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Edmonton at Columbus

Streaking Blue Jackets outlast slumping Oilers in shootout

CBSSports.com wire reports
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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Problems with reliable backup goaltending and a productive power play were frustrating for the Columbus Blue Jackets last season. Improving both areas has helped them win this season.

Jakub Voracek scored the winner in the fourth round of the shootout to lift the Blue Jackets to a 3-2 victory against the Edmonton Oilers on Monday night.

"It was a heavy, hard game," said Voracek who put home a glove-side snap shot. "They played well, we played well. Both goalies had a very good game. It was a big point for us in the shootout."

After Voracek's goal, Mathieu Garon stopped Gilbert Brule to secure Columbus' fourth victory in five games.

Garon, who improved to 18-4 in shootouts, made 23 saves in his second successive start for Columbus, spelling Steve Mason, who allowed eight goals in a 9-1 loss to Detroit last Wednesday and has an .879 save-percentage.

"Sometimes it's easier when you play two games in two or three nights," said Garon, signed to a two-year deal in the offseason to mentor Mason, last year's rookie of the year. "It feels like you're getting in a groove a little bit more. That's how I felt today."

All the goals in regulation were on the power play.

Anton Stralman had a goal and assist and Antoine Vermette also scored for the Blue Jackets. Fedor Tyutin added two assists.

"It's been consistent," Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock said of the power play, which entered 11th best in the league. The Blue Jackets finished last a season ago.

Lubomir Visnovsky had a goal and assist and Ales Hemsky also tallied for Edmonton. The Oilers, losers of four in a row, have only two victories in their past 12 games. Sheldon Souray had two assists.

"We had two real good periods," Edmonton coach Pat Quinn said. "The second period we had some turnovers and played too much in our zone. We had some good efforts from our players and we will take positives out of that."

Edmonton took a 2-1 lead on Visnovsky's score 5:48 into the third period before Vermette tied it with 7:34 left on a redirection.

Nikolai Khabibulin made his 18th start in 21 games for the Oilers and finished with 30 saves.

"We had a pretty good effort from everyone," Souray said. "We had great goaltending. If it weren't for our goaltending, we probably wouldn't have been in the game in the third period."

With the score tied at 1 in the third, Garon kicked aside Souray's blast from the right point nearly outside the circles, but Visnovsky stepped into the puck to score his fifth on a one-timer.

About six minutes later, it was Columbus' turn on the man-advantage. Tyutin snapped a shot from the point that Vermette got his stick on from the slot with his back to the net for his fourth goal of the season, snapping a seven-game goal-scoring drought.

"We definately wanted to try to take advantage on that," Vermette said. "I was standing in front trying to get position. I ended up in front of him and Tyutin, it was a smart play, he was shooting at my stick. It was a good read from him. I tried to get piece of it."

The game was physical from the beginning. Columbus' Mike Blunden and Edmonton's Zack Stortini squared off only 2:41 in. Only two seconds after play resumed, the Oilers' Jason Strudwick tangled with Blue Jackets callup Tom Sestito.

The clubs traded power-play goals in the second period and Columbus outshot Edmonton 14-4.

An ill-advised tripping penalty on captain Ethan Moreau behind the Columbus goal gave the Blue Jackets a two-man advantage for 1:18.

At the left circle, Stralman converted on the first power play, taking a pass from Kristian Huselius and converting on a low slap shot to make it 1-1 at 7:08.

"You try to shoot, obviously, and try and move the puck ... and get the goalie moving," Stralman said.

Reddox put the Oilers up a man by drawing a hooking penalty on Kris Russel as he side-stepped the defenseman across the blueline into the zone, nearly scoring but Garon flashed his glove to make the save.

Hemsky, 31 points in 23 career games against Columbus, tied it at 13:13 with his fifth, beating a screened Garon with a slow shot from the left circle that went through the legs of Blue Jackets defenseman Rostislav Klesla and teammate Dustin Penner.

Notes

  • Edmonton wrapped up a five-game road trip (1-2-2) that began with a victory against Colorado.
  • The Blue Jackets embark on their own five-game swing that will start Thursday at Dallas.
  • The Oilers are 2-7-2 on the road.
  • Columbus went 2 for 4 on the power play, Edmonton was 2 for 5.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Nikolai Khabibulin can only look back after Jakub Voracek scores the game winner in the shootout.  (AP)
Nikolai Khabibulin can only look back after Jakub Voracek scores the game winner in the shootout. (AP)

Scoreboard
Edmonton (8-10-3)01100 (1)2
Columbus  (11-6-2) «01101 (2)3
Three Stars
M. Garon
CLB


Saves: 23
Save Pct.: .920
F. Tyutin
CLB


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 2
A. Stralman
CLB


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
None
2ND PERIOD
07:08Power Play - Anton Stralman (2), Slap Shot. Assist: Huselius, Tyutin
13:13Power Play - Ales Hemsky (5), Wrist Shot. Assist: Souray, Visnovsky
3RD PERIOD
05:48Power Play - Lubomir Visnovsky (5), Slap Shot. Assist: Souray, Horcoff
12:26Power Play - Antoine Vermette (4), Tip-In. Assist: Tyutin, Stralman
OT
None
2OT
 Fedor Tyutin (1), GOAL
 Ales Hemsky (2), GOAL
 Jakub Voracek (1), GOAL
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
02:41Blunden, 5 min, Fighting
02:41Stortini, 5 min, Fighting
02:43Sestito, 5 min, Fighting
02:43Strudwick, 5 min, Fighting
06:10Nash, 2 min, Roughing
13:01Umberger, 2 min, Roughing
13:01Voracek, 2 min, Roughing
13:01Reddox, 2 min, Roughing
13:01Souray, 2 min, Roughing
15:19Blunden, 2 min, Hooking
17:19Stortini, 2 min, Hooking
2ND PERIOD
05:45Staios, 2 min, Hooking
06:27Moreau, 2 min, Tripping
11:26Russell, 2 min, Hooking
3RD PERIOD
04:31Klesla, 2 min, Tripping
09:15Voracek, 2 min, High-Sticking
11:44Reddox, 2 min, Hooking
OT
None
2OT
None
Shots On Goal
 123T
Edmonton94922
Columbus914629
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGASO SSO GA
Nikolai Khabibulin 65:0030242
Mathieu Garon 64:5623241
Game Information
Attendance - 13030
Referees - Justin St. Pierre, Dean Morton
Linesmen - Darren Gibbs, Don Henderson
 
Other Games
LA 4 Final
Fla 3
NJ 2 Final
Phi 3
Ana 2 Final
Pitt 5
NYI 4 Final
Bos 1
TB 4 Final
Pho 1