Nugent-Hopkins scores as Oilers blank Blue Jackets

Edmonton 3 Columbus 0 EDMONTON — Head coach Tom Renney called out his Edmonton Oilers after a disappointing loss earlier this week, and it appears the team got the message.

Edmonton Oilers' Sam Gagner

Edmonton 3 Columbus 0

EDMONTON — Head coach Tom Renney called out his Edmonton Oilers after a disappointing loss earlier this week, and it appears the team got the message.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had a goal and an assist Wednesday as the Oilers snapped a three-game losing skid with a 3-0 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets in the battle of the NHL basement on Wednesday.

Devan Dubnyk made 22 saves to record his second shutout of the season and Taylor Hall and Linus Omark also scored for the Oilers (27-36-7), who won for just the second time in their last eight games.

“It was a lot better. I thought the guys responded really well,” said Oilers captain Shawn Horcoff.

“We got challenged and we wanted to respond to it. We wanted to come out with a really solid effort and was really proud to see the way the guys did.”

Renney agreed that what he saw against Columbus was far better than what the Oilers displayed during a 3-2 loss to San Jose on Monday.

“They paid attention for 60 minutes,” he said.

“They wanted to do well and take responsibility and that’s good.

“Collectively we were better defensively.”

Renney didn’t mince words Monday after the Oilers lost their fifth straight home game.

“It doesn’t take many for the wrong approach, the wrong attitude … to kind of make its way through your dressing room,” Renney said after the loss to the Sharks. “It doesn’t take many guys at all.

“We have a few people who have to look in the mirror here because this is unacceptable. You’re the Edmonton Oilers, you’re a millionaire, you have an opportunity to play the game . . . Suck it up and play hockey.”

Edmonton sits in second-last in the NHL, 10 points ahead of the last-place Blue Jackets (22-41-7), the only team thus far to be eliminated from playoff contention. Columbus lost its third game in a row.

“We had a lot of passengers tonight,” said Blue Jackets assistant captain James Wisniewski. “Nobody was really going. We had our chances to score. All year we have had a hard time scoring goals. Things really haven’t changed in that department. We had opportunities and just didn’t capitalize on them.”

Edmonton had a good opportunity to score in the opening minute with a puck laying in the crease for what seemed an eternity behind starter Curtis Sanford before it was swept away by Columbus captain Rick Nash with Oiler Jordan Eberle in hot pursuit to whack it in.

The Oilers had the bulk of the chances in the scoreless first period with 12 shots while Columbus only managed three on Dubnyk.

Edmonton finally broke the deadlock eight minutes in to the second period as Nugent-Hopkins came away with a loose puck off the boards and beat Sanford with a quick wrist shot. It was the 16th goal of the season for the 2011 first overall draft choice.

Columbus was awarded a four-minute power play on a Hall high-sticking call soon afterwards but couldn’t do much with it. The best opportunity belonged to Edmonton on a short-handed breakaway attempt by Eric Belanger.

The Oilers made it a 2-0 game on a late second-period power play of their own as Hall picked up the rebound of a Nugent-Hopkins shot and slipped it under Sanford with only five seconds to play. It was Hall’s fourth consecutive game with a goal and 27th on the season.

Dubnyk kept the Blue Jackets from getting anywhere near the scoreboard and the Oilers put the game away with 90 seconds left on an empty-netter by Omark.

“It wasn’t 40 shots or anything like that but any time you keep them all out you have to give the guys a pat and one for yourself,” Dubnyk said. “It feels good. It was such a good effort right from the drop of the puck for us. That’s what we were so disappointed about in the last game.”

Just Posted

City of Red Deer invests $50,000 in CFR opening ceremony

Several councillors warn it’s a one-time deal

Updated: Trial begins for woman accused of drunk driving in fatal collision

An eyewitness to a fatal collision near Red Deer described the scene… Continue reading

Red Deer city councillor proposes stricter rules for stray shopping carts and an anti-theft bike registry

Coun. Buck Buchanan’s Notices of Motion to be discussed by council on Oct. 1

Red Deer MP pleased Conservative ranks keep growing

Frustration with pipelines continue

UPDATED: Stretching for a good cause at Central Alberta Yogathon in Red Deer

Funds raised go to Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre

Glad company: Trailer for Disney’s ‘Mary Poppins Returns’

LOS ANGELES — A beloved nanny is preparing to take to the… Continue reading

Jeremy Dutcher wins Polaris prize for ‘Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa’

TORONTO — Jeremy Dutcher has won the 2018 Polaris Music Prize for… Continue reading

Statistics Canada reports manufacturing sales rose 0.9 per cent in July

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says manufacturing sales increased 0.9 per cent in… Continue reading

China raises tariffs on $60B of US goods in technology fight

BEIJING — China on Tuesday announced a tariff hike on $60 billion… Continue reading

Ennis hoping to rejuvenate career with Leafs after getting bought out by Wild

TORONTO — Tyler Ennis has had to prove doubters wrong much of… Continue reading

Champ golfer from Spain killed in Iowa; suspect charged

AMES, Iowa — A man has been charged in the killing of… Continue reading

Korean leaders meet in Pyongyang for potentially tough talks

PYONGYANG, Korea, Democratic People’s Republic Of — South Korean President Moon Jae-in… Continue reading

Russia blames Israel for plane shot down by Syrian missile

MOSCOW — A Russian reconnaissance aircraft was shot down by a Syrian… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month