Oilers 3, Blue Jackets 0

Oilers coach Tom Renney called out his team after a

disappointing loss earlier this week, and the players showed they

got the message.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had a goal and an assist, Devan Dubnyk

stopped 22 shots for his second shutout of the season and Edmonton

beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-0 on Wednesday night to snap a

three-game skid.

Taylor Hall and Linus Omark also scored as the Oilers won for

just the second time in eight games (2-5-1). Edmonton improved its

total to 61 points, ahead of only league-worst Columbus (51).

”It was a lot better. I thought the guys responded really

well,” said Oilers captain Shawn Horcoff. ”We got challenged and

we wanted to respond to it. We wanted to come out with a really

solid effort and was really proud to see the way the guys


Renney agreed that what he saw against Columbus was far better

than what the Oilers displayed during a 3-2 loss to San Jose on


”They paid attention for 60 minutes,” he said. ”They wanted

to do well and take responsibility and that’s good. Collectively we

were better defensively.”

Curtis Sanford stopped 24 shots as the Blue Jackets – the only

team already eliminated from playoff contention – lost their third


”We had a lot of passengers tonight,” said Blue Jackets

assistant captain James Wisniewski. ”Nobody was really going. We

had our chances to score. All year we have had a hard time scoring

goals. Things really haven’t changed in that department. We had

opportunities and just didn’t capitalize on them.”

Edmonton had a good opportunity to score in the opening minute

with a puck laying in the crease behind starter Curtis Sanford

before it was swept away by Columbus captain Rick Nash with the

Oilers’ Jordan Eberle in hot pursuit to try to whack it in.

The Oilers had the bulk of the chances in the scoreless first

period with 12 shots while Columbus only managed three on


Edmonton finally broke through 8 minutes into the second period

as Nugent-Hopkins came away with a loose puck off the boards and

beat Sanford with a quick wrist shot. It was the 16th goal of the

season for the 2011 first overall draft choice.

Columbus was awarded a four-minute power play on Hall’s

high-sticking call soon afterwards but couldn’t do much with it.

The best opportunity belonged to Edmonton on a short-handed

breakaway attempt by Eric Belanger.

The Oilers made it a 2-0 game on a late second-period power play

of their own as Hall picked up the rebound of Nugent-Hopkins’ shot

and slipped it under Sanford with only 5 seconds to play. It was

Hall’s fourth consecutive game with a goal and 27th on the


Dubnyk kept the Blue Jackets from getting anywhere near the

scoreboard and the Oilers put the game away with 90 seconds left on

an empty-netter by Omark.

”It wasn’t 40 shots or anything like that but any time you keep

them all out you have to give the guys a pat and one for

yourself,” Dubnyk said. ”It feels good. It was such a good effort

right from the drop of the puck for us. That’s what we were so

disappointed about in the last game.”

NOTES: Columbus G Steve Mason (lacerated pinkie) has been

practicing but was still not ready to play. Allen York served as

the backup to Sanford. … Blue Jackets F Derek Dorsett did not

travel with the team because of illness but could rejoin the team

later on the trip. … Columbus was also missing Derek MacKenzie

(concussion) and Fedor Tyutin (broken right hand), who went down

with injuries last week. … F Ben Eager, sidelined with a bad

back, was out for the Oilers. … Teemu Hartikainen was called up

from the AHL and he made the trip in time for the pregame skate.

Edmonton then opted to dress bruiser Darcy Hordichuk instead. …

Columbus was 0 for 4 on the power play and has not scored in its

last 28 chances.