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Teravainen, Crawford help Blackhawks defeat Oilers

by Brian Hedger

CHICAGO -- Teuvo Teravainen had two goals and an assist, and goalie Corey Crawford made 33 saves in the Chicago Blackhawks' 4-0 victory against the Edmonton Oilers at United Center on Thursday.

Teravainen spearheaded the Blackhawks' top line; center Jonathan Toews had a goal and two assists, and right wing Marian Hossa had three assists.

"I liked our game," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. "We didn't give up much, and that's the first step when we measure our team performance, and we generated enough [offensively]."

The shutout was Crawford's third in four games, fifth this season and 17th in his NHL career. He had back-to-back shutouts against the Winnipeg Jets on Dec. 11 and Nashville Predators on Dec. 13. Crawford is 5-1-0 in his past six starts with a 0.67 goals-against average and .978 save percentage. He has allowed four goals in that stretch.

"I feel good right now," said Crawford, who made nine saves in the first period, 15 in the second and nine in the third. "I'm really focused and I'm seeing the puck well throughout the whole game and getting a lot of help too from everyone."

Chicago's second line made it 4-0 on a goal by rookie left wing Artemi Panarin at 18:35 of the third. Defenseman Brent Seabrook got the primary assist, and right wing Patrick Kane, who had a 26-game point streak end in the Blackhawks' 3-0 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday, got the secondary assist.

Kane's line has sparked the Blackhawks offense this season, but it was Toews' group that gave the Oilers the most trouble. Toews scored in the first, and Teravainen scored in the second and third to give the Blackhawks a 3-0 lead.

"Well, he's a tricky little guy," Toews said of Teravainen, who is in his first full NHL season. "He's so quick with his feet and his [puck-handling]. I don't think anyone can really guess what he's doing."

Teravainen started the season with Toews and Hossa, but Quenneville broke them up when he didn't see Teravainen handling the puck enough. In eight games since being reunited, Teravainen has four goals and seven points.

"I keep telling him over at the bench, 'If you want that puck, go to the areas you're going to get it. Don't feel like you have to defer to anyone else on the line,'" Toews said.

Goalie Cam Talbot made 33 saves for Edmonton (14-17-2), which has lost two in a row after a six-game winning streak.

The Oilers, who lost all three games against the Blackhawks this season (0-2-1), weren't pleased with their performance.

"We expected more," Edmonton coach Todd McLellan said. "It was team-wide. Barely anybody had their legs. We didn't have a lot of polish as a team, and that's certainly a group you don't want to be flat against."

Chicago (18-11-4) is 9-1-2 against Pacific Division teams and 13-4-1 at home.

Toews opened the scoring at 14:00 of the first period by one-timing a shot past Talbot off Hossa's saucer pass. Chicago's top line struck again at 12:29 of the second to make it 2-0 on Teravainen's first goal of the game.

Hossa broke up Darnell Nurse's clearing pass in the offensive zone and sent the puck to Toews in the corner. Toews fed Teravainen in the slot, and he beat Talbot with a wrist shot before Hossa accidentally knocked him over.

Teravainen made it 3-0 at 16:42 of the third by cleaning up a rebound of Hossa's shot, before Panarin scored with 1:25 remaining.

"It's good for us," Teravainen said of the Blackhawks' first line. "We don't expect our second line to score every night, of course. Someone has to step up every night."

Edmonton is searching for that too. Despite their recent winning streak, the Oilers are trying to build confidence by playing well against teams like the Blackhawks, who have won the Stanley Cup three times in the past six seasons.

"I think we gave them maybe a little bit too much respect tonight," Oilers center Matt Hendricks said. "We came out, especially in the first period, and gave them too much room; kind of backed off too much. We have to start believing in ourselves a little bit more against these high-caliber teams."

Chicago center Marcus Kruger did not return after he fell awkwardly into the boards early in the second period. Quenneville said it's an upper-body injury but had no further update.

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