Tarnstrom being counted on for Columbus

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:37 AM ET

It may have been a fitting way for Dick Tarnstrom to make his return.

The Columbus Blue Jackets defenceman scored the tying goal late in the third period to earn his team a valuable point in a 5-4 shootout loss to the Edmonton Oilers.

"It's always nice to get one in, no matter where," Tarnstrom said. "As long as I'm able to help the team that's fine."

Tarnstrom scored with under three minutes left in the game, intercepting a clearing attempt by Curtis Glencross and firing it past Oilers goaltender Mathieu Garon.

It was his second goal for the Blue Jackets since being traded for Glencross in February - and his third of the year.

"There was a scramble in front of the net and they tried to clear it and they cleared it right to me," Tarnstrom said. "It was kind of a good break for me and I was in a good position to shoot it right in the slot there."

Tarnstrom has played 10 games for the Blue Jackets.

The move proved a good one for the veteran defenceman, who was odd-man out in Edmonton and spent the majority of his time prior to the trade in the pressbox.

"He was really good early, then not having played very much, it got to him for about two or three games," said Blue Jackets head coach Ken Hitchcock. "But now he's been really good again."

Last night Tarnstrom played nearly 23 minutes in the loss.

"Things have been good so far," he said. "I'm playing a lot and I've been getting a lot more time on the power play, so it's worked out for me. It's been a good opportunity to start playing again."

Having traded veteran Adam Foote at the deadline, Tarnstrom is one of the players the Blue Jackets are looking to pick up some of the slack.

"I think that gave everybody more responsibility," Tarnstrom said. "He was a leader on and off the ice. It's hard to step in and play the way he plays. Everybody has to step in and contribute."


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