-4. During the power play, Edmonton unleashed a flurry of shots and had several quality scoring chances.
The best opportunity came when Ales Hemsky corralled the puck near the right post, skated behind the net and attempted a stuffer around the other side, but the puck caromed off of Denis' pad and trickled away.
Later in the frame, it was the Blue Jackets' turn with the extra skater after Staios went to the penalty box for an elbowing minor. Despite possessing the puck in the offensive zone for nearly the entire two minutes, the visitors failed to create much.
Only 46 seconds after Staios exited the box, he scored his fifth goal of the season to give the Oilers the lead. Following a dump in, strong work along the boards by Radek Dvorak allowed him to gain control. He skated behind the net and spotted Staios all alone before Staios ripped a slap shot past Denis from the right slot with 5:08 remaining in regulation.
However, the visitors tied it up soon after on a nice goal by Zherdev. He accepted a feed in the neutral zone and streaked down the right-wing side. Just before it looked like Edmonton defenseman Dick Tarnstrom was going to poke it away, Zherdev dragged the puck back to maneuver around Tarnstrom before his wrist shot from inside the right circle lit the lamp at 16:54.
"We have to learn how to win these types of games, especially at home," said Staios. "We thought we had it late in the game and then they got one."
The Blue Jackets improved to 6-2 in shootouts, while Edmonton is now 5-4...The shootout attempt for Chimera was his first...Columbus improved to 8-18-2 on the road this season...The Blue Jackets stopped a six-game skid in Edmonton, which finished 0-for-6 on the power play. The Jackets failed on all four of their power-play chances...Attendance was 16,839.
02/03 02:16:33 ET