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GAME STORY: Oilers 2, Blackhawks 1 OT

Mark Letestu scores the overtime winner as Edmonton beats Chicago 2-1

by Chris Wescott / EdmontonOilers.com Head Writer

CHICAGO, IL - Mark Letestu's one-timer beat goaltender Anton Forsberg with 15.8 seconds left in overtime to lift the Oilers past the Blackhawks 2-1.

 "(The win) came in a tough building against a good team," said Letestu, whose goal snapped a four-game losing streak. "I thought we played the whole game. We were pretty structured. We gave up our chances, but the goaltender was there. Guys made some big blocks. We felt more like ourselves. We got a result tonight, which is nice."

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It was a tight one all game with the only two regulation goals coming in the first.

Just two seconds after killing off their first penalty of the night, the Oilers found themselves down 1-0. Patrick Kane scored by sending a backhander from the side of the net past Cam Talbot. The puck rolled underneath the Oilers netminder at 7:33 of the first. The assists were awarded to Jan Rutta and Duncan Keith.

Talbot bounced back real quick, kicking away a Jonathan Toews breakaway moments later.

Some Connor McDavid magic got the Oilers on the board at 17:18 of the opening frame. Patrick Maroon got the equalizer, courtesy of a dazzling assist by McDavid. The captain spun backwards around Keith and backhanded a pass to the awaiting Maroon for the tying goal. Rookie Kailer Yamamoto recorded the second assist, extending his point streak to three games.

The Oilers managed to kill off a Chicago 5-on-3 power play early in the second to keep things tied. Both teams traded penalties in the second but neither was able to capitalize. The Oilers penalty kill was particularly strong all night, backstopped by Talbot. The shorthanded units of Edmonton held the Blackhawks power play scoreless on five attempts.

With less than seven minutes to go in the middle frame, the Oilers had a prime scoring chance. However, Milan Lucic lifted the puck over the net after a nice feed by Ryan Strome. Neither team would net one in the second, but through two periods the Oilers led in shots 23-17.

Yamamoto continued his strong game for the Oil in the third, racking up numerous scoring chances around the net but wasn't able to convert.

"He had so many chances tonight," said McDavid. "You almost get that feeling that once one goes in he's going to be real, real good. He had that breakaway, a few little things in front of the net, 3-on-2s and those types of things. Those will go eventually."

Yamamoto, taken 22nd overall in the 2017 NHL Draft, can feel the confidence rising with each performance.

"It's me just getting more comfortable," said Yamamoto. "I'm starting to get used to the pace a lot more. It's been going pretty good so far."

The rookie had a team-high eight shots on goal. As a team, Edmonton outshot Chicago 14-11 in the final frame of regulation and 42-31 for the game.

In overtime, both teams traded chances at each end. Kane gave the Oilers a power play opportunity, getting called for hooking against McDavid, at 3:45 of the extra period.

In the final seconds of overtime, Letestu hammered an Oscar Klefbom pass past Forsberg, short side, for the win. McDavid recorded the second assist.

"This is exactly what we were hoping for, to play a solid game and we came out with a win," said Klefbom. "We feel like we got a fresh start here on the road so it feels really good right now."

Edmonton (2-4-0) continues their road trip in Philadelphia on Saturday at 11 am MT.

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