The Oilers took a 6-3 win on Monday night in Game 2 to level the best-of-five Qualifying Round series, 1-1. Patrick Kane, Slater Koekkoek and Olli Maatta each found the back of the net in the loss, while Corey Crawford made 29 stops.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist, plus a team-leading five shots and 22:42 of ice team, leading all forwards.
STAT OF THE NIGHT: Playing in his 129th NHL playoff game, Kane surpassed Niklas Hjalmarsson for fourth all-time in franchise postseason games on Monday night. Jonathan Toews, playing in his 130th game, surpassed Hjalmarsson on Saturday afternoon and Duncan Keith, who played in his 128th game, is set to surpass Hjalmarsson on Wednesday night. The trio will occupy spots 3-5 on the list by the week's end, likely separated by a game each.
UP NEXT: Chicago and Edmonton meet again on Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. for Game 3 in the best-of-five series.
Just like in Game 1, it didn't take long for the game's first goal. Unlike the 2:34 it took for the Oilers to strike on the power play in that one, Connor McDavid needed just 19 seconds to give his side a 1-0 lead. Sneaking in on the weak side, the center was able to capitalize on an early defensive lapse from the Blackhawks, collecting a bouncing puck alone in the slot and elevating it over Corey Crawford's shoulder for the early advantage.
McDavid doubled the lead a few shifts later with an incredible show of speed through the neutral zone of a clearance before turning the corner on Olli Maatta and elevating a rolling backhander over the shoulder of Crawford for the second time at 4:05 of the first.
After leading the Blackhawks with seven shots in Game 1, Patrick Kane found twine for the first time this postseason at 9:06 of the first period to cut Edmonton's lead to 2-1. Alex DeBrincat picked up a deflected puck in the far corner, circled behind the net to the near side and slipped a backhand feed to Kane in front for the quick one-timer wrister.
The Oilers re-gained a two-goal lead early in the second period as Tyler Ennis put a wrister through traffic in front, beating a screened Crawford five-hole at 1:44 of the period for a 3-1 score.
Chicago answered soon after as Slater Koekkoek collected a cross-ice feed from DeBrincat. The defenseman placed a wrist shot under the arm of Mikko Koskinen for his first NHL playoff goal at 4:22 of the frame to cut the Oilers lead to 3-2.
Following a few power play opportunities in the middle frame, Koekkoek's defensive partner, Olli Maatta, got in on the scoring action with a shot of his own from distance. Maatta took a feed from Kirby Dach at the point and put a wrister towards goal that deflected off an Oilers defenseman in front, off the pad of Koskinen and in to tie the game 3-3 at 15:13 of the second.
The level score lasted less than two minutes as McDavid completed the hat trick at 17:10 of the second. The centerman picked up a puck in the corner and slide a low-angle chance past a Duncan Keith screen in front and five-hole on Crawford for a 4-3 lead.
Midway through the third, Edmonton took a 5-3 lead after Crawford was unable to handle a puck around the boards behind his own net, falling instead to James Neal who quickly put a shot into the empty cage at 7:25.
Neal would factor in another goal just 40 seconds later, bringing the puck into the zone before being stood up by Adam Boqvist in the slot. The collision saw the puck squirt to the side of the net, where the trailing Alex Chiasson banked a shot off the leg of Dylan Strome on the goal line and in for a 6-3 lead at 8:05 of the third.