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Hawks beat Oilers 5-2 for sixth win in a row

by Brian Compton /

It's official: The Chicago Blackhawks are on a roll.

Jonathan Toews scored twice and added an assist and Cristobal Huet made 25 saves as the Blackhawks won their sixth in a row on Saturday night with a 5-2 victory against the Edmonton Oilers atRexall Place.

Patrick Kane, Kris Versteeg and John Madden also scored for the Blackhawks (14-5-2), who carried the momentum built from Thursday's 7-1 win at Calgary into Edmonton, where they improved to 2-0 on their six-game trip. Chicago, which now has a three-point lead in the Central Division, plays in Vancouver on Sunday night.

"I just like the fact that we can find ways to win games," Toews said. "It doesn't matter who we're playing. Tonight wasn't our best effort. We just felt a little flat, but we're getting contributions from every line. It's kind of helping us get through games right now."

Sheldon Souray and Dustin Penner had goals for the Oilers (9-11-3), who have lost five of six and eight of 10.

"There is some intelligence … some IQ to this game," Edmonton coach Pat Quinn said. "We're not showing much IQ. Every goal you can point out to say, 'Where was the IQ in the game here?' The one thing you don't like is when you watch your team play in fear. All of a sudden, you're playing like a lamb, not a lion. You can go out on the street and get lambs."

Toews gave the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead just 3:50 into the game when the Chicago captain put his own rebound past Jeff Deslauriers for his third goal of the season. But Souray was credited with the game-tying goal just 35 seconds later, when Blackhawks defenseman Cam Barker accidentally slipped a rebound past Huet to make it 1-1.

Versteeg put Chicago back in front at 7:20 with his seventh goal of the season, as his shot went off Souray's glove and into the net. Kane made it 3-1 before the end of the period when he got around Liam Reddox and fired a shot through the legs of Deslauriers at 12:33. It was his ninth goal of the season.

Madden, who signed with Chicago as a free agent last summer, scored his fourth goal of the season 11:02 into the second period. With the teams at even strength, Andrew Ladd seized control of a rebound and dished it over to Madden, and the latter fired it into an empty net to make it 4-1.

Edmonton appeared to close the gap with a power-play goal with 0.1 seconds left in the second, asShawn Horcoff poked a puck through Huet's legs. But a video review determined that time had run out.

The teams exchanged power-play goals in the third period. Penner cut the deficit in half for the Oilers when he redirected a shot by Steve Staios past Huet just 1:29 into the period for his 13th goal of the season. But Toews restored Chicago's three-goal lead when he took a pass from Patrick Sharp and roofed a wrist shot over Deslauriers.

"He's playing great," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said of Toews, who missed six games with a concussion earlier in the season. "He really has taken off since he's been out. We like the way he's playing, whether he's scoring or not."

Edmonton (9-11-3), which has won only twice in its last 10 games, returns to the ice on Monday against Phoenix in the third of a five-game homestand.

"A lot of people say we have skill, but the skill hasn't won squat for us yet," Quinn said.

Goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin didn't dress against his former team; the Oilers said it was a precaution as he deals with a bad back. With their Springfield farm team 2,000 or so miles away playing in Hershey, the Oilers signed junior goalie Torrie Jung from the WHL Edmonton Oil Kings to an Amateur Tryout and dressed him as Deslauriers' backup.

Early in the game, Blackhawks rookie forward Bryan Bickell bounced off Penner while trying to make an open-ice hit, but instead hit his head on the ice following the collision. Bickell was helped to the dressing room and was unable to return.

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

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