Blue Jackets 4, Oilers 2

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 17, 2012
Derek MacKenzie scored 32 seconds into the third period to help the Columbus Blue Jackets rally from a two-goal deficit and beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-2 on Tuesday night. The defeat in a matchup of the teams at the bottom of the Western Conference could be particularly costly for the Oilers, who lost Taylor Hall for the game during warm-ups when he collided with a teammate and fell. Hall cut his head on another teammate's skate and couldn't play. Ryan Johansen and Derick Brassard also had goals, and Derek Dorsett added an empty-netter for the Blue Jackets, who had lost three of four and 11 of 14. Curtis Sanford made 21 saves. Colton Gillies, playing his first game for the Blue Jackets, had the primary assist on MacKenzie's goal. Anton Lander and Ben Eager scored in the opening nine minutes for the Oilers, who have lost six of seven. With the game 2-2, the newest Columbus player made a big play. Gillies, wearing the number his uncle Clark Gillies wore with the New York Islanders from 1974-86, chipped the puck along the boards and retrieved it before eluding a defender and sliding an ideal centering pass for MacKenzie's jam shot. It was MacKenzie's first game-winner in 58 games, dating to March 12 at Carolina. Gillies was claimed off waivers on Saturday from Minnesota, where he failed to impress after being a first-round draft pick. Hall was injured when he was cut by a skate above an eye. A trainer staunched the blood and helped him to the dressing room. The Oilers didn't need him early to get their offense going. They caught the Blue Jackets off balance on a break, with Lander swooping in after muscling past Brassard. After deking and getting Sanford down, Lander slid the puck under Sanford's attempted poke check and scored as he dived. Less than 2 minutes later, Ales Hemsky's lead pass for Jeff Petry was wide and went off the back wall, but Petry corralled the puck and tossed a perfect blind centering pass to Eager for a stuffed shot. The Blue Jackets tied it in the second period. Johansen took a lead pass from Antoine Vermette, and with the puck in front of him got it past Devan Dubnyk, who finished with 20 saves. Then, with Columbus on a power play and under a second left in the period, Brassard's shot from in close off a feed from Rick Nash was stopped by Dubnyk, but the rebound glanced off the skate of Edmonton defenseman Jeff Petry and went in. Injuries have hurt both teams. The Oilers were 4-13-1 since beating the Blue Jackets 6-3 in Edmonton on Dec. 2; Columbus was 5-11-2 since then. The Blue Jackets are without their two big offseason acquisitions, center Jeff Carter (separated right shoulder) and defenseman James Wisniewski (broken left ankle), along with forwards R.J. Umberger (concussion), Kristian Huselius (pulled groin) and Mark Letestu (broken right hand), and defenseman Radek Martinek (concussion). Along with Hall, the Oilers are missing their top two scorers, Jordan Eberle (right knee) and center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, the NHL's top rookie (left shoulder), along with center Eric Belanger (back) and defensemen Ryan Whitney (right ankle), Tom Gilbert (right knee), Cam Barker (left ankle surgery), Taylor Fedun (broken right leg) and Alex Plante (head). NOTES: Gillies is the 14th player to make their Blue Jackets' debut this season. ... The Oilers had lost five in a row and eight of nine before beating Los Angeles 2-1 in overtime on Sunday. ... Umberger was placed on the injured list. He was injured when he took an elbow to the head from Anaheim's Jean-Francois Jacques on Sunday.
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