This cat had the game winner. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Oilers Still Chasing Playoff Hopes After Defeating Columbus 6-4

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Well.

The Oilers allowed a goal ten seconds into the game. They played their way out of it, caught a couple of breaks, got a goal from a guy you wouldn’t have guessed, changed the goaltender, scored a game winning goal, and put two points into the bank.

Ready?  Let’s begin.

  • Nikolai Khabibulin fell back to Earth a little bit tonight.  He wasn’t the proximate cause for all four goals, but he was a contributing factor for a couple.  Like when he shot the puck off the boards to no one in particular (okay, the linesman was standing there).  Puck ended up on Cam Atkinson‘s stick in the high slot, and Khabibulin had no chance.  Coach Krueger pulled Khabibulin after allowing the fourth goal and stuck Dubnyk in.
  • Six goals from six different sticks.  Paajarvi, Gagner (EN), Komrade Horcov, Eberle. Corey Potter (!) and Ales Freakin’ Hemsky, who had the game winner.

  • You’re right. This looks like a guy we should trade for a draft pick.  Sam Gagner finished with three points on the night.
  • Speaking of goals, let’s talk a bit about Shawn Horcoff‘s goal. Ryan Jones gets the puck to Nail Yakupov, who has a point blank shot on Sergei Bobrovsky but opts to pass it to Horcoff, who buries it behind the Columbus netminder.  That sort of pass doesn’t usually work for the Oilers, but it did today.
  • The Oilers were once again outchanced and outshot. For what it’s worth, they didn’t get annihilated in the chances department, and were outshot only by 5 (30-25) against a team that’s been running quite hot as of late.  Kept it close (shots 10-9 for Columbus) in the third.  This is good, because the third period has stirred up some frightening moments.
  • Sergei Bobrovsky allowed five goals on 25 shots, an off game for a guy who was riding an 8-1-3 record since the beginning of March.
  • Taylor Hall admitted that Krueger had him sit a couple shifts at the beginning of the third due to his play.  Coach has got to do what the coach has to do, but I don’t know if I’m wild about Lennart Petrell clocking in over 11 minutes of ice time.  It all worked out tonight.
  • Oilers got a mega break on a disallowed goal.  Matt Calvert looked to have his second goal of night, but it was called back for being a ‘distinct kicking motion’.  Calvert was falling down as the puck hit his skate, and had Khabibulin smothered the damn thing like a plate of homefries, we wouldn’t be talking about it.  Should’ve counted, it worked out in Edmonton’s favour.  For once.
  • Oilers got a little help in the standings, as both Nashville and St. Louis lost.  Nashville got destroyed by Phoenix thanks to a six goal first period, and to quote Ken Hitchcock, the Blues haven’t bought in yet.  (?).  Oilers grab two points, and can move on to Vancouver on Saturday night.

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