Final

Series (Game 2 of 4)

Edmonton leads 3-1

Game 1: Friday, November 10th
Oilers4Final
Blue Jackets1
Game 2: Saturday, December 2nd
Blue Jackets4Final
Oilers0
Game 3: Wednesday, January 31st
Blue Jackets2Final
Oilers5
Game 4: Thursday, February 22nd
Oilers4Final
Blue Jackets0

Blue Jackets 4

(7-16-2, 16 pts)

Oilers 0

(13-10-2, 28 pts)

8:00 PM ET, December 2, 2006

Rexall Place, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

1 2 3 T
CBJ 1 2 14
EDM 0 0 00

F. Norrena (Blue Jackets - G): Saves: 21, Save Pct.: 1.000

D. Fritsche (Blue Jackets - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 2

J. Chimera (Blue Jackets - LW): Goals: 0, Assists: 1

Oilers lose Smyth to broken thumb then game to Jackets

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) -- Fredrik Norrena and the Columbus Blue Jackets refused to give in to the slumping Edmonton Oilers.

Fredrik Norrena made 21 saves in his first NHL shutout, lifting the Blue Jackets to a 4-0 win Saturday night over the Oilers, who also lost captain Ryan Smyth to a fractured thumb.

Dan Fritsche had a goal and two assists, and Alexander Svitov, Gilbert Brule and Anson Carter also scored for Columbus, who lost 2-1 at Calgary on Friday.

"We were pretty upset after our last game," Carter said. "We had a pretty solid road game but didn't play well enough to win. That's not good enough for us anymore. It was nice to come back here 24 hours later and get a victory."

The Oilers have lost three in a row -- all at home -- following a four-game winning streak. Edmonton also faces the possibility of an extended period without Smyth, who leads the team with 16 goals in 25 games. The talented forward left the game in the first period and didn't return.

The Oilers were hoping to get back on track following a 7-3 loss to Colorado on Thursday, and an emotional overtime defeat to Anaheim in Chris Pronger's return to Rexall Place.

Smyth's injury is the latest bad break for the Oilers, who lost third-leading scorer Ales Hemsky to a shoulder injury against Anaheim. He's expected to be out another week or two.

"Every team is going to go through situations like this and you have to make sure that you can survive them," Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said. "It is a test of the mettle of our team right now."

After the game the team said surgery likely won't be required.

"I couldn't move my thumb," Smyth said. "I had no movement at all. I thought maybe it was dislocated or something.

"I hated to leave. You want to be out there contributing."

The Blue Jackets opened the scoring almost nine minutes in when Svitov's soft wrist shot from the high slot beat Dwayne Roloson between the pads to give Columbus a 1-0 lead after a listless first period.

The Oilers also struggled early in the second period, registering only one shot during a four-minute power-play.

"We have to turn it around and fight through these injuries," Edmonton forward Shawn Horcoff said. "In a lot of ways this could be a real turning point in the season for us. We can either win some games with these guys out which could give us a big, positive boost.

"Or we could lose a lot of them and be in a battle come the second half of the season."

Roloson didn't help his own cause, taking a slashing call on Rick Nash that proved to be costly. Ron Hainsey's shot from the point hit the crossbar and landed flat behind Roloson. Brule vaulted into the crease and poked it in.

Things got worse for Edmonton just a minute and half later when a Columbus pass bounced off the skate of Edmonton defenseman Daniel Tjarnqvist and caromed right to the waiting stick of Carter. The former Oilers forward fired his fourth goal of the season past a diving Roloson.

Columbus outshot the Oilers 14-5 in the second.

It was the fifth game behind the bench for new Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock, who improved his mark to 2-3. The former Flyers coach is happy with how things have gone, so far.

"I've been really happy since Day 1 here," he said. "We've been in one-goal games everywhere. This time we were on the right side of one. This team has a great spirit, and we fight and we battle."

For the second game in a row, Jussi Markkanen replaced Roloson in goal, coming on to start the third. He only faced three shots before being yanked with a minute left, and Fritsche closed the scoring with an empty-net goal.

Game notes


Smyth has 12 goals and 12 assists in 21 career games against Columbus, including a two-goal performance earlier this year in a 4-1 win over the Blue Jackets. ... Columbus won for just the second time in 11 trips to Edmonton. The Oilers lead the overall series 14-3-5. ... The Oilers head to Vancouver on Monday before returning home on Wednesday for a Stanley Cup finals rematch with the Carolina Hurricanes.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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