Columbus Blue Jackets top Edmonton Oilers, extend win streak to 16

By Alison Lukan, The Sports Xchange  |  Jan. 4, 2017 at 1:19 AM
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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- It seems no one can beat the Columbus Blue Jackets these days.

The Blue Jackets rattled off their 16th consecutive victory with a 3-1 result against the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday before a crowd of 17,169 chanting "we want 16!"

Cam Atkinson and William Karlsson scored power-play goals and a third-period tally from Nick Foligno paced the offense.

The victory pulled Columbus within one of tying the 1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins for the most consecutive as it became the second team in NHL history to win 16 straight games.

Sergei Bobrovsky made 21 saves and extended his win streak to 14 games. He is tied for second in consecutive wins by a goaltender in the NHL, an accomplishment most recently achieved by Jonas Hiller in 2013-14. The record is 17 wins, held by Boston's Gilles Gilbert in 1975-76.

Cam Talbot faced 35 shots, turning away 30 or more for the 16th time this season for the Oilers.

"When you play the right way and everything's in sync you tend to go on winning streaks like this," Edmonton's Milan Lucic said. "You can see everything's flowing in the right direction for (Columbus) and it's easy to say that they are getting the bounces, but they are working hard for those bounces and making it happen. That's when you get the bounces going your way."

The Blue Jackets struck first when Atkinson scored 1:12 into the first power play of the night after Jesse Puljujarvi was called for holding Jack Johnson.

Atkinson's team-leading 18th goal of the season came off a feed from Zach Werenski in the high slot.

With the primary assist, Werenski (six goals, 19 assists) tied Derrick Brassard for seventh in total points by a Blue Jackets rookie.

The Jackets controlled the pace of play in the first, allowing only four shots from Edmonton why contributing 12 of their own.

"We didn't come close to their tenacity their relentlessness, we weren't anywhere near it," Edmonton coach Todd McLellan said. "We're not capable of getting there yet, it was a great test for us. That's a playoff type environment and we had some go-to people who were invisible so we've got to get them up and running."

Oilers captain and team-leading point scorer Connor McDavid (14-29-43) was held to three shots on goal. Leon Draisaitl and Lucic, the team's second- and third-leading scorers, combined for one shot.

Edmonton tied the game 5:39 into the second when Patrick Maroon fed Oscar Klefbom, who entered the zone with speed. Klefbom fired from high between the circles for his sixth goal of the season.

Less than five minutes later and 1:49 into the Jackets' second power play of the night, Brandon Saad sent a cross-zone pass to Karlsson. Karlsson's shot from the right circle did not fail and gave the Jackets a 2-1 lead.

The goal marked Karlsson's first career power-play goal. Karlsson was filling in on the second power-play unit for Brandon Dubinsky, who fought Maroon earlier and was serving the resulting penalty.

"You never know when you'll have a chance on the power play, but I really wanted it," Karlsson said. "I'm thankful that I got the opportunity. It's up to the coaches who plays, I can be ready, that's about it."

The Jackets converted 2 of 4 power-play opportunities. The Oilers were 0 for 3.

"I thought the power play was a big reason we were successful tonight," Jackets coach John Tortorella said. "I thought Edmonton had some good sticks. We developed some offense five-on-five. But on the power play, you can almost sense it a little bit when they go out there that they feel like they are going to score."

Seth Jones' secondary assist was his 100th NHL career point and extended his point scoring streak to four games.

NOTES: Blue Jackets G Sergei Bobrovsky was named NHL First Star of the month for December. He is the first Columbus player to receive such honors. He started 12 of 14 games for the Jackets in the month and went 12-0-0 with a .939 save percentage. ... Oilers captain Connor McDavid, who entered Tuesday's game tied for points leader in the league (14-29-43), was elected Pacific Division captain for the 2017 NHL All-Star Game through a fan-voting process. ... Edmonton scratches were C Anton Lander and D Eric Gryba. ... Blue Jackets LW Markus Hannikainen, D Dalton Prout and D Scott Harrington were scratched. ... Oilers D Andrej Sekera returned to the lineup after missing two games because of illness.

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