Roy plays key role as Oilers prove too much for Blackhawks
The Edmonton Oilers appear to be getting it together under interim coach Todd Nelson.
Derek Roy had a goal and two assists to lift the Oilers to a 5-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday night.
Benoit Pouliot, Jeff Petry, Nail Yakupov and Taylor Hall also scored for the Oilers, who are 3-1-2 under Nelson since he took over sole coaching responsibilities when general manager Craig MacTavish moved back upstairs from the bench.
"We’re starting to gel a lot as a team," Hall said. "When we get down, we come together. We don’t try to do too much individually. We’re starting to play like that and it’s helping out a lot. It’s a nice little stretch for us. A win is a win, no matter where it is in the season.
"And when you’re winning against a team like Chicago, it’s even better."
The Oilers had lost 20 of their previous 21 games before the recent surge.
"That’s how we have to play every game," Yakupov said. "That was really a team game tonight. It was really exciting. We started to play the right way."
Brandon Saad had a pair of goals for the Blackhawks, who have lost two of their last three.
"They played a good game, but we had all the chances we needed to win this game tonight," Blackhawks goalie Antti Raanta said. "I’ve played better games myself."
The Blackhawks started the scoring 7 1/2 minutes into the first period as Edmonton’s Ben Scrivens was able to make an initial stop on Chicago’s Jonathan Toews, but the Oilers’ defense let Saad skate in unmarked to put the rebound into the net for his 11th goal.
Edmonton got the goal back just over a minute later as Pouliot tucked a puck past Raanta during a scramble in front of the Blackhawks’ net.
The Oilers went up 2-1 on the power play with late in the opening frame. Teddy Purcell fed a puck in front of the Chicago net and Roy came racing in to deflect it past Raanta.
"It was a great sign that we could bounce back right away," Nelson said. "That’s good to see. Hopefully that continues and we keep on maturing in that direction. Once they scored, our guys stuck with it and got rewarded."
Chicago tied it six minutes into the second period as Oilers defenseman Nikita Nikitin allowed a 2-on-1, and Marian Hossa elected to shoot on the play and the rebound came directly to Saad, who scored his second goal of the game.
Edmonton came flying back to regain the lead only 46 seconds later as Petry joined the rush and slipped the rebound from Yakupov’s shot through Raanta’s legs to make it 3-2.
Scrivens kept his team in the lead with five minutes left in the second period as he made a huge stop on Andrew Shaw on the doorstep.
The Oilers were able to clamp down on defense and limit the Blackhawks’ chances in the third until Yakupov was able to put the game away, coming in with Hall on a 2-on-0 opportunity and electing to shoot himself, beating Raanta on the backhand with three minutes remaining. It was Yakupov’s first goal in 15 games.
Hall added an empty-netter shortly afterward.
"The game winning-goal, the third one, if you let that kind of bad rebound right to a guy’s stick, you have to recover and make the save," Raanta said. "You can’t let in that kind of goal. We lost the game almost because of me, so it is a bad feeling."
NOTES: Scrivens recorded 19 saves in the win. … It was the second of three games between the Oilers and Hawks this season. Chicago dominated the first contest with a 7-1 win in Edmonton in November. The Blackhawks entered having won five in a row over Edmonton, dating to the 2012-13 season. … Raanta got the nod in net after watching Corey Crawford make the previous seven starts. … There were some obvious statistical differences between the teams entering the game, the most glaring being goal differential. The Blackhawks were plus-35 in goal differential (123-88), while Edmonton was minus-47 (89-136). … Remaining out with injuries for Chicago were Trevor Van Riemsdyk (patella fracture) and Kris Versteeg (upper body), while Edmonton was without Tyler Pitlick (lacerated spleen). … Roy became just the fifth Oiler to have a three-point game this season. Chicago’s Patrick Kane has had six three-point games.