Blue Jackets 3, Oilers 2, SO

For No. 1 draft pick Taylor Hall, seven games was an

eternity.

Hall scored his first NHL goal for the Edmonton Oilers on

Thursday night, but Nikita Filatov and Rick Nash converted in the

shootout to give the Columbus Blue Jackets a 3-2 victory.

”Definitely not the prettiest goal of my life, but I’ll take it

for sure,” Hall said of his tying tip-in at 9:57 of the third

period. ”It was a big goal for our team as well. I’ve been waiting

a long time and I’ve been asked about it a million times. I put a

lot of pressure on myself just because it’s out there. I definitely

wanted to score tonight and I had a feeling before the game that

this was going to be the night.”

The game was played before 9,128 fans, the smallest crowd to

watch the Blue Jackets at home.

Hall was in the crease to deflect a shot by Theo Peckham, who

collected the puck for Hall.

”I was doing an interview before and they showed it on

camera,” said Hall, a 19-year-old from Calgary who played last

year for the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League. ”I

think they make a plaque out of it or whatever. It’s certainly a

good feeling. I had some people here – I saw some Spitfire jerseys

in the stands – so it was a pretty fun night.”

The only damper on the fun for Hall was that it was yet another

Oilers defeat.

Hall also assisted on Shawn Horcoff’s first-period goal for the

Oilers, who have lost six in a row and are 2-23-3 in their last 28

road games dating to mid-December of last season.

Samuel Pahlsson and Kyle Wilson had goals in regulation for the

Blue Jackets, who have won three in a row and five of six. Steve

Mason made 25 saves.

”Sometimes you win ugly and sometimes you win in dramatic

fashion,” said Columbus coach Scott Arniel, who was right on both

counts. ”It was a wild and scrambly game.”

In the shootout, Edmonton’s Sam Gagner went first and appeared

to have scored after he got Mason down on the ice with a fake. But

Mason reached back with his stick to flick the puck away at the

last instant.

”The guys are really bearing down and sticking to what their

individual jobs are,” Mason said. ”It’s paying off when you have

guys competing hard the whole game. It really puts some pressure on

the other team and they make mistakes. And we just have to

capitalize on them.”

Nash then buried a hard shot with very little deception, just

past Devan Dubnyk’s blocker.

Next up for the Oilers was Gilbert Brule, a former No. 1 draft

pick of the Blue Jackets who was traded after two largely

unproductive seasons. He was roundly booed as he skated in on

Mason, ripping a shot that clanged off the right post.

Columbus then went with Filatov, taken sixth overall in the 2008

draft, in the extra session. He had fallen into disfavor a year ago

under then-coach Ken Hitchcock, electing to return to play in his

native Russia rather than go to the minors.

Filatov carefully skated in on Dubnyk, faked and then netted a

high backhander to clinch the win.

”I tried to do the same move on a breakaway during the game,

but it wasn’t good enough,” Filatov said.

Pahlsson notched his first goal on a one-timer off a nifty pass

from the back boards by Chris Clark, who assisted on both Columbus

goals in regulation.

Horcoff picked up the equalizer, benefiting from tic-tac-toe

passing. Hall feathered a cross-crease pass from the right wing to

fellow rookie Jordan Eberle, who slid a perfect setup to Horcoff at

the right doorstep.

With just under 2 minutes left in the period, Wilson’s shot was

blocked by Dubnyk. But the rebound came right back to Wilson and he

netted his second chance.

Coach Tom Renney said the young Oilers are progressing.

”The kids are just playing,” Renney said. ”They understand

they are getting an opportunity here and they certainly don’t want

to let anybody down. This is a good point in time to have

them.”

NOTES: Columbus D Jan Hejda was scratched because of a strained

calf muscle. … The previous smallest crowd for a Blue Jackets

game at Nationwide Arena was 9,802 on Oct. 20. … The game matched

teams with the two worst records in the Western Conference last

season. … Dubnyk had 39 saves. … The Blue Jackets are 12-19-6

overall against the Oilers.