COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP)—Edmonton wasted no time bouncing back from what could have been a major letdown.
Andrew Cogliano scored 1:53 into overtime as the Oilers held off Columbus 2-1 on Friday night after the Blue Jackets tied it with less than 1 second left in regulation.
“Sometimes you have to dig yourself off the tarmac, and we did in this game,” Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish said.
Dan Fritsche scored his ninth of the season to tie it for Columbus with eight-tenths of a second remaining, but made a costly mistake in the extra period. Fritsche turned the puck over in his own zone, resulting in Cogliano’s goal.
“I just caught the five-hole, which was pretty lucky,” said the rookie, who has 13 goals.
Fernando Pisani also scored on the power play for Edmonton, which snapped a three-game road losing streak, and won for the fifth time in six games.
Both teams came in fighting to stay alive in the Western Conference playoff race. Columbus entered six points out of the eighth spot with 70 points, while Edmonton was nine back with 67 points.
“It seems that nothing is easy for us,” MacTavish said after his team played in its 21st overtime game, including shootouts. “To give that up was disappointing at the time, obviously. We don’t need to be giving Columbus points either, but had some satisfaction that we came back and got the win in overtime.”
There was a sparse crowd in Nationwide Arena due to heavy snowfall that blanketed Columbus during the day Friday.
Mathieu Garon made 30 saves and nearly recorded his fifth shutout of the season and 15th of his career. The puck bounced around the crease until Fritsche whacked it into the back of the net to send the home crowd into a frenzy.
“I remember stopping the first one, then it went in front and I lost the puck,” said Garon, 6-1-1 all-time against Columbus. “I don’t even know what happened on the goal.”
The Blue Jackets, who had the league’s fourth-best home record in mid-January, have a seven-game winless streak at home, one shy of tying the franchise record.
“It’s just frustrating,” Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock said. “We worked hard today. We battled, but we didn’t execute. We weren’t crisp with our passing or our puck movement. Pucks were bouncing off sticks all night.”
Pisani open the scoring at 11:02 of the second period, snapping a tough-angled shot from the low, left circle over Leclaire’s shoulder for his 10th.
The Blue Jackets finished 0-for-4 on the power play with four shots and are in an 0-for-31 funk.
“When you have to wait until the 59th minute to score, it’s not enough,” Hitchcock said.
The Oilers played without LW Geoff Sanderson, C Shawn Horcoff, LW Raffi Torres, LW Ethan Moreau, and D Sheldon Souray, who are all injured. … The game was the first of five at home for the Blue Jackets, who had played eight of nine on the road. … Edmonton is playing five of six on the road, after finishing a 4-1 homestand.