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Edmonton at Columbus

Blue Jackets offense comes to life in win over Oilers

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- There's no place like home. Just ask the Edmonton Oilers.

Antoine Vermette had two assists and scored the clinching empty-netter Monday night to lead the Columbus Blue Jackets past Edmonton 5-3, adding to the Oilers' road woes.

Asked about his team's road troubles of late, Oilers coach Pat Quinn cracked, "Of late?"

Edmonton is just 1-14-1 away from home since mid-December.

"We haven't recovered from the loss of certain personnel," Quinn continued, referring to injuries to frontliners such as Ales Hemsky, Sheldon Souray and Nikolai Khabibulin. "We have got ourselves in a mentality that we're poor guys that have had some misfortune that's happened. We're not mentally tough enough to play through those things for long periods of time."

Kristian Huselius added a goal and three assists and Jake Voracek, Chris Clark and Marc Methot also scored for the Blue Jackets, who totaled only three goals in their previous two games. Derek Dorsett chipped in with two assists for the first multipoint game of his 91-game career.

It was a wild, wide-open game full of odd-man rushes.

"There were a lot of up and downs," Huselius said. "We played well for some time, then we lost the momentum and they came back and set the tempo."

The erratic play wasn't a surprise, since the two teams rank last (Edmonton) and third-to-last (Columbus) in the NHL in goals allowed.

"Obviously, we like to play a little wide open with pinching in the offensive zone," said Aaron Johnson, who along with Robert Nilsson had a goal and an assist for the Oilers. "But there were a couple of times we just got caught out of position."

Dustin Penner also scored for the Oilers, who have lost four in a row and are just 3-10-1 in their last 14 games.

Clark made it 2-1 at 4:30 of the second when he scored off a quick wrister from near the top of the right circle. It was his third goal since being acquired in a trade from Washington in December.

Methot turned a cross-ice pass from Vermette into a 3-1 lead in the opening minute of the third period.

But the rest of the game was in doubt until Vermette's goal with 55 seconds left.

"At the end of the day, you want to win. It's a different situation, I won't lie," Vermette said of the Blue Jackets, who are also far removed from a playoff run. "It's a tough situation to be in - your first time facing that challenge, not being in the playoff. It's not fun."

Andrew Cogliano dug a puck off the short boards and then slid a pass through Huselius's skates to Penner for his 26th, cutting the lead to 3-2.

After Huselius pushed the lead back to two goals with a breakaway slap shot that handcuffed goalie Devan Dubnyk and then trickled across the goal line, the Oilers cut it to 4-3 when Johnson pounced on a rebound at 7:45 of the third.

There were momentum changes and prime scoring opportunities on both sides the rest of the way until the Blue Jackets took advantage when Dubnyk was pulled for the extra attacker in the final minute.

Steve Mason finished with 29 saves for Columbus, which may not have top defender Jan Hejda the rest of the season. He sustained a lower-body injury in the first period and did not return. Interim coach Claude Noel said, "He will be out for a few weeks."

Meanwhile, the Oilers are having trouble overcoming missing teammates and their own mistakes.

"We're OK, we do some good stuff - but not good enough to win," Quinn said. "At the end of the night, in a game that's up for grabs, we've been in a lot of them but we don't grab it. We don't reach out and take it. On a night like tonight, it was our veterans that kind of let it get away from us."

Notes
  • The game was the third of a four-game road trip for the Oilers.
  • Vermette set a career high with 55 points.
  • Columbus D Fedor Tyutin played in his 400th career game.
  • The Blue Jackets won three of the four season meetings.
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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The Blue Jackets' five goals are two more than their output of the previous two games. (AP)
The Blue Jackets' five goals are two more than their output of the previous two games. (AP)
Scoreboard
Edmonton (21-41-7)0123
Columbus  (28-31-11) «1135
Three Stars
K. Huselius
CLB


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 3
A. Vermette
CLB


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 2
A. Johnson
EDM


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1

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Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
14:35Jakub Voracek (12), Snap Shot. Assist: Brassard, Umberger
2ND PERIOD
01:52Robert Nilsson (9), Wrist Shot. Assist: Chorney
04:30Chris Clark (7), Wrist Shot. Assist: Huselius, Vermette
3RD PERIOD
40.0Marc Methot (2), Wrist Shot. Assist: Vermette, Huselius
04:07Dustin Penner (26), Wrist Shot. Assist: Cogliano, Johnson
06:36Kristian Huselius (19), Slap Shot. Assist: Dorsett, Tyutin
07:45Aaron Johnson (3), Wrist Shot. Assist: Nilsson, Pouliot
19:05Antoine Vermette (22), Empty Net. Assist: Huselius, Dorsett
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
04:10Brule, 2 min, Slashing
10:52Pahlsson, 2 min, Hooking
13:34Boll, 5 min, Fighting
13:34Peckham, 5 min, Fighting
16:12Tyutin, 2 min, Hooking
16:44Gilbert, 2 min, Interference
17:18Russell, 2 min, Interference
2ND PERIOD
08:48Stortini, 2 min, Roughing
12:30Commodore, 2 min, Interference
3RD PERIOD
None
Shots On Goal
 123T
Edmonton5151232
Columbus1081129
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Devan Dubnyk59:22244
Steve Mason59:59293
Game Information
Attendance - 13603
Referees - Eric Furlatt, Tom Kowal
Linesmen - Shane Heyer, Dan Schachte
 
Other Games
Bos 2 Final
NJ 3
Det 2 Final
Cal 1