Blackhawks Fall to Visiting Oilers 6-5 for their Second Regulation Loss of the Season

The Chicago Blackhawks (21-2-3) suffered their second consecutive regulation loss Sunday night in a 6-5 barnburner against the visiting Edmonton Oilers (9-11-5), trading in their 24 game points streak for a 2 game pointless streak.
 
After looking sluggish for most of their 6-2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche just two days prior, the Blackhawks continued to appear as though they were skating through quicksand, surrendering four first period goals to a young Edmonton squad that had lost five straight games entering the night’s contest.
 
The Oilers, having been shutout in their previous two outings, scored their first goal in nearly 168 minutes just 2:24 into the opening frame on Sunday night on a rather tepid Mike Brown wrist shot that managed to elude Blackhawks starting goaltender Ray Emery. Another goal a mere 36 seconds later, this one off the stick of Edmonton’s goals and points leader Sam Gagner, would spring the Oil to a 2-0 lead and stun the home crowd into silence.
 
Edmonton defenseman Ryan Whitney would extend the Chicago deficit to three on an uncontested slapper from the slot, a play on which it seemed that every Chicago player past, present, and future was caught being mesmerized by the puck instead of playing his man. The goal would end Emery’s night prematurely, the first time this season that a Blackhawks goaltender has been pulled for a non-injury-related reason.
 
Hawks netminder Corey Crawford wouldn’t fair much better, however, as just over three minutes later Gagner would find the twine for his second goal of the period and cap Edmonton’s impressive first period outburst by staking the road club to a 4-0 lead as the first intermission horn mercifully sounded.
 
As the second period began, many of the Chicago faithful in attendance could have been rightfully concerned that their team had given up a staggering nine goals over the last three periods of play. However, the juggernaut offense that helped fuel the Blackhawks’ incredible run to start the season began to click in the second period, beginning with vintage goals by Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa.
 
Kane’s 13th and Hossa’s 11th of the year came less than three minutes apart and closed the Edmonton gap to two. However, a few minutes later it was Edmonton captain Shawn Horcoff who would deflect a point shot from former first round pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins past a helpless Crawford on the man advantage, reestablishing a three goal Edmonton lead.
 
The two teams would trade goals a few more times in what turned out to be a wild middle frame, with Chicago defenseman Sheldon Brookbank chest-bumping in a short-handed goal for the home team only to see Edmonton convert on the power play less than a minute later by way of a Taylor Hall deflection. Another defenseman, this time Chicago’s Brent Seabrook, would rifle a slap shot past Edmonton backup Yann Danis less than 90 seconds later to make the score 6-4 Edmonton as the two teams headed to their respective locker rooms for the second time.
 
Danis entered the game for injured starter Devan Dubnyk in the second period after a collision with his own teammate seemed to cause some discomfort in the young goaltender’s neck. After staying down on the ice for some time while being attended to by trainers, Dubnyk managed to skate off the ice under his own power.
 
A flurry of activity in the third and final frame would only result in one goal: an absolutely otherworldly roof job American Patrick Kane on the power play for his second goal of the night and 14th of the year to bring the Hawks within one. But that was as close as it would get, as both Danis and Crawford shut the gates down the stretch
 
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GAME RECAP
 
Final Score: Oilers 6, Blackhawks 5
 
Chicago Goals: M. Brown, S. Gagner (2), R. Whitney, S. Horcoff, T. Hall
Edmonton Goals: P. Kane (2), M. Hossa, S. Brookbank, B. Seabrook
 
Three Stars:
3) Taylor Hall - EDM
2) Patrick Kane - CHI
1) Sam Gagner - EDM
 
Winning goalie: Yann Danis, 3 GA / 0.875 SV%
Losing goalie: Corey Crawford, 3 GA / 0.813 SV%
 
Next game: Thursday, 3/14 at Columbus Blue Jackets, Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
 
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