Four netminders allowed 11 goals on Sunday night at the United Center. Unfortunately, the Blackhawks weren’t able to overcome a miserable first period.
Ray Emery got the start for Chicago, but failed to last ten minutes. He allowed three goals on only nine shots, and was replaced by Corey Crawford at 9:19 in the first period.
Edmonton took advantage of a lifeless, emotionless Hawks team to put four goals on the board; not surprisingly, Sam Gagner made a major impact once again. Gagner scored twice in the opening period, the second of which came on the powerplay, as the Oilers sprinted to an enormous lead.
When the second period started, the Hawks started to show a little more life life. But just a little over five minutes in, Patrick Kane made an effort play that started to swing the momentum.
Edmonton’s starting goalie, Devan Dubnyk, skated out to play a puck that had been cleared by Viktor Stalberg. Kane skated hard and beat Dubnyk to the puck, eluded a couple defenders, and put the puck into the net.
Kane fought hard in the second and third period to bring the Hawks back. He skated 22:13 in the game and scored two goals and added an assist in the game.
Another effort play, this one from Jonathan Toews, led to the Hawks second goal.
In the game, Toews fought through holds and hard checks all night. In addition to his assist on the Hossa goal, Toews had four takeaways and won 16 of 21 faceoffs while skating 21:29 in the contest.
Unfortunately, in spite of great effort from players all over the roster, the Blackhawks were never able to draw even. And it was their highly-rated penalty kill that would be their undoing.
Less than three minutes after Hossa’s goal got the Hawks within two, Shawn Horcoff scored the Oilers’ second power play goal of the game. Under five minutes later, once again short-handed, Sheldon Brookbank scored his first goal of the year to get the Hawks back within two. But 51 second later Taylor Hall scored Edmonton’s third power play goal in the game.
Brent Seabrook scored his fourth goal of the season late in the second to, once again, bring the Hawks back to within two goals.
The Blackhawks finally got a power play opportunity early in the third, and they took advantage. Kane scored his second goal of the night to get the Hawks within one goal with almost 13 minutes left in the game.
But that would close the scoring. A furious final 40 minutes saw the Hawks put 31 shots on net, with five getting through. Unfortunately, they needed six to earn overtime and seven for a victory.
Kane, Toews and Hossa played like superstars as they tried to lead the Blackhawks back. Hossa (one goal, one assist) and Dave Bolland (two assists) joined Kane in having a multi-point game. Hossa was also credited with seven takeaways in the game.
The Hawks have now allowed two big periods in their last two games; after a great first half from Crawford and Emery, the Hawks allowed four goals in a period twice in three days.
One area that was a significant weakness in the Hawks loss in Denver on Friday night was in the faceoff circle, but they were much better against the Oilers on Sunday. Chicago won 40 of 64 faceoffs, led by Toews. Bolland won 11 of 19 and Marcus Kruger won eight of 13 in the game.
Brandon Bollig was a healthy scratch in favor of Jamal Mayers, but coach Joel Quenneville limited his forward rotation once again. Mayers (3:14) and Daniel Carcillo (4:01) combined to skate only 12 shifts in the game, but each was minus-one.
For Edmonton, Gagner led the way (yet again) with two goals. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and and Justin Schultz had two goals each, while Ryan Whitney had one goal and one assist. Defensemen Jeff Petry and Corey Potter led the Oilers in hits with eight and six, respectively; Edmonton out-hit the Hawks 32-19 in the game.
After seven games in 11 days, the Blackhawks will now get three days off.