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GAME DAY: at Edmonton

Jackets begin Western Canada trip in Oil Country

Wednesday, 03.14.2012 / 10:07 AM / News
By Rob Mixer  - BlueJackets.com
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GAME DAY: at Edmonton\r\n

  Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Edmonton Oilers
RECORDS - CBJ: 22-40-7 (Road: 9-21-4), EDM: 26-35-7 (Home: 16-14-4)
WHEN: Mar. 14, 2012 - 10 p.m.   |   WHERE: Rexall Place
WATCH:
FOX Sports Ohio (HD)  |  LISTEN: 97.1 FM & BlueJackets.com
GAME NOTES

GAME DAY ON THE ROAD presented by:



Boll

Richards

Breakdown
What began as an exciting and hope-filled season in Edmonton spiraled out of control in the last 55 games, and the Oilers appear to be destined for last place in the Northwest Division once again. Despite being one of the most entertaining young teams in the National Hockey League and boasting a stable of game-breaking forwards, the Oilers have struggled mightily with consistency this season and have dropped to 29th place overall in the NHL standings.

They have lost six of their last seven games overall and are in the midst of a three-game losing streak after dropping a 3-2 decision to the San Jose Sharks earlier this week. The Oilers’ lackluster third period incited an emphatic post-game press conference from head coach Tom Renney, who called his team’s work ethic and determination into question and challenged the group to play better hockey even though the playoffs are out of reach. One player who seems to have received the message is Jordan Eberle, who at just 21 years of age is leading Edmonton in goal-scoring (30) and is the team leader in total points (65).

Columbus has split the season series with the Oilers so far with each club winning on home ice. The Blue Jackets got a dramatic last-second goal in the second period back on Jan. 17 to pull even at 2-2, and Derek MacKenzie notched the game-winning marker just 32 seconds into the third period thanks to a slick pass by Colton Gillies. The first meeting of the season featured a third-period rally by the host Oilers on Dec. 2 at Rexall Place; the Blue Jackets led 2-1 after 40 minutes of play but the final stanza was highlighted by a Ryan Jones hat trick that put the stamp on a 6-3 victory.

Tonight’s game figures to be an engaging contest featuring two frustrated hockey teams. The Blue Jackets have dropped back-to-back games (both to St. Louis) after their four-game winning streak, and the Oilers are looking to get back on track – especially on home ice, where they have lost six consecutive games.

Curtis Sanford is expected to start in goal for Columbus and face Devan Dubnyk of the Oilers.

G
Nash (24) Eberle (30)
A
Prospal (33) Eberle (35)
PTS
Nash (47) Eberle (65)
PIM
Dorsett (192) Eager (92)
+/-
MacKenzie (+4) Sutton (+7)
W/L
Sanford (10-17-4)
Dubnyk (15-16-1)
GAA
Sanford (2.64) Khabibulin (2.64)
SVP
Sanford (.911) Khabibulin (.911)
• The Blue Jackets have gone 9-8-1 the last 18 games after posting a 4-15-2 mark the previous 21 outings. The Blue Jackets are 4-2-1 in their last seven road games after going 0-6-1 their previous seven road games.

Mark Letestu registered an assist Sunday vs. St. Louis to extend his point streak to four consecutive games. He had been held without a point in the five games prior. He has picked up 3-9-12 the last 19 games after being held to 2-1-3 the previous 15 games.

Derick Brassard has recorded 1-5-6 the last seven games, and has at least a point in eight of the last 12 games (3-7-10 in that stretch). He has 10-17-27 the last 37 games after being held to 2-3-5 in the previous 24 contests. Brassard ranks second on the club in goals and is third in total points.

• Tonight marks the third of four meetings overall this season and second of two at Rexall Place between the Blue Jackets and Oilers. Columbus is 14-22-6 all-time against the Oilers, including a 15-14-2 mark at Rexall Place.


SAM GAGNER

 
G - #1
  15 GOALS
  27 ASSISTS
  42 POINTS




• The highlight of Gagner’s season has to be his franchise record-tying eight-point night against the Chicago Blackhawks on Feb. 2. Gagner factored into all eight goals scored by Edmonton and tied Wayne Gretzky’s single-game Oilers record, and it has all come in a breakout season for the 22-year-old former London Knights star.


D Radek Martinek (concussion); out for the season
LW Kristian Huselius (lower body); indefinitely
D Marc Methot (jaw); indefinitely
RW Jared Boll (foot); week-to-week
D Fedor Tyutin (hand); indefinitely
G Steve Mason (hand); day-to-day
RW Derek Dorsett (upper body); undisclosed
C Derek MacKenzie (concussion like symptoms); day-to-day

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