Canadiens’ Lars Eller and Oilers’ Jim Vandermeer create traffic in front of Nikolai Khabibulin Thursday night. Ed Kaiser, Postmedia News
• At a Glance: The Canadiens didn’t get the start they had hoped for to their three-game Western Canadian road trip on Thursday night, losing 4-1 to the Edmonton Oilers, the NHL’s worst team. The Oilers jumped out to a 1-0 lead when Ales Hemsky scored 8:15 into the first period. He grabbed the puck off an Oilers’ faceoff win in the Montreal zone, deked a few players and put a shot over Carey Price’s shoulder. The Canadiens would tie the game 4:06 into the second period when Jeff Halpern pushed a loos puck home during a goal-mouth scramble. The goal was originally credited to Lars Eller, but changed to Halpern during the second intermission. The Oilers put the game away early in the third period with two goals in 15 seconds. Jordan Eberle scored his 13th of the season when he broke into the zone and put a shot into the top corner from a sharp angle. Off the ensuing faceoff, Ryan Jones was able to beat Price between the legs to make it 3-1. Hemsky capped the scoring into an empty net in the final minute.
• Key Moments: James Wisniewski was hit in the face with a puck midway through the first period and did not return. He was taken to hospital for tests.
• What It Means: Montreal has lost two straight games and its record falls to 31-21-7 to remain at 69 points, two behind the Bruins for first place in the Northeast Division.
• What’s Next: The Canadiens head to Calgary for the Heritage Classic on Sunday, then head west to Vancouver to take on the Canucks on Tuesday.