The Blackhawks headed into Edmonton riding a four-game win streak and feeling pretty good about their recent play. Patrick Kane and Connor McDavid were tied for second in the NHL with 76 points each entering the game. Chicago’s power play was rolling and their offense was clicking.
So of course the game would be low scoring, right?
The first period felt like two different games.
Erik Gustafsson scored a power play goal 1:55 into the game to give the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead.
So that was a nice way to start a game on a bitterly cold night in Edmonton.
The rest of the first period heavily favored the Oilers – and the penalty box. Chicago took four penalties in the final four minutes of the first period and Edmonton turned those into two goals, both from Leon Draisaitl while skating with the advantage.
After 20 minutes the momentum heavily favored the Oilers. The home team had a 16-9 shot advantage and was skating circles around the visiting Hawks.
Chicago looked to slow the game down in the second and was successful in staying out of the box – and keeping the Oilers off the scoreboard. The Blackhawks out-shot the Oilers 12-7 in the second period and the score remained 2-1 heading to the third.
And then the wheels came flying off for the Oilers.
Cam Talbot had played well over the first 40 minutes. That meant nothing in the third as a parade of Blackhawks took turns lighting the lamp.
John Hayden tied the game 3:50 into the third.
Dylan Strome scored what would hold up as the game-winning goal 93 seconds later.
When Patrick Kane scored 28 seconds later the Oilers were broken.
Ken Hitchcock challenged that there was goaltender interference on the play and failed. The goal stood, the Hawks had turned a one-goal deficit into a two-goal lead in 2:01 and the fans in Edmonton were not happy.
Talbot got the hook after Kane’s goal, finishing with four goals against while facing 27 shots.
Mikko Koskinen replaced Talbot and… the Blackhawks didn’t slow down.
Playing his first game back in Edmonton since the Oilers traded him, Drake Cagguila scored 47 seconds after Koskinen entered the game to make the score 5-2 in favor of the Hawks.
It’s worth noting that there was a cynical Bronx cheer for Cagguila when he scored. Brandon Manning, who the Hawks traded for Cagguila, was a healthy scratch for Edmonton on Tuesday night.
Dominik Kahun closed the books with a power play goal at 12:12 into the third.
A stunning five-goal third period blew the roof off the place and left the Oilers shaking their heads. The Blackhawks, meanwhile, have won five straight.
Let’s have some fun with point totals, shall we?
- Jonathan Toews: two assists, won 18 of 32 faceoffs
- Brandon Saad: two assists
- Patrick Kane: one goal, one assist
- Dominik Kahun: one goal, one assist
The only Hawks forward to not register a point in the game was David Kampf.
That’s right. Chris Kunitz had an assist.
Kane, Toews, Gustafsson and Connor Murphy led Chicago with four shots on goal each. Only two Hawks, Gustafsson and Brent Seabrook, had a point.
Cam Ward stopped 25 of 27 and played well. The Blackhawks allowed only four shots on net in the third period while scoring five goals.