COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Edmonton Oilers went the equivalent of an entire period without registering a shot, yet somehow ended up with their highest-scoring game of the season.
Shawn Horcoff had a goal and two assists to lead seven multiple-point scorers, and the Oilers snapped a three-game losing streak with a 7-2 rout of the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night despite being outshot 39-19.
“I don’t really think the score was indicative of how close the game was,” Horcoff said. “I thought we showed a lot of good character to get that fifth goal. We kind of gave ourselves some breathing room.”
Sheldon Souray, Andrew Cogliano, Tom Gilbert and Lubomir Visnovsky had a goal and an assist, and Marc Pouliot and Dustin Penner scored for the Oilers, who went a stretch of nearly 20 minutes without putting a puck on net. They stayed in it behind superb goaltending by Dwayne Roloson, and pulled away late in the third period with three goals in a span of 3:03.
“They like to drive the net hard and just throw things from bad angles and go for rebounds,” Roloson said. “You’ve got to give our forwards and ‘D’ a lot of credit. I was able to make the first save, and anything that was around there they were able to get something on it to clear out the rebound.”
Sam Gagner had two assists, and Ales Hemsky finished with three.
Kristian Huselius and Rick Nash had a goal and assist for Columbus, which was 5-1-3 in its previous nine. The Blue Jackets fell apart behind their NHL-worst power play and its 1-for-7 effort against Edmonton.
“We lost the special teams game,” Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock said. “You can’t live on the negative play of our special teams and win.”
Columbus failed to gain momentum at key points early in the second and third periods with the Blue Jackets on the man-advantage and trailing by two goals. When they did create chances, Roloson was there to stop Jason Chimera, Fredrick Modin and R.J. Umberger on prime opportunities.
“He was really on top of his game,” Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said of Roloson. “When your goalie outplays the other guy, it’s normally a good indication of the result.”
Pascal Leclaire allowed all seven goals, and Edmonton went 2-for-3 on the power play.
After Nash scored his ninth to make it 4-2 midway through the third period, Penner – a healthy scratch the previous two games – scored his fourth goal at 12:06. Horcoff netted his fifth at 14:38, and Visnovsky closed out the spurt with a long slap shot to make it 7-2 at 15:09.
“We’re letting in too many goals – bottom line,” Hitchcock said.
Despite being outshot 15-4 in the opening period, the Oilers took a 2-0 lead.
Hemsky slid a pass to Souray, who fired a one-timed shot from the high right circle past Leclaire for his sixth goal – third on the power play – at 5:38.
After weathering more Columbus pressure, Oilers forward Erik Cole started an odd-man rush. Souray faked a shot, crossing into the right side of the zone, and threaded a pass to Cogliano on the back side for a tap-in goal at 13:14 to make it 2-0.
Shortly after the Oilers’ 20-minute shot drought ended, Pouliot scored his first goal of the season. He one-timed Cogliano’s feed from behind the net to give the Oilers a 3-0 lead at 12:49.
Huselius made it 3-1 at 18:03 with a pair of moves around Ethan Moreau and a low shot under Roloson, who was screened by Nash.
The Blue Jackets had a 29-8 edge in shots after two periods.
Gilbert made it 4-1 at 7:44 of the third period with a power-play goal.
“It was a bit of a wild one,” MacTavish said.
Notes: Columbus is 0-6-3 when allowing the first goal. … The Oilers went 7-7 while playing 14 of their first 20 on the road. … Members of Major League Soccer’s Columbus Crew were recognized during a first-period break. The team will face the New York Red Bulls on Saturday in the MLS Cup. … Rookie C Derick Brassard, who leads the Blue Jackets with 19 points, had two assists to extend his point streak to five games. He has been held off the score sheet only three times in 18 games. … Penner played in his 200th NHL game.