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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, March 28th (All times Eastern)
Columbus Blue Jackets (13-13-7) at Edmonton Oilers (12-13-7), 9:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The playoff-hopeful Columbus Blue Jackets will try to avoid a third straight loss on Thursday when they visit the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place.
Columbus had a club-record point streak halted at 12 games (8-0-4) thanks to Saturday's 5-3 setback in Nashville. The Blue Jackets were able to record a point in their next outing, dropping a 1-0 shootout decision Tuesday night in Vancouver.
The Blue Jackets, who are three points out of a playoff spot in the West, are aiming for the second postseason appearance in team history. Columbus qualified for the playoffs in 2009 and was swept out in the opening round by Detroit.
Columbus fell to 0-1-1 on its four-game road trip after dropping the close loss in Vancouver. Maxim Lapierre was the only player to find the back of the net as his shootout goal lifted the Canucks to the 1-0 decision at Rogers Arena.
In a game where neither goaltender blinked, Lapierre finally got one through in the third round as he faked to the backhand and lifted the puck over Sergei Bobrovsky. Matt Calvert had the final chance for the Blue Jackets and tried to stick handle and get Cory Schneider to bite, but he lost control of the puck and Schneider easily turned it aside for the win.
Bobrovsky stopped 34 shots for his third career shutout for the Blue Jackets.
"Bob was great for us tonight and made some really big saves," said Calvert. "It would have been great to get some goals in the net for him, but their guy was great tonight."
The setback dropped the Blue Jackets to 3-9-2 as the visiting team this season. The club will close the current swing in Friday's game against Calgary.
The Oilers, who are two points in back of Columbus in the West standings, ended a three-game losing streak with Tuesday's 3-0 victory at St. Louis. Nikolai Khabibulin posted 43 saves for his first shutout of the season, leading the Oilers to just their second win in six outings (2-2-2).
Jordan Eberle had two goals and an assist, while Taylor Hall added a goal and two assists for the Oilers.
"Tonight I think we came out pretty hard," said Eberle. "We definitely had moments where we were behind the eight-ball and they were out-battling us, but for the most part, I thought we played decent. Habby was there to shut the door every time."
The Oilers are kicking off a three-game homestand on Thursday and are 5-5-4 as the host this season. Edmonton also will host Vancouver and Calgary during this stay at Rexall Place.
Columbus halted a three-game slide in the series against the Oilers on March 5, notching a 4-3 shootout win on home ice. Edmonton has won five of the last seven encounters overall and the Blue Jackets have dropped four straight at Rexall Place.
03/28 10:59:44 ET