Blackhawks 4, Oilers 2
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP)
The Chicago Blackhawks needed 44 seconds to take the fight out of the Edmonton Oilers.
Jonathan Toews scored on Chicago's first shot of the game and the Blackhawks added to Edmonton's misery Tuesday night, beating the Oilers 4-2 to give the NHL's last-place team 11 straight games without a victory. Edmonton is 0-9-2 over the stretch.
Troy Brouwer, Dustin Byfuglien and Marian Hossa also scored for the Blackhawks, who are 4-2 through six games of a season-high eight-game road trip. Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith added two assists apiece for Chicago.
Oilers coach Pat Quinn said it was obvious what was going to happen when the Blackhawks scored on the first shot of the game.
``I think we were trying to scrape ourselves together after that,'' he said. ``When we had the puck in the second period for sure, it was like we just gave it back to them and went 'here you are.'''
Fernando Pisani and Ryan Potulny replied for the Oilers, who are nearing a team record for futility. The franchise record for consecutive games without a win is 14, set by the 1993 team that had 13 losses and one tie between Oct. 16 and Nov. 7.
The Oilers have won only once in their last 19 games, and have just one victory in their last 15 at home.
``We played like deer in the headlights,'' Quinn said. ``We knew it was a good team we were playing and it was like we were going to just stand there and hope nothing bad would happen.''
The Blackhawks are almost the complete opposite of the Oilers, with exactly double the points in the standings at 76 to Edmonton's 38 and now just two points behind the San Jose Sharks for first place overall.
``That was a really good response after the loss to Vancouver,'' Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. ``We were very disappointed with that game. But the way we played in this one sets up a game with San Jose where we have a chance to tie for first. That's the way we have to play. I liked the pace we had all night.''
The Hawks were up 1-0 before most of the fans were in their seats, scoring just 44 seconds in as Toews beat Jeff Deslauriers with a wrister on the game's first shot.
The Blackhawks went up 2-0 five minutes into the second. Kane circled the Oilers' zone before finally dishing it in front to Brouwer, who scored his 15th of the season.
``I thought in the first two periods we did some good things, but I think that's far from the way we can play,'' Toews said. ``There wasn't much of an atmosphere in the building tonight, and I wouldn't say that was an excuse, but some flat games like that you have to find a way to motivate yourself and try to remind ourselves when they scored that goal late in the second period, that it's never over, until it's over.''
Chicago made it 3-0 midway through the second when Keith's point shot through traffic was tipped in by Byfuglien.
The Blackhawks connected on the game's first power-play opportunity to go up 4-0. Hossa hammered home the third rebound off a mad scramble in front of Deslauriers.
The Oilers finally beat Cristobal Huet with 20 seconds left in the period. Moreau tipped a shot through Huet's legs before Pisani knocked it in to make the score 4-1 heading to the third.
Edmonton got to within two goals six minutes into the final period when Patrick O'Sullivan stole the puck from Niklas Hjalmarsson deep in the Chicago zone. He fed it to Potulny in front, who beat Huet five-hole.
With the Oilers pressing late, Huet made a magnificent diving save to keep the score at 4-2.
NOTES: It was the third meeting between the two teams with Chicago also winning the first two. ... The Oilers have only won two home games since starting goalie Nikolai Khabibulin went down with a back injury just prior to their last game against Chicago on Nov. 21. ... With Edmonton defenseman Ladislav Smid and Steve Staios both out with concussions, the Oilers again recalled Taylor Chorney from Springfield for the game. ... Blackhawks second-line center Dave Bolland, who has been out several months after back surgery, has reportedly joined the team and begun skating. ... Hossa is tied for the league lead with three short-handed goals. The entire Edmonton team has just one this season. ... Kane recorded his 200th NHL point with his assist in the first period.