Hawks downed by Habs in OT; face Oilers at home Sunday night

 

In an exciting matchup between two Original Six teams, Corey Crawford was stellar, stopping 36 shots as the Hawks managed to earn a point against the Montreal Canadiens.

 

Andrei Markov would be the only Canadien to score, tallying both of Montreal’s goals while Marian Hossa scored the lone goal for Chicago.

 

During the first period, both teams were held off the scoresheet, but Brendan Gallagher and Kris Versteeg went at it with less than five minutes to go in the first, in a fight that was fairly even between the two agitators.

 

It was the Habs who struck first in the second period, with Markov ripping off a feed from Alexei Emelin to put Montreal ahead going into the second intermission.

 

Chicago looked to tie the game just 2 minutes into the third off of a shot from the point, but the goal was immediately waived off by the referee as Michal Handzus was ruled to interfere with Carey Price in the crease.

 

After the ruling, the Hawks would come back to even the game with Hossa scoring his 16th goal of the year 9:22 into the third, driving hard to the net and deflecting the puck into the net off of a crisp pass from Jonathan Toews.

 

It was Makov again who struck for the Canadiens in the overtime period, wristing the puck top shelf past Crawford off of a deflected pass from Max Pacioretty.

 

Crawford and Price were both phenomenal, but it was Crawford who stole the show. With a stop that should be a candidate for save of the year, Crawford stoned Brandon Prust on a shorthanded breakaway, and then got his skate blade on the rebound attempt by Lars Eller with 1:30 to go in the second.

 

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The Hawks return home to face the Edmonton Oilers (15-27-5) Sunday night, coming off an exhilarating overtime win against one of the league’s best, the Pittsburgh Penguins.  The teams have met twice this season, with both games resulting in a Blackhawks victory.

 

 The Oilers currently sit in the bottom of the West, with only Buffalo below them in the overall standings.  The Oilers continue to look for consistency as they continue their schedule into January, with a record of 2-3-2 in the new year.  Sitting 18 points out of the nearest wild card playoff spot, the chances of advancing to the postseason looks grim for Edmonton, but they’re still looking to build momentum off their latest victory, and usually tend to give the high-paced Blachawks a challenging match-up.

 

Who’s hot: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had a 3-point night against the Pens, netting 2 goals and an assist, including the OT game-winner, and Sam Gagner has 4 assists in his last 3 games...

 

Injury report: The Blackhawks continue to be without Nikolai Khabibulin (torn rotator cuff)...The Oilers will be missing Philip Larsen (illness) and Corey Potter (groin).

 

Game Info: CSN-CH, SNET-W, @ 6 p.m. CT

 

Location: 11230 110th St, Edmonton

 

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