Chimera's chances add up

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:37 AM ET

With all the chances he was getting Jason Chimera was bound to net one.

And when he finally did, it looked as though it would stand up as the winner for the local product.

However, the Columbus Blue Jackets couldn't hold on to their third-period lead and went on to lose to the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 in a shootout last night.

"I thought we played a great road game. We pretty much outplayed them the whole night," said Chimera.

"I think they got a lucky break in the third goal. But when you have a 2-1 lead like that you have to be able to close those games out."

Originally drafted by the Oilers, Chimera, 28, played two full seasons in Edmonton before moving on to Columbus.

In 10 previous career games against the Oilers, he had never scored a goal.

But last night, he was seemingly all over the ice.

COULDN'T PULL TRIGGER

He had a great chance to score in the first period when he cut across the net, but couldn't pull the trigger. He then had a short-handed breakaway in the second period, beat Garon with a move, but hit the side of the net with his shot.

"It seems like I need 10 to 12 chances per game to score a goal," Chimera said.

"I had the one in the second period which just hit the post. I had some chances all night. I felt good and my linemates are playing really well which helps.

"I just have to bury some of those chances. It could have been 5-0 for me."

Coming into the contest, Chimera had 12 goals and 15 assists for 27 points. His most productive season came last year when he scored 15 goals and had 21 assists.

"He's really stepped up since the trade deadline," said Blue Jackets head coach Ken Hitchcock. "That whole line has been really effective for us and I like the way they are playing."

Chimera's goal came in the third period when he banged in a Nikolai Zherdev pass from in close. The goal midway through the frame gave the Blue Jackets a 2-1 lead.

Chimera was late to react to the goal, not knowing if the puck had gone in the net or was sitting under Garon.

"With all the chances I had, I didn't know if it went in or not," he said.

"I just waited to see and when I looked at the ref, he pointed at the net which was good to see."

The Oilers responded with two quick goals a couple of minutes later, forcing the Blue Jackets to come up with a late tying goal to send the game into overtime.

In the shootout, Rick Nash, Zherdev and Gilbert Brule were stopped by the Oilers goaltender.

NO SHOOTOUT SHOT

Chimera didn't get an opportunity to shoot.

"That's probably why, because I had so many chances," he said.

"We have some good shooters too, but Garon is playing well in the shootout, it seems like he hasn't let in a goal all year.

"But we had a chance to get two points and we didn't. We weren't able to pull it out with a lead in the third period."

Despite the loss, the Blue Jackets were able to inch a little closer to a playoff spot.

The point earned for getting into the extra session pulled them four points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Regardless, the team was disappointed not to be able to earn two.

"This is two games in a row in this building where we really dominated for the first two periods, but we've not been able to extend the lead," Hitchcock said.

"They came on in the third a little bit, we made a couple of errors, but it's disappointing to play as well as we played, but we weren't able to score and weren't able to extend anything."


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