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RECAP: Blackhawks 4, Oilers 0

by Ryan Frankson / Edmonton Oilers

CHICAGO, IL – On Tuesday, the Chicago Blackhawks were shut out. On Thursday, they were the ones doing the blanking.

Unfortunately, at the expense of the Oilers, Corey Crawford stopped all 33 shots he faced as the Blackhawks emerged with a 4-0 victory. The loss was Edmonton’s second in a row after a six-game winning streak and they dropped to 1-2-0 on their road trip, which concludes Saturday vs. the Avalanche.

“We were flat,” Coach Todd McLellan said. “We expected more, and it was team-wide. Barely anybody had their legs, and we didn’t have a lot of polish as a team. That’s certainly a group you don’t want to be flat against. Expectations for each of the individuals were a lot higher than what we got from them tonight. Certainly a team loss.”

“That was not the response we wanted,” Hendricks said of the team’s second-straight loss. “We had a tough one in New York, back-to-back games, and had a real tough game in Boston, didn’t play our best but were able to steal a win. Tonight, we didn’t play the game we wanted to play. We wanted to come out and dictate right from the beginning and we didn’t. We were sloppy and we weren’t on our horses tonight.”

Fresh off a 47-save victory Monday night in Boston, Oilers goalie Cam Talbot was sharp early, making a number of quick-reflex saves to open the game, including a glove stop on a Duncan Keith point shot early on and a smothering of a close-range Patrick Kane wrister midway through the frame.

The Hawks finally solved Talbot on their ninth shot of the game as Marian Hossa sauced a cross-ice pass on a two-on-one rush to Jonathan Toews, who beat the goalie high to the glove side with a one-timer.

The Oilers were outshooting the Hawks 7-6 with 9:05 to go in the opening frame, but the latter stages of the period were dominated by the home side, as they finished the first leading Edmonton 14-9.

“We started a lot better than our previous games,” Letestu said. “But it seemed like when they turned it up a notch in the second half of the first period, whether it was our execution or the speed they were playing with, they were winning a few more battles and getting to pucks… I don’t think we spent enough time in the offensive zone tiring them out.”

The line of Hossa, Toews and Teuvo Teravainen struck again at the 12:29 mark of the middle frame, as Hossa picked off a Darnell Nurse pass from the corner, chipped the puck to Toews down low, and the captain found Teravainen for a one-timer in the slot that zipped past Talbot to put the home side up by a pair.

With a 2-0 cushion in the back pocket, the Hawks went into lockdown mode in the third and kept the Oilers attack at bay, preserving the goose egg for Crawford.

The Teravainen-Toews-Hossa line added one more for good measure with 3:18 to go in the game, as Teravainen banged in a rebound after an impressive initial save by Talbot, giving him a two-goal night. Rookie sensation Artemi Panarin sealed the win with Chicago’s fourth goal, sniping a top-shelf wrist shot with 85 seconds left.

Talbot finished the game with 33 saves in a losing cause, giving him 80 saves in two starts this week.

As mentioned, the Oil will close out their trip Saturday in Denver for their first of three meetings with the Avs this season. Back in Edmonton on Monday, they’ll welcome the Winnipeg Jets to town before heading into their four-day Christmas break.
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