For as bad as Edmonton is and as good as Chicago is, when these two teams play against each other crazy things happen. That narrative didn’t change tonight as the Oilers and Blackhawks played a game of shinny and put on a show for the fans at Rexall Place.
- 12:26 GOAL - This play starts after Nikita Nikitin can’t keep the puck in at the blue line. This allows Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad to take of on a 2 on 1 against Mark Fayne. Fayne allows Toews to take the shot but the rebound goes right to Saad who buries the loose puck.
- 11:08 GOAL - Patrick Kane makes a bad pass to Brent Seabrook and the puck goes down into the Blackhawks zone. Nail Yakupov puts pressure on Seabrook who tries to move the puck quickly. Derek Roy then pressures the puck carrier and the it squirts out front. Benoit Pouliot gets the first shot and Antti Raanta stops it but loses track of the rebound. Pouliot puts it away with Raanta down and out.
- 7:48 5v4 - David Rundblad for hi-sticking - Drawn by Matt Fraser
- 6:25 GOAL - Roy scores on the power play on a beautiful pass from Teddy Purcell.
- 0:36 4v5 - Matt Hendricks for closing hand on the puck
This was a good first period for the Oilers. Granted Chicago arrived in Edmonton at 2AM this morning and played in Minnesota the night before but the Oilers played to their advantage.
- 18:36 5v5 - Penalty expires
- 16:25 - With Raanta down and out the puck gets to Jeff Petry who it puts it over top of the wide open net
- 14:13 GOAL - It was bound to happen. The Oilers have a very tough time holding onto a lead. This was mirror image of the Blackhawks first goal. Nikitin falls at the Chicago blue line. This time the pass gets up to Marian Hossa who has a 2 on 1 with Saad against Fayne. Fayne does exactly the same thing allows Hossa to take the shot and the rebound goes right to Saad.
- 13:27 GOAL - Well the Oilers came right back. Roy gets going with Petry this time. Roy makes the pass to Petry but he loses the puck but it goes straight to Yakupov. Yakupov takes the shot and Petry is there to bury the rebound.
- 11:29 4v5 - Rob Klinkhammer for slashing - Drawn by Saad
- 9:29 5v5 - Penalty expires
- 4:47 - Andrew Shaw infront of the net all alone can’t put it away with Scrivens stretching his pad to make the stop. At second look it was Oscar Klefbom that cleared the puck off of the goal line.
Chicago didn’t have much of a push back to start the second even though they tied it at 14:13. Edmonton came back hard and pushed back. The Oilers played the PK almost perfectly not really allowing Chicago to set up. Once the Klinkhammer penalty expired though, Chicago went hard and really pushed back which lead to a few really good scoring chances.
- 18:45 5v4 - Bryan Bickell for hooking - Drawn by Taylor Hall
- 16:45 5v5 - Penalty expires
- 14:44 - Fayne makes a hard pass to Nikitin and the puck goes to Hossa. Hossa gets a great chance but Scrivens makes the stop.
- 3:09 GOAL - Patrick Sharp loses the puck and Hall and Yakupov are off to the races. Hall makes a quick pass to Yakupov who carries the puck in the whole way and roofs it in tight on Raanta
- 2:50 - Chicago empty net
- 2:26 GOAL - Hall picks off a pass and puts it away on the empty net
The period started with Chicago coming out strong. The Bickell penalty put them back a bit but they were able to bounce back. They pushed back as hard as they could but fell flat with about 8 minutes left. The Oilers continued to press and were rewarded.
This was obviously a tired Blackhawks team. They played the night before, arrived in Edmonton around 2AM and were back on the ice for 7:30PM. The Oilers tried to take full advantage of the situation. The game was definitely back and forth but the shots were on 21-22 in favour of the Oilers and total corsi events were only 49-52 again in favour of the Oilers.
The Taylor Hall - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jordan Eberle line got their asses handed to them tonight going up against Markus Kruger - Joakim Nordstrom - Ben Smith for most of the night. On the other hand Teddy Purcell - Anton Lander - Matt Fraser played a decent game but had the softest minutes and the best zone starts. Jeff Petry (21:47) and Andrew Ference (21:34) lead the team in ice time while Nugent-Hopkins lead all forwards in TOI with 19:38, Hall lead all forwards in EV TOI with 16:36.
This 6 game stretch is more or less what most of us were expecting from the Oilers this season as they’ve gone 3-1-2. Their possession numbers have decreased from earlier this season but their goaltending has improved. Sometimes I wish this team could just get some consistency on both fronts.
Finally I need to comment of the Nikitin - Fayne paring. Nikitin makes some bad decisions some times and Fayne isn’t the best defensive defenseman in the league. Both of Chicago’s goals were a direct result of Nikitin gambling or making a bad move and Fayne being unable to defend a 2 on 1 properly.
Florida is in a town. Chances are the Oilers will be facing Roberto Luongo. The Panthers just played back to back games and Sunday’s game will be their third in 4 nights. Florida also just finished playing a shinny game of their own against the Calgary Flames tonight that ended in 6-5 win for Florida. The Panthers probably wont be as tired as the Blackhawks were tonight but the travel and fatigue may still work in the Oilers’ favour.