for this game

Torres, Pisani help stop Blue Jackets' winning streak

Feb 1, 2007 - 7:07 AM
EDMONTON, Alberta (Ticker) -- Raffi Torres and Fernando Pisani combined to spoil Bryan Berard's season debut and end the Columbus Blue Jackets' winning streak.

Torres scored twice and Pisani had a goal and two assists as the Edmonton Oilers posted a 5-2 victory over the Blue Jackets, who had won four straight.

Activated from injured reserve earlier Wednesday, Berard had missed Columbus' previous 51 games this season with a back injury. The 1995 first overall pick showed no rust, playing nearly 22 minutes and recording two shots on goal.

"It would have been nice if the outcome was better," Berard said. "But yeah, it was nice to get back. I was excited and maybe fought (the jitters) a little bit, but you have to fight through that."

"He was like everybody else," Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock said. "He's practiced a lot, but the games are a lot different. He probably played a lot more than we wanted him to."

However, the return of the defenseman was not enough for the Blue Jackets to continue their successful ways. All-Star Ryan Smyth opened the scoring early in the first period with his third goal in two games and Torres doubled Edmonton's lead in the opening minute of the middle session.

Columbus, which won a season-high five in a row from December 2-12, halved the deficit six minutes into the second on David Vyborny's first tally in 15 games. But with the Oilers clinging to a 3-2 lead in the third, Torres and Pisani scored less than two minutes apart to open a three-goal bulge.

The two-tally performance was the first of the season and seventh career for Torres, who registered his 100th point as an Oiler with his initial goal.

"I'm feeling good," Torres said. "My confidence is up right now and I'm just feeling lighter physically."

"Raffi made lots of plays tonight and goals help to get a little confidence," Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said. "You become a different and more confident player, and this will really spur his confidence that he can keep this going and get hot himself."

Pisani, who also set up Torres' first tally, recorded his 100th career point with an assist on his linemate's second goal.

Petr Sykora also scored and Ales Hemsky and Jarret Stoll each added two assists for Edmonton, which completed a 3-2-0 homestand with its fourth win in six games.

"We were flying, snapping the puck really good," Stoll said. "We were getting it in, not turning it over too much, and that made us a good team. It was a solid effort, solid start. Second period, we just kind of let them back in the game a bit, but we buckled down again in the third."

Former Oiler Ty Conklin made 32 saves for the Blue Jackets, who had won five of six.

"I was less nervous and anxious, revved up as I thought I was going to be," said Conklin, who made his second straight start in place of the injured Fredrik Norrena. "It was nice to be back (in Edmonton), but I let all the wrong guys score. It would have been nice if a couple of the guys I don't know scored. There was a little trash-talking before the game, but that's about it. They were pretty good about it."

"We know Conks, he's a solid goalie," Torres said. "We just got to him tonight by getting in front of him and maybe saying a few things to get under his skin."

Edmonton's Jussi Markkanen, who stopped 20 shots, admitted playing against his former goaltending partner felt a bit odd.

"It crossed my mind every now and then, but I tried to push that out of my mind," the Finn said. "It was tough because he faced a lot of shots and he kept them in the game pretty much to the end."

Edmonton outshot Columbus, 16-4, in the first but ended the period with just a 1-0 lead. Standing at the left goalpost, Smyth backhanded the puck out of mid-air and into the net at 3:31 for his 26th tally of the season and fifth in as many games.

Torres ended an 11-game drought 22 seconds into the middle period to double the advantage and, after Vyborny tipped former Oiler Anson Carter's slap shot by Markkanen at 6:03, Sykora cashed in during a power play with 7:03 remaining for a 3-1 cushion.

"It's great, monkey off my back," Torres said of his goal. "I haven't really been helping these guys that much this year, so it definitely feels good to finally help out."

"He was focused and into it, and it was good to see him come through like that," Stoll said.

