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Bobrovsky carries Blue Jackets to shootout win over Oilers

The SportsXchange

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Blue Jackets wondered what it would take for them to win back-to-back games this season. The answer: a perfect performance in relief by goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky.

The Jackets beat Edmonton 4-3 in a shootout before 14,952 in Nationwide Arena, thanks to Bobrovsky, who took over early in the second period and stopped all 21 shots in regulation and both shots he faced in the shootout.

Derek MacKenzie, Vinny Prospal and Jack Johnson scored for the Blue Jackets, who have a four-game point streak for the first time since March 8, 2012.

"This is what every hockey team needs," Prospal said. "To work hard, that comes first. To work hard and then taste success. This comes second. Now we need to keep going with this and build on this. We have a lot of games left to prove ourselves.

"For tonight, we have a great feelings. We played as a team and we won as a team. Nothing could feel better."

Mark Letestu and Artem Anisimov scored in the shootout for the Blue Jackets, while Bobrovsky stopped attempts by Edmonton's Sam Gagne and Ales Hemsky.

Jeff Petry, Ryan Whitney and Magnus Paajarvi scored for the Oilers, while Devan Dubnyk had 34 saves.

Edmonton has dropped three straight.

"We had our chances in overtime," Oilers coach Ralph Krueger said. "Bobrovsky has to be the difference-maker, at least for the point that we lost."

The most thrilling part of the game was overtime. The Oilers had an early 4-on-3 power play in OT, but Jordan Eberle was robbed twice by the right bad of Bobrovsky, keeping the game alive for Columbus.

The Blue Jackets nearly ended it with 43.8 seconds remaining, but Johnson's shot from the high slot clanged off a post.

When Letestu scored the game-winner in the shootout, the Blue Jackets bench cleared quickly to celebrate with Bobrovsky.

"It's huge," Bobrovsky said. "It's very tough to come into a game like that. No warming up, no (preparation). But every goalie has to do it, and you have to be stay ready as much as you can.

"I felt good right away. I had some help, too."

Only 31 seconds into the second, the Oilers took a 3-2 lead. Paajarvi skated past Jackets winger Nick Foligno for a clean look at Mason, and scored with ease. In the final minute of the second, Mason allowed soft goal by Whitney.

At that point, Richards had seen enough. He was pulled after stopping only five of eight shots, replaced by Bobrovsky.

"The way the first period ended and then their third goal ... we needed a save at that point," Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said. "Bobby was terrific."

The Blue Jackets took Mason off the hook at 10:44 of the second when Johnson scored from the slot off a feed from center Derick Brassard behind the net to make it 3-3.

The rest of the second period devolved into a muck fest, with both clubs struggling to connect on even simple passes. Most of the scoring chances were created by turnovers in the defensive zone, not skating and passing.

NOTES: Oilers young stars Taylor Hall (hamstring) and Jordan Eberle (hand) were considered questionable to play in the game, but declared themselves able to play after the morning skate. ... Blue Jackets winger Matt Calvert was given a game misconduct only 5:36 into the game when he fought Edmonton's Jeff Petry without his sweater properly tied down. It was the first fight of Calvert's career. ... The Jackets announced that defenseman John Moore would miss up to three weeks with a shoulder injury.
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