Blue Jackets beat Oilers to make it 7 straight wins
Columbus hands Edmonton its 5th loss in last 6 games
The Columbus Blue Jackets didn't start strong. But the way they finished was all that mattered.
Sam Gagner had a goal and an assist as the red-hot Blue Jackets won their seventh straight game with a 3-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday.
"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 and [goalie Sergei Bobrovsky] played great for us again and that's a big one for us," 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 for the Blue Jackets (18-5-4), who have gone 8-0-1 in their last nine games.
The Oilers had a four-minute power play to start the second period on a mistaken call after Edmonton forward Milan Lucic accidentally caught Connor McDavid in the face with his stick. But Bobrovsky, who made 33 saves on the night, squashed Edmonton's opportunity to take a two-goal lead. Columbus then went on to score three unanswered goals.
'We found ourselves'
"You do get some momentum from killing it," said Columbus coach John Tortorella. "I don't think we panicked. I didn't think we competed that hard in the first period, but then we found ourselves."
Tyler Pitlick opened the scoring for the Oilers (15-12-5), who have lost five of their last six outings.
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 tonight."
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 looked to have added another with four minutes left in the first, but winger Zack Kassian was determined to have interfered with the goalie on the play.
Columbus takes over 3rd
Columbus tied the game on the power play eight minutes into the second period when Gagner came back to haunt his old team, with a puck going off the toe of his skate and past Edmonton goalie Cam Talbot for his fourth goal in the last four games and 12th of the season.
The Blue Jackets made it 2-1 seven minutes into 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 Jackets completely took over in the third, 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," said Oilers head coach Todd McLellan.