Jordan Eberle scored the game-winning goal late in the third period and Ryan Smyth netted a goal and two assists as the Edmonton Oilers defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2 in their pre-season road opener in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on Tuesday night.
Chicago got off to a fast start, peppering the Oilers with six shots on goal to Edmonton's one through the first six minutes of the game.
Ryan O'Marra got the game's first penalty, sent off for hooking in the opening half of the first period.
The Blackhawks continued their domination in the opening period, but Devan Dubnyk stood tall. The shot count was 10-3 for Chicago 13 minutes into the opening frame.
Chicago went back on the power play at the 14:28 mark when Josh Green received two minutes for holding. However, once again the Oilers penalty killers stood tall and in fact did not even allow a shot on goal during the two-minute duration.
The Oilers finally caught a break when Markus Kruger grabbed Teemu Hartikainen behind the Chicago net, receiving two for holding. The penalty gave Edmonton their first power play of the night.
On the ensuing power play, Hartikainen had a pair of point-blank chances but was denied by Ray Emery twice in close range.
After the first period, a late Oilers surge saw them narrow the gap in shots. Chicago had an 11-9 edge.
The Oilers got on the board early in the second period. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins directed a shot on net that Ryan Smyth scooped up and put behind Ray Emery.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins nearly dented the twine when Ryan Smyth took the puck behind the net and threw it over to RNH. The 2011 first overall pick just narrowly missed the net on the one-timer, keeping the game 1-0.
Devan Dubnyk then made a trio of big saves as the Blackhawks swarmed around the Oilers zone. His best stop was sliding across to deny Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews.
Edmonton made it 2-0 after Josh Green took a feed from former Saskatoon Blade Curtis Hamilton and ripped it behind Emery.
Chicago got a goal back just past the midway point of the period. Gilbert Brule's feed was intercepted by Rostislav Olesz who made no mistake, firing it past Dubnyk to make it 2-1.
After the goal, each team switched netminders. Olivier Roy came in for the Oilers while Alexander Salak came in for Chicago.
Salak robbed Martindale at point-blank range with 6:30 to go in the middle frame. The Blackhawks goaltender came across to stop the one-timer.
Shots on goal with six minutes to go in the second were 21 to 16 for Chicago.
With 3:09 to play, Chicago scored again to pull even at 2-2. Edmontonian Mark McNeill dug the puck out of the corner before throwing it in front to Jamal Mayers. Mayers one-timed it past Roy for the tie game.
A Toews hooking penalty late in the period gave Edmonton the man advantage in an attempt to pull back in front but the Blackhawks were able to kill it off.
Shots after two were 22-18 for the Blackhawks.
Corey Potter took an early third period penalty for holding the stick, giving Chicago an opportunity to take their first lead of the night but once again, the Oilers' PK stood tall and kept the game knotted up at 2-2.
Olesz just narrowly missed a redirection at the top of the crease, going just wide of the yawning cage behind Roy.
Edmonton pushed in the latter half of the period to try and move in front. The shot count was completely even at 24-24.
A high sticking penalty by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins with just over five minutes to play put Edmonton's penalty kill back to the test as Chicago looked to break the tie.
On the ensuing man advantage, Smith redirected a Lepisto point shot and Roy made a brilliant pad stop, kicking out his left pad to keep it knotted at 2-2.
As the penalty expired, the Oilers came back down the ice and scored to take a 3-2 lead. Ryan Smyth fed Jordan Eberle on the rush. Eberle fired it in for the marker.