NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, March 5th
(All times Eastern)
Edmonton Oilers (8-9-4) at Columbus Blue Jackets (6-12-4), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Edmonton Oilers will try to avoid a fourth loss in five
games to begin their longest road trip of the season, as they visit the
Columbus Blue Jackets for Tuesday's battle at Nationwide Arena.
The Oilers are just 1-2-1 at the start of a nine-game swing and the club has
lost two straight in regulation. Edmonton has lost each of its last two tilts
by 4-2 scores, including Sunday's setback at Minnesota.
The Wild scored three of the four goals potted in the third period on Sunday
to down the Oilers. Mikko Koivu, Charlie Coyle and Dany Heatley all lit the
lamp for Minnesota in the third.
Magnus Paajarvi and Sam Gagner scored for Edmonton, while Devan Dubnyk played
well in defeat, making 39 saves for the Oilers,
"We have to find ways to raise our level (of play) and compete," Gagner said.
"It's a tough loss. We have to do some searching here and get ready for the
The Oilers played Sunday without forward Taylor Hall, who is dealing with a
strained hamstring. The No. 1 overall pick of the 2010 NHL draft is
questionable for Tuesday.
Hall is second on Edmonton this season with 18 points on four goals and a
team-high 14 assists.
The Oilers have won three straight and five of the last six meetings in this
series. Edmonton also has won two in a row in Columbus after dropping its five
previous contests in the Buckeye State.
Edmonton, which will visit Detroit, Nashville, Chicago and Colorado to
complete this swing, is 4-5-2 as the guest this season.
The Blue Jackets are last out of 15 teams in the Western Conference and trail
Edmonton by four points for the 14th seed. However, Columbus was able to end a
four-game slide in its last trip to the ice, notching a 2-1 overtime win
Sunday against visiting Colorado. Artem Anisimov scored 2:26 into extra
session to lift the Blue Jackets to a win after consecutive overtime losses.
Anisimov beat Colorado goaltender Semyon Varlamov with a wrist shot from the
right circle to give Columbus just its second win in nine games (2-5-2).
"He was a monster tonight," Blue Jackets center Ryan Johansen said of
Anisimov. "He came up big for our team."
Vinny Prospal also scored Sunday for Columbus, while Sergei Bobrovsky stopped
18-of-19 shots for the win.
Sunday's test kicked off a four-game homestand for the Blue Jackets, who are
4-4-3 at Nationwide Arena this season.
Columbus is expected to get defenseman Jack Johnson back Tuesday after he sat
out the last four games with an upper-body injury. Johnson has one goal and
seven assists in 18 games this season.
03/05 12:17:38 ET