BLUE JACKETS Oilers torch Columbus, 8-5



Georges Laraque and Todd Marchant scored twice for Edmonton.
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) -- The Edmonton Oilers are having no problem scoring -- even without their top playmaker.
Georges Laraque and Todd Marchant each scored twice and Ryan Smyth had a goal and three assists to lead the Oilers to an 8-5 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets Monday night.
"It's disappointing to lose players, but it's an opportunity for other players to step up," Smyth said. "You get on a roll and everybody starts riding the wave.
"It was a big wave tonight," he added. "Everybody was contributing and eight goals were nice to see."
Smyth matched his career high for points in a game and has five goals and seven assists in his last six games. He has upped his play since Mike Comrie broke his thumb Jan. 6.
Edmonton's last eight-goal outburst was an 8-2 win over the Washington Capitals on Oct. 28, 1998.
On a roll
Mike York, Anson Carter and Marty Reasoner also scored for the Oilers (21-14-5-5), who are 4-1-1-0 in their last six.
Marchant, who also had a pair of assists, tied his career high for points in a game.
"I don't think any coaches enjoy these types of games," Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish said. "In hindsight, it's positive because a lot guys got launched offensively."
Laraque scored both of his goals in a the second period as the Oilers scored four times to take a 6-4 lead.
Edmonton's enforcer skated out from behind the Columbus net, kicked the puck to his stick, circled the crowd in front of goalie Marc Denis and picked the top right corner with a wrist shot to put the Oilers ahead 4-2 at 3:17.
Exactly 10 minutes later, after fighting off checkers behind the net, Laraque worked his way out front and backhanded in his own rebound.
"We didn't play well defensively but we won a huge game," Laraque said.
Rick Nash, Mike Sillinger, Ray Whitney, Hannes Hyvonen and David Vyborny scored for the Blue Jackets (17-21-4-2).

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