Puljujarvi leads Oilers past Blue Jackets 5-2; Edmonton snaps six-game losing skid

·2 min read

EDMONTON — Jesse Puljujarvi had two goals and an assist as the Edmonton Oilers broke out of a serious slump by defeating the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-2 on Thursday.

Derek Ryan, Brendan Perlini and Warren Foegele also scored for the Oilers (17-11-0), who snapped a six-game losing skid, the last five of which came at home.

Gustav Nyquist and Justin Danforth replied for the Blue Jackets (14-13-1), who have lost eight of their last 10.

Edmonton’s dreadful run of allowing the first goal of the game — which had happened n 15 of their past 18 games — finally came to an end with a pair of goals 46 seconds apart on a five-on-three man advantage nearly eight minutes into the first period.

The first goal came after Tyson Barrie's point shot came off the backboards to Puljujarvi, who sent a backhand past Columbus goalie Elvis Merzlikins.

Puljujarvi then added a second goal, tapping in a nice feed from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins into a wide open net for his 10th of the season.

Edmonton is 10-0 this season when scoring first in a game.

Perlini stripped a puck and sent it on net at the 11-minute mark of the first, with Ryan tucking the rebound home through Merzlikins’ legs.

Perlini blasted home a rebound from the slot at 16:41 of the third for his first of the season after recently being recalled from the American Hockey League.

Joonas Korpisalo started the third period in the Columbus net.

The Blue Jackets spoiled Oilers goalie Stuart Skinner’s shutout bid on their 30th shot, 6:28 into the third period as Nyquist chipped in a rebound.

Columbus put a scare into the hometown fans when Danforth showed good hands to gather up a rebound and score on the backhand with just over three minutes left to make it 4-2

However, Edmonton secured the victory on a Foegele empty-net goal.

The Oilers are back at it on Saturday when they make a one-game trip to Seattle. The Blue Jackets were also supposed to play on Saturday in Calgary, but that game has been postponed with COVID-19 running rampant through the Flames. They next play in Buffalo on Monday.

Notes: Out with injuries for the Oilers were Mike Smith (lower body), Slater Koekkoek (lower body), Kris Russell (upper body) and Zach Hyman (undisclosed); while Devin Shore joined Ryan McLeod and head coach Dave Tippett on COVID-19 protocol… Missing from the Columbus lineup were Dean Kukan (upper body), Patrik Laine (upper body) and Adam Boqvist (upper body). 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 16, 2021.

Shane Jones, The Canadian Press

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