NHL Hockey

Blue Jackets seeking better luck when they face Oilers

At this point in the season, teams sometimes need just a little puck luck.

The Columbus Blue Jackets certainly could have used some in their last game in Calgary.

The Blue Jackets hit the post four times in the first two periods of a 4-2 loss Tuesday that snapped a three-game point streak. They hope to get some better bounces when they continue their trip Thursday night in Edmonton.

"We're not getting the results, which is frustrating, but the process is there," Blue Jackets forward Matt Duchene told NHL.com. "The second you deviate from the process is when you start to fail and deserve to fail. We'll keep going and we'll stay with it and take it one day at a time.

"We're playing good hockey, just not getting the offense that we needed. We're finding ways to not score, I guess."

Columbus, which lost in Calgary for the first time since 2011, fell behind 2-1 when it allowed a goal with 7.2 seconds remaining in the first period. The Flames scored what proved to be the winner just 35 seconds into the second.

"You can't get frustrated. We played a good game," Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said. "It's hard to overcome, I think, when you give up a goal late in the period and get scored on early in a period. But we did a lot of good things."

The Blue Jackets (84 points), who hold a one-point lead on Montreal for the Eastern Conference's second and final wild-card playoff berth, played their second straight game without captain Nick Foligno, who is back in Columbus dealing with a personal matter. His absence is reportedly not related to the heart issues faced by his 5-year-old daughter Milana, which caused him to miss five games earlier this season.

Blue Jackets defenseman Markus Nutivaara also missed Tuesday's game because of an illness.

The Oilers will open a five-game homestand. They went 1-2-0 on their just completed trip, including a 7-2 loss Tuesday in St. Louis.

"Not to take anything away from St. Louis, they were outstanding, but we're running on fumes, need to get home and see if we can get some rest," Oilers coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We're banged up and there's not much left of us. We just need to regroup and get ready for the homestand. It's a tough loss."

By the midpoint of Tuesday's game, the Oilers trailed 4-0 and had been outshot 24-6. Goaltender Mikko Koskinen was pulled 5:42 into the second period after allowing the third St. Louis goal.

Koskinen was in the net for the entirety of a 6-3 loss Sunday at Las Vegas.

"He's the guy we've hung our hat on and he's had really good outings and a couple of tough ones and every time he's had a tough one, he's rebounded. This is another chance for him to grow and us to grow with him," Hitchcock said of Koskinen. "So many goals were going in I just wanted to stop the bleeding."

Edmonton forward Connor McDavid was held off the scoresheet by the Blues, snapping his 12-game points streak and eight straight with at least two points.

--Field Level Media

Updated March 20, 2019

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