SUN Hockey Pool

Winning in regulation

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:08 AM ET

At this point, all that matters to the Edmonton Oilers is getting the win. They haven't exactly been easy to come by this season.

However, sometimes it's nice to be able to pull out a game in regulation.

"It's awesome winning the game in regulation," said Oilers winger Kyle Brodziak. "I thought we did a better job of protecting the lead tonight. In the past I think we were running around and panicking a little too much.

"I think tonight, we stayed calm and we made the right plays and I think we did a good job of getting the puck in their zone and killing some time."

The win was only the Oilers fourth regulation-victory of the season and first since beating the Calgary Flames 4-2 on Nov. 10th. Of their 10 wins this year, a league-high six have come in a shootout.

"I think it's a confidence booster for us, we needed it, especially going on the road now," said Andrew Cogliano, who scored the game-winner in the 3-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. "We've been inconsistent in getting a win and then losing the next game. We can't have that. It's good now to get a couple of wins at home and hopefully we can keep it going on the road."

The goal was Cogliano's fifth of the season and first-game winner of his career. Brodziak and Ales Hemsky - into an empty net - added the others.

With the Blue Jackets pressing after falling behind by a goal midway through the third frame, the contest seemed to be heading towards familiar territory.

"It's tough to win in this league and any time you can get a win, you're pretty happy about it," said Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish. "You feel like you're not doing things the easy way. It would have been nice to win a couple of games at the beginning of the home stand and maybe get a chance to put something together. But it's good to recover and be able to finish the homestand at .500."

Last night was only the third time this season the Oilers have won two consecutive games. They have yet to win three in a row and have not won back-to-back in regulation.

On the strength of their shootout prowess, the Oilers are slowly creeping back to the break-even point overall this season. However that doesn't mean that late in tied games the Oilers are playing to get into the extra session.

"We want to win it, I don't think we're sitting back, we're pushing hard to get that next one," Cogliano said.

"Even when we scored with 10 minutes left, we were still pushing and forcing.

"We've done well in the shootouts, but in the shootouts, it's so unpredictable. You never know, some guys might not be on that day and their goalie might be hot. You don't really want to rely on that and you look at it as something of last resort, where if we get into one, we'll be fine."


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