EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) -The Columbus Blue Jackets ended their latest slump by preying on the only team below them in the Western Conference.
"All we needed was a win. We didn't care who it came against," Blue Jackets goalie Mathieu Garon said. "I think it was a desperate game for both teams. Both teams needed this badly, and we played well and came out on top."
Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock believes his club has shown signs of improvement despite a lack of wins.
"This is six of the last seven that we have played real solid," he said. "In this game, the whole feeling on the bench changed when we scored the third goal. When we got that one we were back to being the team we were before. Everybody was completely energized."
Fernando Pisani and Sam Gagner had goals for the Oilers, who have lost four in a row and 11 of 12.
Columbus is four points ahead of last-place Edmonton in the West.
"You'd like to think you could conjure up a way to win against a team that is battling you for last place," Oilers coach Pat Quinn said. "It's why we are 15th. The way the goals are going in is so repetitive it would be hard to understand why we should be anywhere but there."
The Oilers had planned to go golfing in Palm Springs for four days but will hold a mini-camp instead to try to straighten things out.
"We're not playing like we have skill," Quinn said. "We're not playing like we have drive and work ethic. We're not playing like we really care what our occupation is. And we're in 15th place."
The teams traded goals 19 seconds apart in the first period.
Columbus took a 1-0 lead as Rick Nash bounced a pass from behind the goal line off Huselius to Umberger in front. His no-look backhander beat goalie Devan Dubnyk.
Pisani then took a bouncing puck away from defenseman Kris Russell and scored his first of the season past Garon to make it 1-1 after the first period.
Edmonton came close to taking the lead with 2 minutes left in the second. Shawn Horcoff tried to stuff a puck in off of Garon's skate, but Fedor Tyutin dove into the net and swatted the puck away.
Less than a minute later, the Blue Jackets went up 2-1 as Raffi Torres chipped a pass to Vermette in the slot and he sent a shot over Dubnyk's shoulder.
The Oilers tied it at 2 just 1:36 into the third period when Denis Grebeshkov passed to Gagner at the side of the net for a shot through Garon's legs.
Columbus regained the lead 2 minutes later on the power play when Huselius corralled a big rebound and fired home a goal from a poor angle.
The Blue Jackets pushed the lead to 4-2 with just over 8 minutes left. Hejda's shot from the point changed directions and went in off of the skate of Oilers forward Patrick O'Sullivan.
NOTES: It was the third of four meetings between the teams. They split the first two. ... Former Oilers goalie Garon has started all three games for Columbus against Edmonton. ... Dubnyk made his second career NHL start for Edmonton. Jeff Deslauriers has started 21 of 22 games since the team lost Nikolai Khabibulin (back) on Nov. 16. ... Edmonton D Steve Staios played despite leaving the previous game after taking a shot to the knee. Fellow D Lubomir Visnovsky (ankle) missed his third game. ... Columbus forwards Alexandre Picard (undisclosed injury) and Raffi Torres (flu) returned to the lineup after missing the previous game against Vancouver. ... Nash, the Blue Jackets' leading scorer, hasn't scored in seven games. ... Horcoff played in his 600th NHL game.