CHICAGO, IL – A goal apiece from Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid plus 25 saves from Stuart Skinner gave the Oilers their eighth consecutive victory on Tuesday as they edged the Chicago Blackhawks 2-1 to open their three-game road trip.

Despite getting outshot 26-15 on the night, the Oilers locked down their defence against an inexperienced but hard-working Windy City squad and hung on for the win as they now have two eight-game streaks in the last month and a half, improving to 21-15-1 on the season.

"I think we were just good enough to get the win and it definitely wasn't our best game," Head Coach Kris Knoblauch said. "It wasn't a Picasso by any means, but sometimes you have to gut those out. We've certainly lost games that I felt like we should have won, and tonight I think Skinns was outstanding. I think he really saved us and played really well, came with some big saves, especially late in the game.

"But we know we need to get better than that, so we'll take our two points and move on."

"Obviously not our best, but give them credit," McDavid added. "They worked, they clogged things up, they played a solid game. Stu held us in and I thought we did just enough to get a win.

"They're obviously a banged-up, young lineup, excited lineup. Those are sometimes the toughest games to play. A little bit scrambly, a little bit all over the place."

The Oilers battle their way to a 2-1 win over the Blackhawks


The home team opened the scoring 5:52 into the game, capitalizing on an Oilers turnover in the neutral zone. After Cody Ceci and Zach Hyman got their signals crossed just outside of Chicago's blue line, Jason Dickinson swooped in and stole the puck, bursting in on a two-on-one rush with Joey Anderson.

Darnell Nurse was the lone defender back and dropped to the ice in an attempt to eliminate the pass over to Anderson and possibly knock the puck away from Dickinson, but the Chicago forward toe-dragged and picked the blocker-side top corner on Skinner just under the crossbar for his 14th goal of the season.

Fortunately for the Oilers, they were quick to respond after their sluggish start as Draisaitl delivered his 19th of the season at 8:05 to even the score.

Nurse got the puck up to Ryan McLeod in the neutral zone to create a partial two-on-one with Draisaitl. McLeod made a pretty pass under the stick of Chicago defender Connor Murphy to Draisaitl's backhand, and he quickly shifted the puck to his forehand before flicking a shot under Petr Mrazek's blocker arm.

Since the start of Edmonton's winning streak on Dec. 21 in New Jersey, Draisaitl has six goals and nine points, while McLeod also has nine points.

Draisaitl takes a McLeod feed & beats Mrazek to tie the game


The Oilers earned their first lead of the night 92 seconds into the middle frame as Mattias Ekholm made a stellar stretch pass from inside his own zone to McDavid at the Chicago blue line. The captain cruised in alone on Mrazek and deked to his forehand for a no-doubt finish and his 15th goal of the season to make it 2-1 Edmonton.

Two minutes later, Edmonton appeared to extend their lead to 3-1 when a long shot from McDavid eluded Mrazek, but the play was immediately called for goaltender interference after Zach Hyman made contact with the netminder at the top of the crease. The Oilers took a moment to consider a challenge but opted to accept the ruling and continue play.

The Oilers were outshooting the home side 11-6 midway through the period but that quickly changed to 14-11 Chicago in the span of a few minutes as a power play forced Skinner to make several big saves to preserve the lead.

Ekholm sends McDavid in alone & the captain scores to make it 2-1


The Oilers were soon to be shorthanded in the third as Ekholm was called for interference on Colin Blackwell just 27 seconds after the puck was done, but their penalty kill continued to thrive with their second of three successful sessions on the night.

With the PK personnel needing a break when the teams returned to even strength, Knoblauch rolled out McDavid, Draisaitl and Hyman, and the high-scoring trio immediately extended Edmonton's lead to 3-1 – or so they thought.

Draisaitl got the puck at Chicago's blue line and zipped a pass over to McDavid streaking down the left wing. The captain found Hyman cutting to the net for a tap-in past Mrazek for what would have been his team-leading 26th of the season.

However, the Blackhawks challenged that Draisaitl put himself offside as he corraled the puck over the line, and after a lengthy video review the officials deemed that was indeed the case and disallowed the goal to keep the score 2-1.

Connor talks to the media following Tuesday's 2-1 victory

"I talked to the linesman after... ultimately it's not their call," McDavid said of the decision. "They said it came down from the league, but you zoom in. You zoom in. You keep zooming in until you can't zoom in anymore. And I guess it's offside. These are calls that change games and ultimately it didn't go our way. That was a big call. It would have really hurt them and I thought it should have been onside."

The Blackhawks pulled Mrazek with 2:20 to go in favour of the extra attacker and the Oilers had multiple chances to bury the 3-1 marker, but Philipp Kurashev made a sprawling save on a Ryan Nugent-Hopkins attempt and Hyman had his bid slide just wide.

Skinner and the Edmonton defence ultimately held the fort for the slim victory, despite the team getting outshot 21-7 over the final two periods.

"They're all good wins any time you get two points, especially this time of year," Knoblauch said. "It's an 82-game schedule. It's hard to get up and play beautifully every game. I'd be a little concerned if we hadn't been playing very well in the previous three or four games. I don't think that's the case tonight. I don't think we played very well, but a lot of credit should be given to the Blackhawks.

"I thought they played really well. Didn't give us much room, didn't make any mistakes. Made sure to get pucks in. They forechecked us hard. They made it really difficult for us, and there are some things we could have did better to alleviate that. But it's not always just about us. I think the Chicago played a really good game."

Brett speaks to the media after Tuesday's victory in Chicago

The Oilers will look to tie a franchise record and extend their win streak to nine on Thursday when they shift from the Windy City to the Motor City and take on the Detroit Red Wings.

"Once we get rolling and feeling our game like we are now, it feels like we can't lose," defenceman Brett Kulak said. "We're kind of in that space right now, and you want to hang on to that, enjoy it and stack up the wins when you've got that kind of mood."

The middle match of Edmonton's three-game road trip will be their first of two meetings this season against the Red Wings, who will be a well-rested squad with their last action coming Sunday in Anaheim as they swept their California swing.

Kris addresses the media after Tuesday's win over the Blackhawks