EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) -The Edmonton Oilers have been the NHL's best team when it comes to shootouts.
Sam Gagner scored the winning goal as the Oilers won their league-high sixth shootout this season, defeating the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 on Saturday night. All but three of Edmonton's nine wins this season have come in shootout sessions as the Oilers improved to 6-1.
"I just had a feeling Sam was going to score tonight," Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said. "We obviously have some pretty good confidence going in the shootouts. Thankfully, we have that aspect of our game going."
Ales Hemsky and Marty Reasoner scored in regulation for Edmonton, which improved to 2-3 on its six-game homestand. Dwayne Roloson, who had watched backup Mathieu Garon start the last three games for the Oilers, made 38 saves for the win and stopped both shootout attempts he faced.
"He was on the puck tonight like he hasn't been in a while," MacTavish said. "He had his game down tonight and he needed it. And we needed it."
Jim Vandermeer and Duncan Keith had goals for the Blackhawks, who had their two-game winning streak snapped.
"Our forecheck wasn't as good as it could have been in the first period, but after the second I felt we easily could have been up 3-1," coach Denis Savard said. "It just didn't happen, but we played hard with some guys out and that was good to see."
Edmonton took a 2-1 lead six minutes into the third period as Kyle Brodziak fed a puck to Reasoner at the left circle and his quick shot beat Nikolai Khabibulin.
Chicago tied it just past the halfway point of the third as the Oilers were caught scrambling in their own zone, and Keith was able to put a point shot past a completely screened Roloson, who was already playing without his stick to make it 2-2.
Neither team was able to muster much offense in the scoreless first period. Khabibulin made eight stops in the Chicago net, while Roloson had seven saves for Edmonton.
"It's kind of like I was trying to make something out of nothing before this game," Roloson said. "You have to let the play come to you and I wasn't doing that. I was trying too hard to make the saves and sort of second-guessing myself. It was good to get the win."
Chicago broke the deadlock 43 seconds into the second period as Vandermeer unleashed a rocket from the left point that found its way through a maze of players in front of and past Roloson's glove.
Edmonton got the equalizer with eight minutes left to go in the middle frame as Denis Grebeshkov brought the puck deep into Chicago territory. He fed a pass from behind the net to Hemsky, who had an easy tap-in to make it 1-1 after 40 minutes.
Notes: Chicago forwards Patrick Sharp and Tuomo Ruutu were both out with flulike symptoms. ... Edmonton defenseman Dick Tarnstrom left early in the second period after going hard into the boards following a hit by Dustin Byfuglien and didn't return after suffering a mild concussion. ... Oilers defenseman Steve Staios played in his 700th career NHL game. ... It was the Tickets for Troops military appreciation night in Edmonton as more than 5,000 tickets were donated by Oilers fans for Canadian servicemen and women and their families. ... Saturday also marked the 85th consecutive regular season sellout at Rexall Place.
|Jim Vandermeer (2) ASST: James Wisniewski (5)|
1 - 0 CHI
|Ales Hemsky (7) ASST: Denis Grebeshkov (2), Geoff Sanderson (4)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Marty Reasoner (2) ASST: Kyle Brodziak (5), Geoff Sanderson (5)|
2 - 1 EDM
|Duncan Keith (4) ASST: Martin Lapointe (2)|
2 - 2 Tie
|1||S. Gagner||P. Kane|
|2||A. Hemsky||Y. Perreault|
|Kris Versteeg Hooking against Joni Pitkanen|
|David Koci Fighting (maj) against Zack Stortini|
|Zack Stortini Fighting (maj) against David Koci|
|Yanic Perreault Hooking against Jarret Stoll|
|Steve Staios Hooking against Patrick Kane|
|Jarret Stoll Slashing against Patrick Kane|
|Jonathan Toews Interference against Zack Stortini|
|Ales Hemsky Holding the stick against James Wisniewski|
|Patrick Kane Slashing against Dwayne Roloson|