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game recap

Draisaitl, Oilers defeat Blackhawks in first game without McDavid

Has goal, three assists, Yamamoto scores twice for Edmonton

by Derek Van Diest / Independent Correspondent

Yamamoto's second goal

CHI@EDM: Yamamoto puts home rebound for second goal

Kailer Yamamoto pokes a rebound into the net, tying the score at 3 with his second goal of the game

  • 00:42 •

EDMONTON -- Leon Draisaitl had four points playing in the first game without Connor McDavid, and the Edmonton Oilers defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 5-3 at Rogers Place on Tuesday.

Draisaitl had a goal and three assists, Kailer Yamamoto scored twice and Mike Smith made 38 saves for Edmonton (30-20-6), which will be without McDavid for 2-3 weeks because of a left quad injury sustained in a 3-2 win against the Nashville Predators on Saturday. 

"Our goalie was great again," Draisaitl said. "I thought we were a little shaky at the beginning. They have some skill over there too and sometimes you just can't really do anything against world-class skill, but I thought we stuck with it, we battled, and it was a big two points for us."


[WATCH: All Blackhawks vs. Oilers highlights]


Brandon Saad had a goal and an assist, and Patrick Kane had two assists for Chicago (25-23-8), which is winless in four games for the first time this season (0-2-2). Robin Lehner made 26 saves. 

"Draisaitl was really good tonight, making a lot of plays," Kane said. "Seems like he has chemistry with [Ryan] Nugent-Hopkins and the Yamamoto kid. That line's been good for them and they were really good tonight. We knew they were going to create some, but it would have been nice to limit their chances a little bit more."

Nugent-Hopkins gave the Oilers a 4-3 lead at 4:50 of the second period on a power play after Yamamoto tied it 3-3 at 3:38. 

Video: CHI@EDM: Nugent-Hopkins chips in power-play goal

Draisaitl scored into an empty net at 19:57 of the third period for the 5-3 final. He has 401 NHL points. 

"We had a very good third, had desperation in our game," Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton said. "We had some chances and our play was better, but the first two periods were very much up and down and I think there were portions of the first 40 minutes where we were really good and might take control of things. But we weren't sharp all the time [and] they made us pay." 

Riley Sheahan scored 1:13 into the first period on a rebound in front to give Edmonton a 1-0 lead. Saad tied it 1-1 at 5:56, converting a cross-crease pass from Kane before Jonathan Toews made it 2-1 with a shorthanded goal at 14:19. 

Yamamoto scored on the power play, getting to a loose puck in front at 17:18 to tie it 2-2. Yamamoto has 14 points (seven goals, seven assists) in 15 games since being recalled from Bakersfield of the American Hockey League on Dec. 29. 

"Since [Yamamoto] has come up, he just goes and gets pucks, he's all over the ice getting pucks," Nugent-Hopkins said. "I think he surprises a lot of [defensemen] with how quick he is. If he gets beat, all of a sudden he gets right back in there. He has a good stick and creates a lot of opportunities for us. 

"With Connor out, you don't replace him, but it was a good night for [Yamamoto] to create a lot of offense."

Video: CHI@EDM: Yamamoto cashes in on power play

Adam Boqvist scored at 1:45 of the second period, converting a pass from Kane to give the Blackhawks a 3-2 lead.

"It was a tough one to let slip away from us," Lehner said. "They were pretty good in the first period, they had a lot of high-quality chances and they got four goals off of Grade-A scoring chances and rebounds. I would like the puck to stick with me a little better, but I thought every one of those goals was a high-scoring chance."


They said it 

"We're confident we are going to go on a run here and get in a playoff spot instead of chasing like we have been all year. Our goal at the start of the year was to get in the playoffs and see what happens and that's what everyone's mindset is at this time and it's up to us to lead us in that direction." -- Blackhawks forward Zack Smith

"I think a lot of guys stepped up to the challenge and I thought we played really good tonight. Anytime you can win without the best player in the world, it's a huge confidence boost for the team. Hopefully we can keep it up, and hopefully he has a quick recovery and we can get him back." -- Oilers forward Kailer Yamamoto on playing without Connor McDavid


Need to know

Kane has 22 points (five goals, 17 assists) in his past 16 games. … Smith is 8-0-2 in his past 10 starts. … Draisaitl has six points (three goals, three assists) in his past two games. … Edmonton was 2-for-3 on the power play and leads the NHL at 29.9 percent (50-of-167).  


What's next 

Blackhawks: At the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday (10:30 p.m. ET; ESPN+, SN, SN360, NBCSCH, NHL.TV)

Oilers: At the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; SUN, SNW, NHL.TV) 

Video: Draisaitl, Yamamoto lead Oilers past Blackhawks

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