Blue Jackets-Oilers Preview

The Edmonton Oilers have been punchless during a six-game home
losing streak, but the Columbus Blue Jackets have always had
trouble at Rexall Place.

The Oilers have taken their last five home meetings against the
Blue Jackets heading into Tuesday night’s matchup between
struggling teams.

Edmonton (5-15-2) will try to avoid its first seven-game home
losing streak since an 0-6-1 slide Nov. 25-Dec. 28, 2009. The
Oilers, who have been outscored 23-3 in this skid, are 18-4-1
all-time at home against Columbus (7-10-3), which has been
outscored 25-12 in its last five defeats at Rexall.

Both teams enter with some confidence following rare wins.

The Oilers ended a five-game slide Saturday with a 4-2 victory
at Calgary as four players scored in the third period to rally the
club from a two-goal deficit.

“It gives you a spark, it gives the individuals some confidence
scoring goals, making some plays offensively,” coach Dallas Eakins
said.

Columbus ended a three-game losing streak in which every defeat
went past regulation with Sunday’s 4-1 victory over Ottawa that
opened a five-game Canadian trip.

“We didn’t let ourselves get down even though we were in some
tight games, we didn’t get the full two points we wanted but we
kept getting points,” defenseman Jack Johnson said. “Tonight was a
nice break for us, we finally got a chance to play with the lead
too.”

The Blue Jackets went 3 for 5 on the power play. R.J. Umberger
scored his team-best third power-play goal with the other two
coming from unlikely sources. Fedor Tyutin scored his first in 75
games after Ryan Johansen tallied his first in 98.

“You’re looking for a spark somewhere, offense somewhere, it can
start on your power play,” said coach Todd Richards, whose club is
without injured stars Marian Gaborik and Nathan Horton.

Richards also singled out the play of center Boone Jenner, who
returned from a nine-game absence due to a leg injury. The Blue
Jackets have won four straight with Jenner available.

Sergei Bobrovsky made 29 saves for Columbus. If he starts, he
won’t be up against his former Philadelphia teammate, Ilya
Bryzgalov.

Bryzgalov went through his first practice with Edmonton on
Monday, but Eakins will start Devan Dubnyk. Dubnyk owns one of the
worst goals-against averages in the NHL at 3.54, but that figure
has dropped to 2.03 over his last three games.

“Devan has played well and we’re going to keep him rolling,”
Eakins said.

Ales Hemsky ended an 11-game goal drought Saturday for Edmonton,
which was outshot 12-4 through one period before slowly
improving.

“I didn’t think we had turned any corner in the first period, we
seemed under siege,” Eakins said. “In the second period I think we
played much better, didn’t quite get rewarded. In the third period
we found ourselves.”

Hemsky’s 38 points against Columbus are the most of any Edmonton
skater in history.

The Oilers went 2-0-1 against the Blue Jackets last season
behind Sam Gagner’s six points.