After a tough home loss against Vegas, the Blackhawks bounced back with a strong matinee performance against the stunningly mediocre Edmonton Oilers.
John Hayden, Connor Murphy and Cody Franson were the scratches and Anton Forsberg was back between the pipes, but the Blackhawks got a solid, balanced attack to run away from the Oilers.
Nick Schmaltz got the party started at 8:03 into the game.
Ryan Hartman and Jan Rutta picked up the assists on Schmaltz’s tenth of the season.
Less than 90 seconds later – as they were just finishing the announcement of the Schmaltz goal at the United Center, Alex DeBrincat banked a puck off Edmonton’s Mark Letestu and into the net to extend Chicago’s lead to two.
DeBrincat’s 14th of the year ties him with a former Erie teammate this season – Edmonton’s Connor McDavid.
Chicago had one full power play and skated the final 48 seconds of the opening period with an advantage but didn’t get anything done on either. The Blackhawks out-shot the Oilers 15-11 in the first, and Forsberg was sharp when he needed to be.
Darnell Nurse put a backhand puck on net four minutes into the second that slipped through Forsberg and into the net. It wasn’t a great goal for Forsberg to let in and cut the Chicago lead to 2-1.
The two sides skated back and fourth for 15 minutes after the Nurse goal and it appeared the Hawks would take a one-goal lead to the third until Jonathan Toews made a strong power move to the net and Brandon Saad tipped the puck home with nine seconds left to make the score 3-1 Hawks.
Edmonton out-shot the Hawks 11-7 in the second period.
Jordan Oesterle scored his third of the season at 9:52 into the third period to push the lead to three.
That’s where the score would end, with Chicago picking up a much needed home victory.
Edmonton put 33 shots on Forsberg, who rebounded after the soft goal allowed to Nurse to have a strong third period.
Kempny and Brent Seabrook led the way with four blocked shots each. Tommy Wingels had a strong game, winning six of seven faceoffs and leading Chicago with five hits. David Kampf won nine of 12 faceoffs as the Hawks had a strong afternoon at the dot.
Chicago visits Ottawa on Tuesday night.