Derek MacKenzie had a point-blank scoring chance in the opening minute of tonight's game, and it might have been the Blue Jackets' best opportunity of the game.
It was that kind of night for Columbus, but it can't be seen as anything other than a step backward after their solid effort Sunday in Ottawa. The Oilers dominated this game from start to finish and barely allowed the Blue Jackets to threaten their net, tallying seven times in a resounding 7-0 victory at Rexall Place. The Blue Jackets were out-shot 15-3 in the first period, and midway through the third period, had recorded just 11 shots on goal in the game.
Jordan Eberle opened the scoring for Edmonton 2:37 into the first period, slamming in a rebound at the left circle while uncontested to make it a 1-0 lead. David Perron's first tally of the game came on the power play a few minutes later, as Sergei Bobrovsky made the initial save but couldn't find the rebound and Perron poked it over the goal line. Ryan Smyth batted a power play goal of his own out of mid-air to make it 3-0 headed into the dressing room after 20 minutes.
The Oilers added three more in the second period and the rout was on. Bottom line: one team was ready to go when the puck dropped tonight, and the other (the Blue Jackets) had a tough time getting going. If there's any silver lining coming out of this game - by far their least inspiring performance in the first 21 games - the Blue Jackets get right back at it tomorrow night in Calgary and have no choice but to put this one behind them.
Down 2-0 and trying to get their feet under them, a Blue Jackets goal might have turned things around if it's 2-1 instead of 3-0. As the old adage goes in hockey: the third goal in a 2-0 game is the most important one. The Oilers got it, and Smyth's power play goal was the dagger for the Blue Jackets.
1. DAVID PERRON (EDM)
Two goals, two assists and plenty of chances for Perron in tonight's game. He was an integral part of an Edmonton power play that was a difference-maker in this game, and showed the world-class skill that made him an attractice acquisition for the Oilers this summer.
2. NAIL YAKUPOV (EDM)
Yakupov was flying all night and was rewarded for one of his better games of the season. The young Russian scored a power play goal, added an assist and took three shots on goal.
3. RYAN SMYTH (EDM)
For a guy that has had difficulty staying in the lineup on a consistent basis, the wily veteran was a big part of the Oilers' offensive success tonight. He was all around the net and scored a vintage Smyth goal at the side of the net.
AT CALGARY FLAMES
WEDNESDAY, 10 P.M.
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