Blue Jackets make it 7 straight wins


Beat Oilers, 3-1

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — The Columbus Blue Jackets started slowly. The way they finished was all that mattered, though.

Sam Gagner had a goal and an assist, and the streaking Blue Jackets won their seventh straight game by beating the Edmonton Oilers 3-1 on Tuesday night.

“I thought the team took a little while to get going. But once we started playing, I thought we had a good second half of the game,” Gagner said. “I think we’re on a good run here and we want to keep pushing forward.”

Cam Atkinson and Matt Calvert also scored to help the Blue Jackets (18-5-4) improve to 8-0-1 in their last nine games.

Tyler Pitlick had the goal for the Oilers (15-12-5), who have lost five of six.

The Oilers got a 4-minute power play to start the second period on a mistaken call after Edmonton forward Milan Lucic accidentally caught teammate Connor McDavid in the face with his stick.

Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, who made 33 saves, squashed Edmonton’s opportunity to take a two-goal lead, and Columbus went on to score three consecutive goals.

“You do get some momentum from killing it,” Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said. “I don’t think we panicked. I didn’t think we competed that hard in the first period, but then we found ourselves.”

It was Edmonton’s 32nd game of the season compared to 27 for Columbus, but Lucic said fatigue wasn’t a valid excuse.

“We had more than enough rest over the last two days to be ready for this one,” he said. “We had the energy we wanted in the first period, but we just couldn’t sustain it. We just didn’t keep it going for 60 minutes and that’s a big reason we lost.”

Edmonton got on the scoreboard first, just past the midpoint of the opening period as a hard-charging Pitlick got to a rebound in the blue paint and chipped it over Bobrovsky.

The Oilers appeared to add another with 4 minutes left in the first, but officials determined forward Zack Kassian interfered with the goalie on the play.

Columbus tied the game on a power play 8 minutes into the second period when Gagner came back to hurt his old team. The puck went off the toe of his skate and past Edmonton goalie Cam Talbot for Gagner’s fourth goal in the last four games and 12th of the season.

The Blue Jackets made it 2-1 at 7:10 of the third as a pass deflected to Atkinson and he hammered his 11th of the season past Talbot.

Columbus added to its lead 1:36 later when Calvert took advantage of a sloppy Oilers line change and rifled a shot off Talbot’s arm and into the net.

The Blue Jackets completely took over in the third and were outshooting Edmonton 12-0 midway through the period.

“Coming from behind on a team like that, a lot of teams in the league haven’t been able to do that. And you can put us on the list as well,” Oilers coach Todd McLellan said.

NOTES: It was the first of two meetings between the teams this season. The other one is Jan. 3 in Columbus. … Oilers D Brandon Davidson played his first game since injuring his shoulder in the season opener Oct. 12 against Calgary. That was good news for Edmonton, which announced that fellow defenseman Darnell Nurse could miss up to three months following ankle surgery. … Columbus captain Nick Foligno returned to the lineup after missing two games with the flu.

UP NEXT

Blue Jackets: Play at Calgary on Friday, the second game of a three-game road swing through Western Canada.

Oilers: Host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday.

Beat Oilers, 3-1