EDMONTON — The Columbus Blue Jackets didn’t look like a last-place team taking on the hottest squad in the league on Wednesday night.
Kent Johnson scored the overtime winner as the Blue Jackets came away with a surprise 3-2 victory over the Oilers to end Edmonton’s longest winning streak of the NHL season.
Johnson’s shot from the top of the circle went in off Oilers’ goalie Stuart Skinner’s glove and into the net 2:29 into the extra session.
“It’s one of the best feelings to get an OT winner. That was a huge win for us,” Johnson said. “These are the type of games you want to play in, they’re really fun, and have great energy. You have to manage the game to get the win.”
Boone Jenner and Kirill Marchenko also scored for the Blue Jackets (15-30-3) who have managed to win two of their last three and earn five points out of their last possible six.
“It’s big, especially lately, we’ve been playing good, but we haven’t had that many wins,” said Columbus goalie Joonas Korpisalo, who made 34 saves. “I think the way we played tonight it was awesome and it’s great to get points on the road.
“The battle level was right there from the beginning, and you could see everyone had bought in 100 per cent there, and that’s how you win games.”
Derek Ryan and Zach Hyman responded with goals for the Oilers (27-18-4) who saw a six-game winning streak snapped. The Oilers are the only team in the NHL that has been unable to stretch a winning streak to seven games or more in the last 20 years.
“It’s a bit frustrating,” said Oilers defenceman Tyson Barrie. “I think we had enough looks and chances to probably win the game. It certainly wasn’t our best game, but we gave ourselves a chance. It was disappointing to let them come back, and then OT is kind of anyone’s game.”
Edmonton had some early chances, but it was the Blue Jackets who struck first 12:25 into the opening period when Jenner was able to tip an Adam Boqvist snapshot from the point past Skinner. Jenner has now scored in three consecutive games, giving him 14 goals on the season.
Skinner was able to keep it a one-goal game six minutes into the second period, stopping Johnny Gaudreau on a partial breakaway.
The Oilers pulled even midway through the middle frame as Ryan picked up a loose puck at mid-ice and beat Korpisalo with a long rising shot for his seventh.
Shortly after Korpisalo robbed Leon Draisaitl with a huge glove save, Edmonton struck on the power play with 3:44 remaining in the second when Connor McDavid found Hyman at the side of the net for a redirection into the net for his 25th. The assist extended McDavid’s points streak to 11 games, and also gave him points in 28 of his last 29 games.
The Blue Jackets tied the game 11:26 into the third period on a great individual effort as Marchenko came out from behind the net and battled hard to slide it under Skinner for his 11th goal to send the game to extra time.
“They played well,” Ryan said of Columbus. “There are no easy games in the NHL. Every game is going to be hard. That being said, I don’t think we played our best tonight.”
Oilers forward Evander Kane missed the game for personal reasons, dealing with his bankruptcy case in San Jose. Mattias Janmark returned from illness to take his place. … Out with injuries for Edmonton were Kailer Yamamoto (undisclosed) and Ryan Murray (back). … Missing for the Blue Jackets were Yegor Chinakhov (ankle) and Carson Meyer (oblique strain). Forward Liam Foudy returned to the Columbus lineup after being a healthy scratch the past four games. … Columbus forward Marchenko came into the game as only the fourth player in NHL history to score 10 goals without recording an assist, something that hasn’t happened since 1926. The rookie has now scored his 11 goals in just 25 games since being called up from the AHL. … Edmonton forward Hyman is already experiencing a career season, now sitting with 57 points in 48 games this year, besting his previous career high from last year of 54 points in 76 games. Hyman had four goals and five assists in three games last week to be named the NHL’s First Star of the Week. … Columbus forward Gustav Nyquist played in his 700th NHL game.
The Blue Jackets play the third game of a four-game road trip in Vancouver against the Canucks on Friday.
The Oilers host the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday and then are off until Feb. 7.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 25, 2023.
Shane Jones, The Canadian Press