Blue Jackets Allow Three First-Period Goals, Fall To Oilers

By Jacob Nitzberg on December 16, 2021 at 11:36 pm
Dec 16, 2021; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Jesse Puljujarvi (13) scores a first period goal against Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Elvis Merzlikins (90) at Rogers Place.
Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
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Well, that was ugly.

The Columbus Blue Jackets never really gave themselves a chance on Thursday night against the high-powered Edmonton Oilers. The final score was 5-2 in favor of Edmonton, but the Oilers practically coasted for 60 minutes.

It was all downhill from early on in the first period. On the same shift, Elvis Merzlikins and Jakub Voracek both took penalties. Merzlikins tripped Kailer Yamamoto, then Voracek played without a helmet. Domi served Merzlikins' penalty. In the ensuing five-on-three, Jesse Puljujarvi capitalized on the two-man advantage to give the Oilers the advantage. 

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After Puljujarvi's goal, the Blue Jackets were able to spring one man free from the penalty box, but it didn't matter. The fourth overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft (yes, one spot after Pierre-Luc Dubois) scored his second power-play goal of the game to double Edmonton's lead.

Unfortunately, the Oilers weren't done in the period. Some of their bottom-six forwards got in on the act. Derek Ryan scored his second goal of the season to give the Oilers a commanding 3-0 lead only 11 minutes and seven seconds into the contest.

In the middle frame, Alexandre Texier hit the post with a shorthanded attempt, but the puck wasn't bouncing the Blue Jackets' way tonight. Then, the Oilers' bottom-six struck again. This time, Brendan Perlini scored his first goal of the season to put the game out of reach, if it was still in question. 

Joonas Korpisalo replaced Merzlikins in net to begin the third period with Edmonton leading 4-0. Korpisalo has been battling an illness for the past two weeks, and it was his first in-game action since November 30th. He performed well, saving all 13 shots he faced. 

With 13:32 remaining, Gustav Nyquist ruined Oilers goaltender Stuart Skinner's shutout bid with a backhand from close range. It was the Swede's fifth goal of the season. The lone assist was credited to Cole Sillinger, who now has 5-6-11 in his first 28 NHL games at the age of 18. To their credit, the Blue Jackets didn't stop there. Justin Danforth converted a rebound with 3:24 remaining to halve the deficit, but that was as close as they would get to the Oilers.

Warren Foegele added an empty-netter with 2:54 remaining to seal the win for Edmonton, who had lost six games in a row coming into Thursday night's tilt.

Next Up

The Blue Jackets will head home for a few days before heading to Buffalo to take on the Sabres next Monday night. Puck drop is slated for 7:00 pm EST.

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