Blackhawks top Oilers 5-2
|Chicago's Colin Fraser descends on Edmonton's Theo Peckham Wednesday, March 3 at United Center. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)
Despite posting a solid first period and finishing 40 minutes deadlocked at 2-2, the Oilers were a weary bunch heading into the final frame with already 33 shots against. The Blackhawks capitalized, scoring three more goals in the third to take a 5-2 win Wednesday night.
Robert Nilsson and Shawn Horcoff
scored Edmonton's first two goals, but it was rookie goalie Devan Dubnyk
who carried the team by making 42 saves, including 19 in the second period alone. Though the outcome wasn't what they'd hoped, call-up defenceman Johan Motin
and trade deadline acquisition Ryan Jones
will forever remember the game as their first in an Oilers jersey.
Early in the game, the Oilers and Blackhawks traded powerplays when Ben Eager took a goaltender interference penalty and Marc Pouliot was called for high-sticking, but goalies Cristobal Huet and Devan Dubnyk
outlasted the man-advantages.
Chicago tallied two shots for every Edmonton attempt through the rest of the period, but each attempt was matched with a save. As such, the Hawks carried a 12-6 shot lead into the middle frame.
A shoving match near Dubnyk's net resulted in coincidental roughing minors to Jason Strudwick
and Dustin Byfuglien at 2:26. One minute into four-on-four, the Hawks soared back into the Oilers zone and, from the left circle, Marian Hossa fooled the rookie goalie with a top-shelf shot to give the home team a 1-0 lead.
Three minutes after the goal, another melee put the Oilers on the penalty kill. Chicago came within inches of doubling their lead, but Dubnyk's left post and right toe disappointed United Center fans and kept his club within one.
Another Oilers infraction, this time to Theo Peckham
, gave Edmonton little reprieve near the game's midway point, but Dubnyk helped his club kill another two minutes by coming up with his 21st save of the game.
The Oilers goalie was tested another seven times before his club drew the spotlight to the other end of the ice. Although Huet made a save on a Sam Gagner
shot, Robert Nilsson pounced and prodded the puck across the line to even the game at one.
52 seconds later, the visitors jumped ahead. After Gilbert Brule
hustled a turnover and deftly fed him the puck, Shawn Horcoff
wristed it home to make it 2-1 Edmonton.
But the lead didn't last long: in the period's final two minutes, Hossa helped Dave Bolland get the Blackhawks back on even terms. The goal concluded a busy 20 minutes in which both teams tallied two goals and the Hawks outshot the Oil 21-5.
Late roughing minors to call-up Dean Arsene and Tomas Kopecky ensured nearly two full minutes of four-on-four to start the third. Only 20 seconds in, the open ice paid off in another goal as Niklas Hjalmarsson one-timed the puck past Dubnyk to renew Chicago's lead.
Edmonton failed to tie the game on their second powerplay shortly after the goal, and Chicago followed up the successful kill with a successful man-advantage. With Horcoff serving a high-sticking minor, Byfuglien doubled the Blackhawks' lead and pushed his club over 40 shots.
In the final four minutes of regulation, Hawks captain Jonathan Toews capped an impressive solo assault with his club's fifth goal of the game.
The marker sealed a 5-2 win for Chicago, a game in which Edmonton was out-shot 47-14.
|Three star selections