Oilers 6, Blue Jackets 4: Done in by late goals

By The Columbus Dispatch  • 
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EDMONTON, Alberta — A back-and-forth game between the Blue Jackets and Edmonton Oilers ended, appropriately enough, with a back-and-forth sequence that spelled doom for the Jackets.

Moments after the Blue Jackets nearly took the lead on a Cam Atkinson goal, the Oilers went ahead on Ales Hemsky’s sprawling goal behind goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky with 3:06 to play. That was the Oilers’ first lead of the night, and they held on for a 6-4 win.

“Normally, we don’t score as many goals as we did, but we’ve played very good defensively,” Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson said. “We needed to shut that team down, and we weren’t able to do it.”

Only the NHL’s video review room in Toronto could stop the Blue Jackets’ line of Matt Calvert, Artem Anisimov and Atkinson.

That trio had four goals and four assists, ending — for one night anyway — the Blue Jackets’ scoring struggles on the road. Atkinson had two goals, his first one coming only 10 seconds into the game to match a franchise record. Calvert and Anisimov also scored, while Anisimov had two assists.

But with 2:27 remaining in the second period, an apparent goal by Calvert — which would have given the Blue Jackets a 3-2 lead — was disallowed upon review in Toronto because, the league said, Calvert was guilty of a “distinct kicking motion.”

“That was a tough one,” Calvert told Fox Sports Ohio during the second intermission. “There was no kicking motion. Missed call on their part.”

Calvert fell backward and was out of control, sailing feet-first toward the net when the puck glanced off one of his skates and into the net. At full speed or slow motion, neither of Calvert’s skates could be seen as “kicking.”

Johnson dismissed the disallowed goal.

“That didn’t affect the game,” he said. “It would have been nice to have it, but we didn’t play well enough to win.”

Just 62 seconds later, Anisimov scored off his signature wrist shot from low in the right circle to make it 3-2. But the Oilers tied it 31 seconds later — with 55 seconds left in the second.

Only 27 seconds into the third, Atkinson scored on a skidder through the slot that scored just wide of Nikolai Khabibulin’s left pad to put the Jackets up 4-3. The Oilers pulled Khabibulin after that goal. At 3:06, however, the Oilers pulled to 4-4 on a goal by defenseman Corey Potter, setting up a desperate finish.

With 3:17 to play, Atkinson nearly had his second career hat trick. Calvert set him up off a rush, but his shot was stopped by Devan Dubnyk’s left pad. Just nine seconds later, Hemsky carried the puck hard to the net, feeding the puck through Bobrovsky’s pads before tumbling behind him.

It was 5-4, and Edmonton added Sam Gagner’s empty-net goal.

aportzline@dispatch.com

@Aportzline

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