Winless in their last five games, the Edmonton Oilers will look to turn things around on Sunday when they visit the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets for their second contest in as many days. Rookie defenseman Justin Schultz had a power-play goal for Edmonton, which dropped a 2-1 decision in Detroit on Saturday. Edmonton is 3-for-22 with the man advantage during its winless streak after going 11-for-32 to start the season. Sam Gagner saw his 10-game point streak come to an end in Saturday’s loss.
The Blue Jackets have won just two of their first seven home games this season and sit at the bottom of the Western Conference with eight points in 11 contests. Columbus is winless in its last two, allowing four goals in each game. Goaltenders Steve Mason and Sergei Bobrovsky have split time in net so far with surprisingly similar results - both have allowed 17 goals on 170 shots. Defenseman Fedor Tyutin, whose career-high in points was 34 in the 2008-09 season, leads the Blue Jackets with eight points. Five Columbus players have scored more than one goal this season.
TV: 6 p.m. ET, Sportsnet West, Fox Sports Ohio
ABOUT THE OILERS (4-4-3): Gagner leads the team with 11 points. Devan Dubnyk, who started Edmonton’s first 10 games, was given the day off on Saturday. Dubnyk has a 2.60 goals-against average and .923 save percentage thus far. Rookie Nail Yakupov leads the team with five goals, while Schultz leads defensemen with four goals and seven points. Defenseman Ladislav Smid leads the team with 28 hits and 29 blocked shots, but is tied with Yakupov and defenseman Ryan Whitney with a team-worst minus-6.
ABOUT THE BLUE JACKETS (3-6-2): Tyutin shares a team-worst minus-6 rating with Vinny Prospal and Matt Calvert. Mark Letestu and Artem Anisimov share the team lead with four goals apiece, accounting for more than a third of Columbus’ scoring this season. Letestu is a team-leading plus-2. Defenseman Jack Johnson leads the team with 18 blocked shots and 26 shots on goal. Johnson has four points thus far and is minus-4. Ryan Johansen, who had 21 points in 67 games for the Blue Jackets as a rookie last season, has yet to score on his first 21 shots in 2013.
1. Edmonton is 1-3-2 in its last six visits to Columbus.
2. Oilers captain Ryan Smyth has 44 points in 42 career games against the Blue Jackets.
3. Columbus D James Wisniewski, who missed the last two games with a concussion, is hoping to play on Sunday. Wisniewski was on a four-game point streak prior to being injured.
PREDICTION: Oilers 3, Blue Jackets 1
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