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game recap

Hawks beat Oilers 5-2 with third-period blitz

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:50 AM

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

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Hawks beat Oilers 5-2 with third-period blitz
Edmonton Oilers 2, Chicago Blackhawks 5

Like a barrel rolling down a hill, the powerful Chicago Blackhawks eventually flattened the Edmonton Oilers.

The Hawks outshot the 30th-place Oilers 47-14, but needed third-period goals by Niklas Hjalmarsson, Dustin Byfuglien and Jonathan Toews to beat the Oilers 5-2 on Wednesday night for their fifth win in six games.

Chicago's dominance increased as the game progressed, helping the Hawks erase the taste of Tuesday's 5-3 loss to the New York Islanders in their first game after the Olympic break.

"The third period, that's the way we can be," said Toews, who skated on the gold medal-winning Canadian team and was selected the top forward in the Olympic tournament. "I think we got our legs.

"The last two nights, we've played two teams everybody expects you to beat. There are 20-some games left, and you've got to focus on what you can do, no matter who you're playing."

Marian Hossa, who played for Slovakia in Vancouver, added a goal and an assist as Chicago moved past San Jose into first place in the West. Both teams have 89 points in 63 games, but the Hawks have two more wins.

"Tonight I thought he had a special game," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said of Hossa. "Defensively, he was outstanding. He had the puck a lot."

It was the League-high 38th loss for the Oilers, who actually led 2-1 late in the second period on goals by Robert Nilsson and Shawn Horcoff before going down under a blizzard of shots and goals. The Oilers have dropped three in a row and seven of eight.

Edmonton made a pair of trades before the deadline Wednesday and skated with a largely inexperienced group of defensemen, including recent AHL callups Dean Arsene, Taylor Chorney, Theo Peckham and Johan Motin. Newcomer Ryan Whitney was unable to get to Chicago for the game; neither was Aaron Johnson, who was acquired from Calgary in a deal for veteran blueliner Steve Staios to Calgary.

"They kids did a pretty good job," Edmonton coach Pat Quinn said. "We didn't put the puck at the net enough, and once that turnover game starts going it accentuates with the players who were playing in the minors and still learning their craft."

Though there were all kinds of rumors that the Hawks would make a deal to bring in a goaltender after the loss on Long Island, GM Stan Bowman stood pat. Cristobal Huet had to make just 12 saves to win in his first start in nearly a month. Huet got the loss against the Islanders after relieving Antti Niemi, who had made five straight starts for the Blackhawks.

Chicago coach Joel Quenneville called Huet's performance "OK."

"But this, him getting a win, will be helpful going forward," Quenneville added.

Huet, who faced just three shots in the third period, didn't want to read much into his victory.

"I don't want to look too far," he said. "I don't want to go to that No. 1 (goalie) talk, just go to the next game and have a chance to win."

At the other end of the ice, Edmonton rookie backup Devan Dubnyk stopped 42 shots. He was recalled from Springfield of the AHL on Monday after playing there during the Olympic break.

"You never want to give up five goals, but I felt pretty good about my game," Dubnyk said. "I'll have a look back at the tape and go from there. It's something to build on."

Hossa put Chicago ahead 1-0 during a 4-on-4 at 3:26 of the second when he ripped in a high shot from the top of the left circle. But Nilsson and Horcoff scored a 52-second span late in the second gave Edmonton a 2-1 lead.

Nilsson jammed the puck under Huet from the edge of the crease with 4:29 left in the second after Sam Gagner had driven to the net. Horcoff beat Huet with a screened shot from the top of the slot with 3:37 left in the period.

Dave Bolland tied it 2-2 with 1:57 remaining in the second when he batted in a loose puck from the left side of the net. The play was set up by Hossa, who intercepted a pass from Edmonton defenseman Tom Gilbert.

Hjalmarsson scored on a screened shot from the left point 20 seconds into the third to give Chicago a 3-2 lead. It was only his second goal this season, and first since Oct. 17.

Byfuglien made it 4-2 with a power-play goal midway through the third when he tucked in a shot from the edge of the crease. Toews added insurance when he beat Dubnyk from the right circle with 3:44 remaining.

Material from team media and wire services was used in this report

scoring summary
1st Period
NONE
2nd Period
03:26
CHI
Marian Hossa (18) Snap shot - ASST: Dave Bolland (6), Duncan Keith (44)
1 - 0 CHI
15:31
EDM
Robert Nilsson (7) Backhand shot - ASST: Sam Gagner (22), Dustin Penner (24)
1 - 1 Tie
16:23
EDM
Shawn Horcoff (10) Wrist shot - ASST: Gilbert Brule (16)
2 - 1 EDM
18:03
CHI
Dave Bolland (4) Backhand shot - ASST: Marian Hossa (18)
2 - 2 Tie
3rd Period
00:20
CHI
Niklas Hjalmarsson (2) Slapshot - ASST: Brian Campbell (30), Patrick Kane (45)
3 - 2 CHI
09:24
CHI
PPG - Dustin Byfuglien (16) Wrist shot - ASST: Patrick Kane (46), Jonathan Toews (33)
4 - 2 CHI
16:16
CHI
Jonathan Toews (20) Wrist shot - ASST: Patrick Sharp (34), Duncan Keith (45)
5 - 2 CHI
penalty summary
1st Period
01:47
CHI
Ben Eager  Interference on goalkeeper against  Devan Dubnyk
04:10
EDM
Marc-Antoine Pouliot  Hi-sticking against  Dave Bolland
2nd Period
02:26
CHI
Dustin Byfuglien  Slashing against  Jason Strudwick
02:26
EDM
Jason Strudwick  Roughing against  Dustin Byfuglien
06:41
EDM
Dean Arsene  Tripping against  Kris Versteeg
06:41
CHI
Ben Eager  Unsportsmanlike conduct against  Zack Stortini
06:41
EDM
Zack Stortini  Unsportsmanlike conduct against  Ben Eager
09:29
EDM
Theo Peckham  Hi-sticking against  Kris Versteeg
19:57
CHI
Tomas Kopecky  Roughing against  Dean Arsene
19:57
EDM
Dean Arsene  Roughing against  Tomas Kopecky
3rd Period
03:37
CHI
Ben Eager  Roughing against  Zack Stortini
03:37
EDM
Zack Stortini  Roughing against  Ben Eager
06:18
CHI
Tomas Kopecky  Tripping against  Ryan Jones
08:38
EDM
Shawn Horcoff  Hi-sticking against  Tomas Kopecky
11:05
EDM
Ryan Jones  Roughing against  Kris Versteeg
goalie stats
Devan Dubnyk
SA: 47TOI: 60:00
Saves: 42EV: 38 - 42
PIM: 0PP: 4 - 5
SV%: .894SH: 0 - 0
Cristobal Huet
SA: 14TOI: 60:00
Saves: 12EV: 9 - 11
PIM: 0PP: 3 - 3
SV%: .857SH: 0 - 0