|EDM||1||0||2||(0 - 0)||3|
|CHI||2||1||1||(0 - 0)||4|
by Jen Sharpe | edmontonoilers.com
The Blackhawks dominated the first 40 mintues by posting 30 shots to 10, but the Oilers battled back in third to tally nine attempts and get within one goal. But strong goaltending by former Hawk Nikolai Khabibulin could only do so much, and the Oilers fell short 4-3 in Chicago Wednesday night.
Less than a minute into the game, the Blackhawks attacked. On a pass from Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp sniped the puck past his former teammate Nikolai Khabibulin to put the home club up 1-0.
But the lead wouldn't last long. At 2:30, Ethan Moreau and Andrew Cogliano overwhelmed the Hawks on a two-on-one, and the Oilers captain concluded the rush by backhanding the puck to Cogliano, who tapped it past Antti Niemi to tie the game at one.
Chicago commanded the puck following the goal, forcing Khabibulin to make a handful of spectacular saves as they gained a 10-4 shot advantage.
With 6:45 left in the frame, the pressure paid off. Although Khabibulin stopped Niklas Hjalmarsson's initial shot, Jack Skille snapped up the rebound and redirected it into the net to make it 2-1 Blackhawks.
Shortly after the goal, Shawn Horcoff blocked a shot by Brent Seabrook and hobbled to the bench. He would return later in the game. A late scoring chance for the Oil failed to net a goal, and the club headed to the second period down a goal and 16 shots to six.
Edmonton matched Chicago shot for shot in the first half of the middle frame, but the next successful attempt belonged to the Hawks. At 9:12, Kris Versteeg caught Patrick Kane's centering pass and forced it past Khabibulin to make it 3-1 Blackhawks.
Just over two minutes later, a roughing penalty to Ryan Stone gave the Hawks the game's first powerplay. The home team tallied three shots on the oppressive man-advantage, but Khabibulin frustrated his old pals to keep the Oil within two.
With three minutes left on the clock, Sharp surged in on a partial breakaway but was dragged down by desperate d-man Jason Strudwick. On the resulting penalty shot, Khabibulin emerged victorious from the one-on-one battle by kicking away Sharp's shot.
The buzzer couldn't come soon enough for the Oil as they surrendered 14 shots in the second period to trail the Blackhawks 30 to 10 after 40 minutes.
Patrick O'Sullivan ended a 15-minute Oilers shot-less stretch 2:34 into the third when he got the puck on Niemi.
Three minutes later, consecutive Blackhawks infractions gave the Oilers nearly four straight minutes of powerplay. Unfortunately for the Oil, the first man-advantage came and went without a goal, and the best scoring chance of the second was a shorthanded breakaway for Versteeg which Khabibulin promptly dismissed.
In the final 10 minutes of regulation, Dustin Penner circled the net and watched the puck deflect and cross the line. The goal was immediately waved off, but upon review, it was proven that a Blackhawk, not Hemsky, directed the puck into the net and the goal was allowed.
Edmonton's comeback attempt was stalled when Denis Grebeshkov took a tripping minor with four minutes left to play. The Oilers resisted most of the Hawks powerplay, but with 29 second left in the man-advantage, blueliner Cam Barker slapped the puck through a screen to make it 4-2.
With Sam Gagner and Brian Campbell serving concidental minors, Grebeshkov redeemed himself by drawing a tripping minor from Bolland shortly after the goal. The Oilers pulled Khabibulin to make it five-on-three, and Grebeshkov capitalized on the chaotic scene to add another Oilers goal with 48 seconds left to play.
Edmonton continued with the extra attacker but the game-tying goal remained off the books and Chicago held on for a 4-3 win Wednesday night.
|Patrick Sharp (5) ASST: Jonathan Toews (2), Andrew Ladd (3)|
1 - 0 CHI
|Andrew Cogliano (2) ASST: Ethan Moreau (1), Lubomir Visnovsky (2)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Jack Skille (1) ASST: Niklas Hjalmarsson (2), Brian Campbell (4)|
2 - 1 CHI
|Kris Versteeg (2) ASST: Brian Campbell (5), Patrick Sharp (4)|
3 - 1 CHI
|Dustin Penner (3) ASST: Gilbert Brule (3), Tom Gilbert (2)|
3 - 2 CHI
|PPG - Cam Barker (2) ASST: Jonathan Toews (3), Duncan Keith (3)|
4 - 2 CHI
|PPG - Denis Grebeshkov (3) ASST: Ales Hemsky (4), Dustin Penner (4)|
4 - 3 CHI
|Ryan Stone Roughing against Jonathan Toews|
|Dave Bolland Tripping against Ales Hemsky|
|John Madden Hooking against Ethan Moreau|
|Denis Grebeshkov Tripping against Patrick Kane|
|Sam Gagner Slashing against Brian Campbell|
|Brian Campbell Cross checking against Sam Gagner|
|Dave Bolland Tripping against Denis Grebeshkov|
|SA: 38||TOI: 58:32|
|Saves: 34||EV: 30 - 33|
|PIM: 0||PP: 3 - 4|
|SV%: .895||SH: 1 - 1|
|SA: 19||TOI: 60:00|
|Saves: 16||EV: 14 - 16|
|PIM: 0||PP: 1 - 2|
|SV%: .842||SH: 1 - 1|