Series (Game 1 of 4)

Columbus leads 3-1

Game 1: Thursday, October 22nd
Blue Jackets4Final
Game 2: Monday, November 16th
Blue Jackets3
Game 3: Thursday, January 7th
Blue Jackets4Final
Game 4: Monday, March 15th
Blue Jackets5

Blue Jackets 4

(5-3-0, 10 pts)

Oilers 6

(6-2-1, 13 pts)

9:30 PM ET, October 22, 2009

Rexall Place, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

1 2 3 T
CBJ 2 2 04
EDM 1 2 36

D. Penner (Oilers - LW): Goals: 2, Assists: 3

A. Hemsky (Oilers - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 4

S. Gagner (Oilers - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 2

Blue Jackets-Oilers Preview


After falling in a city where they haven't had much success, the Columbus Blue Jackets will try to bounce back in a place where they have a similar track record.

The Blue Jackets continue their four-game road trip Thursday night when they try to end the Edmonton Oilers' three-game home winning streak.

Columbus (5-2-0) had its three-game win streak snapped Tuesday with a 6-3 loss at Calgary as Steve Mason had a difficult night, making 16 saves on 22 shots.

"He struggled, he really struggled," coach Ken Hitchcock said. "The difference in the hockey game was when it was 3-3, (Flames goaltender Miikka) Kiprusoff had to make six or seven great saves and then when it was 4-3, he had to make three or four unbelievable saves and he did it, and that's what got them the two points."

The Blue Jackets fell to 5-11-1 all-time at Calgary, and that's slightly better than their 4-10-2 record at Rexall Place.

These clubs split four meetings last season, with right wing Ales Hemsky producing three goals and five assists in the first three for Edmonton. Mason had 19 saves in a 1-0 victory Feb. 26 in the last matchup.

Hitchcock, though, is expected to give backup Mathieu Garon his second start of the season. Garon played for Edmonton from 2007-09 before he was dealt Jan. 17 to Pittsburgh.

The veteran goaltender made 36 saves in his lone start this season, a 2-0 victory at Phoenix on Oct. 10. He's 2-5-1 with a 3.56 goals-against average against the Oilers.

Like Columbus, Edmonton (5-2-1) is off to a hot start as it completes a season-opening stretch with seven of its first nine games at home. Coach Pat Quinn, though, is quick to downplay expectations for a club that has missed the playoffs the last three seasons.

"I don't want to say (we're) fragile but we are a team that has that low threshold still," Quinn said. "We need to get by it.

"You watched the club last year, there were probably lots of times when for no reason at all that puck seemed to be going some place where nobody knew where it was going and it always ends up on the opposition's stick. We've got to get that out of our game."

The Oilers got a spectacular 39-save performance from Nikolai Khabibulin in a 2-1 victory over Minnesota on Monday. Khabibulin is 4-1-1 with a 2.60 GAA at home this year.

"We know we aren't going to score five or six goals every game so we need to win games like this too," he said. "In the playoffs the games are lower scoring so we might as well learn how to win those now."

Columbus star Rick Nash has all of his 11 points in the last six games, including short-handed goals in the previous two. He has one goal and no assists in his last nine games at Edmonton.