COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Edmonton Oilers needed a quick end to their five-game losing streak, which threatened to derail this shortened season before it really got interesting.
Columbus arrived on the schedule at the right time.
The Oilers, after a scare in the third period, pulled away to beat the Blue Jackets 3-1 before 14,364 in Nationwide Arena.
Edmonton had been 0-2-3 in its last five.
Columbus did everything right but score. The Blue Jackets outshot the Oilers 40-14, but scored on Edmonton goaltender Devyn Dubnyk only once.
Ales Hemsky, Magnus Paajarvi and Sam Gagne scored for the Oilers, while Dubnyk had 39 saves.
The Blue Jackets' only goal came courtesy of R.J. Umberger, who scored his first goal of the season 9:43 into the third to tie the score at 1.
But the Oilers score on two of their final three shots in the game to seal it. Paajarvi gave them the lead for good with 3:10 remaining, scoring a short-handed goal.
Blue Jackets defenseman James Wisniewski played a large role in Hemsky's goal at 13:58 of the first period.
Wisniewski's pass from deep in his own zone was picked off by Oilers winger Taylor Hall, who skated in on Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky for a shot. Hemsky, who has had a field day in his career against the Jackets, was there to clean up the rebound.
The game settled into a disorganized mess for long stretches the rest of the way, with the Blue Jackets trying to slow the Oilers with their forecheck and the Oilers spoiling what open ice they got with too many passes.
The Blue Jackets finally pulled even at 9:43 of the third.
Umberger, mired in one of the longest slumps of his career and the target of derisive taunts from the crowd at times, carried the puck into the high slot and sent a wrister through traffic and beat Dubnyk clean to his stick side.
The Oilers went more than a period without generating a shot on goal at one point. Hall's close-range wrister on Bobrovsky with 9:39 remaining was the first puck Bobrovsky had to stop in a span of 21 minutes, 3 seconds.
It wasn't until the Blue Jackets went on a power play that the Oilers, despite being short-handed, came to life.
Paajarvi's goal was set up by Sam Gagner, who pushed the puck around Wisniewski and slid between Wisniewski and the wall to start a rush. Paajarvi, the trailer, took a slick backward pass from Gagner and buried it under the crossbar.
It was Paajarvi's first goal since Feb. 19, 2012.
NOTES: Wisniewski returned to the Blue Jackets' lineup only a week after sustaining a concussion in a violent collision with the endboards against Detroit on Feb. 2. He also suffered a bruised hip, lower back and elbow, but missed only two games. ... In 30 career games vs. Columbus, Hemsky has 13 goals and 24 assists. ... Center Eric Belanger (foot) and defenseman Mark Fistric (back) returned to the Oilers lineup after missing the previous two games. ... The Blue Jackets are almost done with their season-long, six-game homestand. After last Sunday's loss, they're 1-3-1.