In their last game before a week off, the Blackhawks stayed hot in Edmonton.
The game’s first five minutes were all Oilers, though. Four minutes in, Connor McDavid made a terrific play to pick Niklas Hjalmarsson’s pocket and found Patrick Maroon in front to give Edmonton a 1-0 lead.
Less than two minutes later, Richard Panik unloaded a one-timer and tied the game.
Nick Schmaltz picked up the primary assist on the goal as the Toews line continued their strong play.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins went to the box to give Chicago its first power play of the evening, and the Hawks didn’t waste much time. Patrick Kane banked a shot in off Cam Talbot to give the Hawks a 2-1 lead just 25 seconds into the advantage.
Panik and Jonathan Toews were credited with the assists on Kane’s 19th goal of the year.
Chicago finished the first period with that 2-1 lead but were out-shot 12-8. Scott Darling had a strong period to limit the Oilers to just one goal.
The second period saw the Blackhawks completely turn the tables on the Oilers and dominate for 20 minutes.
At 8:37 into the second, Oscar Klefbom coughed up the puck and Trevor van Riemsdyk deposited his third goal of the season.
Matthew Benning went to the box for Edmonton at 17:17 and the Blackhawks once again made their advantage count. And once again, it was Panik – but this time he was planted on the doorstep putting home a loose puck for his 14th of the year.
The goal gave Panik three points on the night and extended the Blackhawks’s lead to 4-1. Chicago out-shot Edmonton 12-6 in the second period and looked like the faster team on the ice in spite of the Hawks having played on Friday night.
Edmonton pulled Talbot after allowing four goals against 20 shots over the first 40 minutes, inserting Laurent Brossoit between the pipes for the third period.
Brossoit kept the score at 4-1 for 16 minutes until Brian Campbell found Kane with a great cross-ice pass. Kane fired the puck on net and Artem Anisimov deposited the loose change to give the Blackhawks a 5-1 lead.
Anisimov’s 20th of the year ties Marian Hossa for the team lead.
A solid indication of the state of affairs in Edmonton came with 2:52 left in regulation when Oilers captain Nugent-Hopkins dropped the gloves with Vinnie Hinostroza. Chicago picked up an extra minor on the play, giving Edmonton the power play but the fight was worthless… the point that the DJ in the arena played “Working for the Weekend” as the advantage began.
The Oilers did nothing on the power play and watched the final minute of the game roll off the clock.
Chicago won their fifth straight and head to a full week off.
Kane finished with three points (one goal, two assists) to join Panik on top of the box score. Toews had two assists and won 67 percent of his faceoffs (12 of 18). Panik was credited with three blocked shots to go with his three points in another strong effort. Schmaltz’s ice time continues to increase as his confidence and all-around play show more signs of growth; he skated over 16 minutes on Saturday night.
Anisimov and Brent Seabrook led the Hawks with four blocked shots on the night; Chicago blocked 25 shots as a team. Seabrook also led the Hawks with two hits.
Edmonton out-shot the Hawks 13-5 in the third period but Darling was on point throughout. He stopped 30 of 31 to pick up the victory.
McDavid started the game strong but then disappeared. The Oilers’ superstar put only two shots on net in over 19 minutes of ice time.