Columbus (15-20-9) at Edmonton (16-22-5)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Edmonton, AB
Temp: 37° F
  • Game info: 9:00 pm EST Thu Jan 7, 2010
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The two worst teams in the Western Conference meet Thursday night when the Edmonton Oilers try to extend the Columbus Blue Jackets’ franchise-record road skid to 14 games.

Columbus (15-20-9) has 39 points - two more than Edmonton (16-22-5) - as the teams continue to slip further out of postseason contention. The Blue Jackets are 1-9-4 since Dec. 10 while the Oilers are 1-9-1 in their last 11.

The clubs have split two meetings this season, with each winning at home and Columbus prevailing in a shootout. The Oilers have converted 5 of 12 power-play chances in the two games, and Dustin Penner(notes) had two goals and three assists in a 6-4 home win Oct. 22.

Edmonton has faced goaltender Mathieu Garon(notes) both times and could see the former Oiler again after the way Steve Mason(notes) performed Tuesday night. Mason allowed six goals on 17 shots before being replaced by Garon at 14:53 of the second period in a 7-3 loss at Vancouver.

Mason is 11-15-6 with a 3.31 goals-against average after going 33-20-7 with a 2.29 GAA to win the Calder Trophy and help Columbus reach the playoffs for the first time in 2008-09.

The Blue Jackets opened this three-game trip through Western Canada with an ugly performance to fall to 0-9-4 on the road since a 4-1 victory over Dallas on Nov. 19. The lone positive was that they snapped a club-record 10 straight games with two or fewer goals.

“We’ve been struggling scoring goals and finally we got a couple,” said Rick Nash(notes), who leads Columbus with 19 goals. “They took it to us and we sat back and let them back in the game. We’ve seemed to figure out our defensive game in the past five games and couldn’t score. Tonight was the opposite.”

Nash doesn’t have a goal in six games, although he had two assists Tuesday. Columbus blew an early 2-0 lead and was down by one when Mason allowed two goals in an 88-second span before being pulled.

Edmonton lost its third straight, 5-4 in overtime to Phoenix on Tuesday in the opener of a four-game homestand. Penner and Denis Grebeshkov(notes) scored 49 seconds apart in the third period to rally the Oilers from a two-goal deficit.

“We’ll take the positives out of it, we came back, we got a point,” assistant captain Sheldon Souray(notes) said. “It’s a good way to get a little momentum, even though we lost the game we’ll take a little of the momentum we gained in the third period and roll with it.”

Penner ended his six-game drought without a goal with his team-high 20th. The Oilers scored more than two goals for the second time in nine games.

“On the good side, we battled hard and made a game of it and created a lot of offensive opportunities, three of our lines did,” coach Pat Quinn said.

Columbus is 4-11-2 all-time in Edmonton.

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Thursday, Jan 7