Lunch-bucket brigade

Andrew Cogliano celebrates his game-winning goal against the Blue Jackets on Monday. SUN...

Andrew Cogliano celebrates his game-winning goal against the Blue Jackets on Monday. SUN MEDIA/Jason Franson

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:17 AM ET

When you dissect last night's game against Columbus it reads like a list of reasons why the Oilers lost.

The Blue Jackets had a four-minute power play in the second period, on a phantom call by referee Dan O'Halloran.

They had a five-on-three power play late in the third period, with two of Edmonton best penalty killers in the box.

They outshot Edmonton by a whopping 37-20 margin, and Edmonton had a goal wiped out by video review.

In short, a whole lot of things didn't go the Oilers' way.

But the final score did, as Edmonton rolled up its sleeves and ground out a 3-1 decision that wasn't always pretty to watch - but winning ugly beats losing pretty every time.

"We battled through a lot of adversity tonight," said Roloson, who's faced 77 shots, and allowed just three goals, in his last two starts. "We did the little things. We killed off a bunch of penalties in the second period and killed off some big ones at the end of the game."

Huge ones at the end of the game. The Oilers were trying to protect a 2-1 lead with Jarret Stoll already in the penalty box when Steve Staios flipped a puck over the glass at 17:15 to put them down two men for 1:01.

Gulp.

"I just kind of laughed," said head coach Craig MacTavish, whose club improved to 13-10-1 in winning two in a row for just the third time this season. "I had a sense that we were going to win the game, but it's never easy. It's kind of a weird emotion to have, but I was pretty relaxed."

He was alone, then, in a crowd 16,839 at Rexall Place.

"A five-on-three is never fun, especially when you have a guy like Rick Nash in front of the net," said defenceman Tom Gilbert, who, along with Shawn Horcoff and Joni Pitkanen, helped Edmonton weather the storm. "If they score on the five-on-three they still have a power play with a minute and a half left in the game, momentum shifts to them. Definitely a big kill."

It wasn't over, though. When Stoll hopped out of the penalty box, Columbus pulled its goalie, giving them another two-man advantage, six-on-four, for the final minute. Stoll, Marty Reasoner and even Allan Rourke took turns holding the fort before Ales Hemsky sealed it with an empty netter at 19:44.

"We did a great job defending it," said Roloson. "Especially considering we had two of our penalty killers in the box, we did a great job. All the guys who were out there killing at the end (were huge)."

Roloson, who also stopped Nash on a first-period penalty shot, was easily Edmonton's best player.

"We don't win that game without a good performance from Rolie, especially in light of a five-on-three at the end, and then six-on-four," said MacTavish. "He's come in and played two really solid games."

Edmonton, for just the eighth time in 24 games this season, scored first, on Kyle Brodziak's fourth of the season at 3:38 of the first and took the lead when Andrew Cogliano broke open a 1-1 tie 9:28 into the third.

"It would have been nice to win a couple games at the start of the homestand and given ourselves a chance ot put something together,"said MacTavish. "But it's nice that we recovered and ended up .500 on the homestand."

MOREAU STILL SHELVED

The Ethan Moreau ordeal is now into its third month. He took a puck on the foot Sept. 25 in Calgary and still hasn't recovered. It was initially diagnosed as a bone bruise, then later a fracture, and was finally put in a cast six weeks after the fact.

That cast is coming off today, so doctors can check the progress. Tomorrow night in Colorado will be the 100th consecutive game Moreau's missed, counting the 75 he sat out with a shoulder injury last year.

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The Oilers activated D Mathieu Roy from the NHL Injured Reserve List and sent him to Springfield on a conditioning assignment.


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