COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Antoine Vermette had two assists and scored the clinching empty-netter Monday night to lead the Columbus Blue Jackets past Edmonton 5-3, adding to the Oilers' road woes.
Kristian Huselius added a goal and three assists and Jake Voracek, Chris Clark and Marc Methot also scored for the Blue Jackets, who totaled only three goals in their previous two games. Derek Dorsett chipped in with two assists for the first multipoint game of his 91-game career.
It was a wild, wide-open game full of odd-man rushes. That wasn't a surprise, since the two teams rank near the bottom of the NHL in goals allowed.
Clark made it 2-1 at 4:30 of the second when he scored off a quick wrister from near the top of the right circle. It was his third goal since being acquired in a trade from Washington in December.
Methot turned a cross-ice pass from Vermette into a 3-1 lead in the opening minute of the third period.
But the rest of the game was in doubt until Vermette's goal with 55 seconds left.
Andrew Cogliano dug a puck off the short boards and then slid a pass through Huselius's skates to Penner for his 26th, cutting the lead to 3-2.
After Huselius pushed the lead back to two goals with a breakaway slap shot that handcuffed goalie Devan Dubnyk and then trickled across the goal line, the Oilers cut it to 4-3 when Johnson pounced on a rebound at 7:45 of the third.
There were momentum changes and prime scoring opportunities on both sides the rest of the way until the Blue Jackets took advantage when Dubnyk was pulled for the extra attacker in the final minute.
Steve Mason finished with 29 saves for Columbus.
Voracek got the Blue Jackets on the board first. A loose puck ended up on the stick of Derick Brassard near the point. He passed to the right dot where Voracek's one-timer beat goaltender Devan Dubnyk.
Columbus came in 18-12-5 when scoring first this season, while Edmonton was just 6-30-4 when falling behind 1-0.
Less than 2 minutes into the second period, the Oilers pulled even when Nilsson notched his ninth goal of the year, taking a pass from Taylor Chorney, deking a defender and then netting a hard, low shot from the left hash.
NOTES: Blue Jackets D Jan Hejda sustained a lower-body injury in the first period and did not return. ... The game was the third of a four-game road trip for the Oilers. ... Vermette set a career high with 55 points. ... Columbus D Fedor Tyutin played in his 400th career game. ... The Blue Jackets won three of the four season meetings.