(Sports Network) - Something has to give Sunday at Nationwide Arena, where the
Columbus Blues Jackets will host the Edmonton Oilers in a clash between
struggling teams in desperate need of a win.
The Oilers have lost five straight since beginning the season with a 4-2-0
record. Edmonton is 0-2-3 during its current slide and has scored only eight
goals during that stretch.
The Blue Jackets, meanwhile, have just eight points through their first 11
games and are tied with Colorado for last place in the Western Conference. The
club enters Sunday having lost two in a row and four of their last five games.
Edmonton won three of four meetings against the Blue Jackets in 2011-12 and
has claimed five of seven overall in the series. However, the Oilers have lost
six of eight and seven of their past nine tilts in Ohio.
The Oilers suffered a 2-1 regulation loss Saturday afternoon in Detroit.
Niklas Kronwall scored the winner with 13:52 left in the third period to help
the Red Wings eke out the close win at Joe Louis Arena.
Nikolai Khabibulin made 28 stops and Justin Schultz had the lone goal of the
game for the Oilers.
"He really came to compete and was a leader in this game," Oilers head coach
Ralph Krueger said of Khabibulin. "He gave us a chance to win, and he
deserved a win."
In the third period with the score tied, Detroit was skating on the power play
and Pavel Datsyuk sent the disc from the right circle to the high slot where
Kronwall cranked a huge slap shot that blew through a screen and past
Khabibulin for a 2-1 lead.
The Oilers couldn't convert the equalizer despite having a 6-on-4 advantage
late in the third period after Johan Franzen got whistled for a penalty and
Edmonton pulled the goalie for an extra attacker.
The loss dropped Edmonton to 2-3-1 as the guest this season. After Sunday's
game in Columbus, the Oilers will head back to Alberta for a five-game
homestand that is set to begin Tuesday against Dallas.
Columbus was able to earn a point in its most recent outing, an overtime loss
to Calgary on Thursday.
Vinny Prospal scored with nine minutes left in the third period to tie the
game at 3-3 for the Blue Jackets. However, Alex Tanguay netted the decisive
goal 1:07 into overtime to lift the Flames to the 4-3 decision.
Prospal and Mark Letestu each had a goal and an assist and Matt Calvert also
lit the lamp for Columbus. Sergei Bobrovsky allowed all four goals on 30
"We have to figure it out. For twenty minutes we're good and then we lose our
game, and when it's gone, it's gone. It's not just for one or two shifts, it's
for an extended period of time," Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said.
The Blue Jackets have one win (1-2-1) so far on a six-game homestand that is
set to end Monday against San Jose. Columbus is 2-3-2 as the host this season.
The Sports Network