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GAME STORY: Blackhawks 5, Oilers 1

The Oilers struck first but then it was all Blackhawks as Chicago skates away with a 5-1 win

by Chris Wescott / EdmontonOilers.com Head Writer

Video: OILERS TODAY | Oilers vs. Blackhawks Post-Game 

EDMONTON, AB - The Oilers scored first in their return from the bye week but it was an uphill battle from there as the Chicago Blackhawks scored the next five and handed the Oil a 5-1 defeat.

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The Oilers host the Arizona Coyotes Tuesday at 7 p.m. MT. The game can be seen on Sportsnet West or heard on 630 CHED and the Oilers Radio Network.

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"We've got to find a way to nip it in the bud right away," said Oilers captain Connor McDavid, whose team has dropped four of their last five games.

"We can't go on a slide like we did after the last break. We weren't good enough tonight. The positive side is we get to have a few days of practice here to look over it, review it, see what went wrong, forget about it and move onto the next game."

McDavid was the one to set up the game's opening goal, stripping Niklas Hjalmarsson and saucing a centering pass to Patrick Maroon. The Oilers hulking winger put an end to his 10-game goal drought by burying that feed at 4:01 of the first frame.

The Blackhawks wasted no time responding as a Richard Panik shot from the high slot found its way through Cam Talbot at 5:49. Panik was assisted by Nick Schmaltz and Brent Seabrook.

Chicago managed to beat Talbot again in the first, this time on the power play, at 9:54. After a scramble at the side of the net, Patrick Kane was able to bank the puck in off the skate of the sprawling goaltender. Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith recorded the assists, as the Blackhawks took a 2-1 lead.

With 11:43 remaining in the second period, Talbot laid down and stiffened his pads to secure the puck beneath him with a few Blackhawks players hacking away. Unfortunately for Edmonton, Chicago would build on their lead shortly after that save.

Trevor van Riemsdyk potted one from inside the circle at 8:37 of the middle frame, just a few moments following the Talbot save, and the Blackhawks took a 3-1 lead.

The Blackhawks made it 4-1 at 18:26 of the second period. Talbot made an initial big pad save, but the rebound gave Panik his second of the night.

Looking to change things up, the Oilers shuffled the lineup and went to Laurent Brossoit between the pipes for the third period.

The Oilers still couldn't gain any traction, and the Blackhawks made it 5-1 at 15:49 of the third. Artem Anisimov was credited with the fifth marker, his 20th of the season.

Oilers centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins spiced things up with less than three minutes remaining, tossing the gloves aside and fighting with Vinnie Hinostroza. That was only Nugent-Hopkins' second career NHL fight.

"Just a little bit of frustration, I guess," said Nugent-Hopkins. "We kind of talked going back into the zone and it just happened."

The Oilers next game is against the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday at Rogers Place.

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