Blackhawks continue annual circus trip with solid 5-1 win over Oilers
Over the past few seasons, the offensively-gifted and speedy Edmonton Oilers have repeatedly hung a sizeable number of goals on Chicago when they've played each other, win or lose.
But Monday night was all about the Blackhawks.
Jonathan Toews opened the scoring just over five minutes into the first, with an easy short-handed goal during a Ben Smith penalty. Toews had a breakaway with plenty of time to outskate the Oilers chasing him, and to get Edmonton's goalie to commit early.
Not to be outdone, Patrick Kane scored a power play goal a few minutes later, shooting over the prone Devan Dubnyk to make it 2-0 Blackhawks.
Less than 90 seconds into the second period, the third goal would emphasize the point that it wasn't about to be Edmonton's night. A puck deflected in off of Corey Potter, making it 3-0 Blackhawks. Johnny Oduya was credited with the goal.
Andrew Shaw would collect his second point of the night when his goal made it 4-0 Chicago.
At that point, Dubnyk's night was finished, and Ilya Bryzgalov took the Oilers net for the first time this season.
Justin Schultz would break the shutout with his goal 8:08 into the second. Meanwhile, Edmonton's defense seemed to come around after their goalie change.
It would take another half hour of play before another goal would be scored. Bryzgalov poke-checked Patrick Sharp; the puck was thrown back at the Edmonton goalie, who rebounded it back into the Blackhawks swarming the goal. Shaw would get his second goal of the night to make it 5-1.
Oilers captain Andrew Ference said after the game, "We made mistakes and they capitalized. They won the special teams battle. We got knocked back on our heels."
The Blackhawks next play on Wednesday night versus the Calgary Flames. Marian Hossa should be back in the lineup after missing two games for family reasons.
Coach Joel Quenneville said they are looking to get backup goalie Antti Raanta into a game or two on the circus trip; he said Raanta "could" start vs. the Flames. Corey Crawford collected tonight's victory for the Blackhawks; his record increases to 16-4-3, with 2.43 GAA and .911 sv%.
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