COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The win was important.
But so was the manner in which it was obtained.
Last night the Edmonton Oilers picked up their first win of a season-long seven-game trip with a 4-0 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
"I thought we did a lot of things well tonight," said Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish.
"We showed a lot of skill level the way we moved the puck. We were in the right positions defensively, answered the bell physically and got good goaltending, so it was a pretty complete effort."
Dwayne Roloson finished with 28 saves to record his fourth shutout of the season.
"We got beat too often one-on-one," said Blue Jackets head coach Ken Hitchcock. "It's disappointing to play as well as we have five-on-five and to come out with a performance like that."
The feisty affair between the conference rivals saw defenceman Tom Gilbert get knocked out, both Mathieu Roy and J.F. Jacques get in fights, and Patrick Thoresen mix it up with Rick Nash.
Even Roloson threw a couple of punches late in the contest following a scrum in front of his own net.
Gilbert was caught by Blue Jackets six-foot-four, 230-pound winger Jody Shelley while coming out from behind the net.
The rookie defenceman, playing his second game since being recalled from the AHL, left the game with a mild concussion. He did not make the trip to Detroit with the team, staying in Columbus instead for observation.
The Oilers exacted their pound of flesh in the third period with a bunch of big hits of their own.
"Once Jody hit Gilbert, that set the tone," MacTavish said. "In this game you have to answer back when something like that happens.
"It was a clean hit. Nevertheless, it was a pretty vicious hit. We got a few in ourselves before the end. And I thought guys like J.F. Jacques and Mathieu Roy were pretty impressive."
Shawn Horcoff opened the scoring in the first period getting the Oilers third shot past Blue Jackets goaltender Fredrik Norrena.
Ryan Smyth extended the lead before the end of the second period with a behind-the-back effort on the power play.
In the second, Ladislav Smid scored his first NHL goal converting a feed from Raffi Torres. Horcoff added his second in the third period on a feed from Smyth.
DIDN'T BACK DOWN
"I thought we played a solid 60-minute game, which is something that we haven't done in a long time," Horcoff said. "It was a physical game. We're playing for our lives and obviously they didn't back down. They weren't going to let us come in here and take two points."
The win gave the Oilers four points on the road trip from their first five games with stops in Detroit tonight and Minnesota on Sunday yet to come.
"Hopefully this gives us some momentum going into Detroit," Horcoff said. "They're one of the best teams in the league.
"We just have to come out with the same sort of effort we had tonight."