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GAME THREAD: Edmonton Oilers @ Columbus Blue Jackets

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Oilers look to start a winning streak with some matinee hockey in Ohio

NHL: San Jose Sharks at Columbus Blue Jackets
With three points in four games (1-2-3), new Blue Jacket Matt Duchene has fit right in.
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Edmonton Oilers (27-30-7) (6th, Pacific)

Columbus Blue Jackets (36-24-3) (4th, Metro)

11:00 AM MST

Nationwide Arena

TV: Sportsnet West

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: The Cannon

STARTING AT ONE

The Oilers scored four goals to get back into the win column in Ottawa. Four different Oilers - Connor McDavid, Sam Gagner, Zack Kassian and Colby Cave each had a goal en route to a win. Mikko Koskinen turned aside 35 of 37 saves to pick up his 17th win on the season. The win brings Edmonton to within seven points of the second wild card spot, which is still a lot of climbing to go. Can the Oilers get closer with a matinee victory today?

Let’s go to the tape.

The Oilers are saying

We still believe we have an opportunity to get back in this...The only way you do that is just keep getting wins

Source

That’s Sam Gagner on getting just a tiny bit closer to the wild card spot with a win in Ottawa.

Gagner’s right. The only way this ship is going to sail on past April is to win. With 18 games remaining, the Oilers need at least 13 of those to have a shot.

The Blue Jackets are saying

He’s the best player I’ve seen playing tired. Now, not defensively, but offensively, yes

Source

That’s Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella on Jackets forward Artemi Panarin.

Panarin set up Seth Jones for Columbus’ OT goal over the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night. The Jackets currently hold the second wild card position in the Eastern Conference. Their actions on trade deadline day suggest that they’re going for it all this spring. More on that after the jump.

HAVE SOME OF THIS

  • Columbus had a pretty busy deadline. The Jackets acquired Matt Duchene from the Senators this past week, and he looks like he’ll fit right in. He’s picked up three points (1-2-3) in four games so far. Columbus also acquired Ryan Dzingel from the Sens, Keith Kinkaid from the Devils and Adam McQuaid from the New York Rangers. The widow is small, as Artemi Panarin, Sergei Bobrovsky, Dzingel and Duchene’s contracts are all UFA at the end of the season. They’re in total “win now” mode.
  • Pretty sure I’d have Sam Gagner higher than the fourth line, but what do I know? Gagner has three goals in seven games since returning to the Oilers.
  • Hats off to Colby Cave, who scored his first NHL goal against the Senators on Thursday night. Both he and Josh Currie (1-2-3 in 6 GP) are trying to make their cases to find themselves in Edmonton’s future plans.
  • NET GAINS: Look for Mikko Koskinen to be in the net once again for Edmonton today Sergei Bobrovsky is likely for the Jackets
  • SICK BAY: Jesse Puljujarvi and Jujhar Khaira are out for the Oilers. Defenceman Ryan Murray (upper body) is day-to-day for Columbus.

Can the Oilers topple the Blue Jackets and get a little bit closer to some postseason action?