Fredrik Modin completed a give-and-go with Gilbert Brule after a turnover 46 seconds into the third to draw Columbus within one. But Torres scored from the doorstep off a feed from Stoll at 5:41 and Pisani netted his second goal in three games 85 seconds later to complete the scoring.

"(Conklin) held us in there in the first period, and then we came back to make it 3-2," Hitchcock said. "But I thought that their fourth and fifth goals were perfect examples of really poor coverage in front of the net. ... I expected us to play a lot harder for our goalie, and we didn't, and that's the bottom line."

"It's good to get that balanced scoring," MacTavish said. "We need some guys to heat up other than Ryan and Ales. We need Raffi, Fernie and Sykora scoring goals. We need more of it."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLUMBUS 0 1 1 2
    EDMONTON 1 2 2 5 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: EDM - (PP) RYAN SMYTH 26 (MARC-ANDRE BERGERON, ALES HEMSKY)
    3:31
    2ND PRD: EDM - RAFFI TORRES 9 (FERNANDO PISANI, JARRET STOLL) 0:22
    COB - (PP) DAVID VYBORNY 11 (ANSON CARTER, RON HAINSEY) 6:03
    EDM - (PP) PETR SYKORA

    Feb 1 12:34 AM


  • NHL
    COLUMBUS 2
    EDMONTON 5
    3RD PRD: EDM - FERNANDO PISANI 11 (MARTY REASONER, PATRICK THORESEN)
    7:06

    Blue Jackets vs. OilersFeb 1 12:11 AM


  • NHL
    COLUMBUS 2
    EDMONTON 4
    3RD PRD: EDM - RAFFI TORRES 10 (JARRET STOLL, FERNANDO PISANI) 5:41

    Blue Jackets vs. OilersFeb 1 12:07 AM


  • NHL
    COLUMBUS 2
    EDMONTON 3
    3RD PRD: COB - FREDRIK MODIN 12 (GILBERT BRULE, DAN FRITSCHE) 0:46

    Blue Jackets vs. OilersJan 31 11:59 PM


  • ------------------------------
    Columbus
    0 1 --1
    Edmonton 1 2 --3
    ------------------------------

    FIRST PERIOD -- Scoring: 1, Edmonton, Ryan Smyth 26 (power play)
    (Marc-Andre Bergeron, Ales Hemsky), 3:31. Penalties: R Klesla, Cob
    (hooking), 1:42; M Reasoner, Edm (tripping), 8:02.

    SECOND PERIOD -- Scoring: 2, Edmonton, Raffi Torres 9 (Fernando Pisani,
    Jarret Stoll), 0:22. 3, C

    Jan 31 11:40 PM


  • NHL
    COLUMBUS 1
    EDMONTON 3
    2ND PRD: EDM - (PP) PETR SYKORA 18 (RYAN SMYTH, ALES HEMSKY) 11:57

    Blue Jackets vs. OilersJan 31 11:23 PM


  • NHL
    COLUMBUS 1
    EDMONTON 2
    2ND PRD: COB - (PP) DAVID VYBORNY 11 (ANSON CARTER, RON HAINSEY) 6:03

    Blue Jackets vs. OilersJan 31 11:10 PM


  • NHL
    COLUMBUS 0
    EDMONTON 2
    2ND PRD: EDM - RAFFI TORRES 9 (FERNANDO PISANI, JARRET STOLL) 0:22

    Blue Jackets vs. OilersJan 31 11:00 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLUMBUS 0 0
    EDMONTON 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: EDM - (PP) RYAN SMYTH 26 (MARC-ANDRE BERGERON, ALES HEMSKY)
    3:31
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COB 4 4
    EDM 16 16
    GOALIES: COB - TY CONK

    Jan 31 10:40 PM


  • NHL
    COLUMBUS 0
    EDMONTON 1
    1ST PRD: EDM - (PP) RYAN SMYTH 26 (MARC-ANDRE BERGERON, ALES HEMSKY)
    3:31

    Blue Jackets vs. OilersJan 31 10:15 PM