The Blackhawks scored four times in the second period – including one into their own empty net – and put away the awful Oilers with a dominant 5-3 win at the United Center on Sunday night.
Andrew Shaw started the game between Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad and he had a fantastic game. He scored the Hawks’ second goal of the night at 2:36 into the middle frame and was physical throughout the game. Shaw won four of seven faceoffs and was credited with one hit, one takeaway and four shots on net in the game.
Marian Hossa scored his 17th goal of the season, a power play tally 29 seconds after a ridiculous game-tying, short-handed, empty net goal the Hawks put into their own net. He was also credited with an assist on Jonathan Toews’ goal later in the second and one hit as he was named the game’s Number One star on his 35th birthday.
Before Hossa’s goal, the Blackhawks were already on a power play with Taylor Hall in the box for hooking. When Devan Dubnyk slashed Andrew Shaw, Chicago netminder Antti Raanta vacated his net to give the Hawks a 6-on-4 advantage. Unfortunately, Kane tried to bank a pass to a point man who wasn’t there and the puck traveled the length of the ice into the empty net.
At the time, the goal – credited to Boyd Gordon – tied the game at two. But Hossa quickly put the Hawks back in front, and the Oilers weren’t able to tie the game again.
Toews was dominant at the dot, winning 17 of 23 faceoffs, with one hit, one takeaway and one blocked shot. Kane and Patrick Sharp led the Hawks with five shots each, but Sharp opting to pass to Toews rather than shoot led to the game-winning goal for Chicago’s captain.
Ben Smith got the Hawks on the board, tipping a Niklas Hjalmarsson shot 14:26 into the first period. That goal was the first goal scored by the Hawks in the first period of a game in 2014, and tied the game 1-1 after Ales Hemsky gave Edmonton an early lead.
Duncan Keith played another exceptional game on the blue line. He was credited with one assist in the game, but once again showed by he’s at the top of the list for Norris Trophy candidates this year. He sated 25:49 with two takeaways and two blocked shots, and his active stick led to Toews’ goal.
Raanta has been in net for both of the Blackhawks’ wins this calendar year, and he was good when tested on Sunday night. He faced only 12 shots in the first 40 minutes, making 11 stops; the Gordon goal was credited as an empty net, short-handed score. Raanta stopped seven of eight shots in the third period to preserve the victory.
Taylor Hall scored in the third to bring the Oilers back to within one early in the third, but the Hawks scored a fifth goal late in regulation when Shaw redirected a Brent Seabrook shot past Dubnyk.
Brandon Bollig played a nice game, getting the start with Smith and Marcus Kruger. A big Bollig hit led to the Hjalmarsson shot that was tipped in by Smith, one of a team-high four hits for Bollig in the game. He skated 10:30 on the night.
Bryan Bickell was once again the lowest ice time recipient on the roster, held to only 12 shifts and 8:47 in the game. He put one shot on net, missed with another, and was credited with two hits.
For Edmonton, Dubnyk stopped 36 of 41 shots and put his team short-handed twice in the loss. The Blackhawks scored on only one of five power plays, but successfully killed their only short-handed situation in the game.
The Hawks host the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night.