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Under the Scope: Oilers vs. Blackhawks

by Ryan Dittrick / Edmonton Oilers

It was yet another loss for the Oilers in which they were outclassed on the scoreboard. A 47-18 shot differential helped to garner all the offensive pressure for the visiting side. Edmonton has now given up 30 goals in its past five games, with the offensive on equal sputtering terms having scored only eight in that same span.

Jonathan Toews scored a hat-trick to lead the way, while Patrick Sharp and Bryan Bickell added the other pair of markers en route to a 5-0 blowout.

All you need to know and more as we go Under the Scope:

The Oilers came out strong in the opening five minutes but were unable to generate many shots on Blackhawks goaltender Marty Turco. Although the effort was there, the results didn't come. With the score still 0-0, the Blackhawks responded with a number of strong shifts to swing the momentum. Jonathan Toews' first goal of the night grabbed the momentum for the visitors and they didn't look back. As it turned out, that goal was all the Blackhawks needed on this night to secure victory.

55 In what would likely be considered the lone victory of the night, the Oilers were on the winning side of the faceoff battle. The team won 55% of the draws, with Sam Gagner leading the way with an impressive 64% efficiency rate.
19 Turnovers killed the Oilers tonight and were the direct cause of many Blackhawks goals. In total, Edmonton made 19 giveaways.
47 It was a dominant night for the Blackhawks, who put up an amazing 47 shots on goal. The Oilers countered with only 18 of their own.
30 The Oilers have now given up 30 goals in the past five games. An unfortunate average of six per game.

Jonathan Toews
G A P +/- Shots
3 0 3 +2 8

Patrick Sharp
G A P +/- Shots
1 1 2 +2 8

Patrick Kane
G A P +/- Shots
0 2 2 +2 4

Marty Turco
18 18 0 60:00 100

Nikolai Khabibulin
31 27 4 40:00 .871

Duncan Keith - D

24:14 - 0P, E rating

Ryan Whitney - D

25:15 - 0P, -2 rating

Late in the second period, the Oilers had a difficult time penetrating the Blackhawks zone with a powerplay opportunity. Chicago's Patrick Sharp capitalized on a Kurtis Foster turnover just outside the Oilers' blueline which sent the skilled forward in alone against Nikolai Khabibulin. Sharp made a number of slick moves before depositing the puck behind the dejected Oilers netminder. That goal put the Oilers down 4-0 late in the frame and essentially sealed the victory for the visitors.

By Jonathan Toews' standards, the Blackhawks captain hasn't had the strongest of starts to the 2010-11 season. On this night, however, Toews showed up and contributed in a big way, essentially single-handedly beating the Oilers with a hat-trick that was recorded by the 21:12 mark of the game. With eight shots on goal and a dominant percentage in the faceoff circle, it was a night to remember for the reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner as his team collected an important two points.

Recent call-up Shawn Belle acquitted himself nicely into the Oilers lineup despite the unfortunate result. The rugged blueliner played a solid 15:40 with four shots and one hit to highlight his first game of the 2010-11 NHL season. Belle showed a willingness to move the puck up the ice with quickness and even rush it himself if the opportunity came. Overall, a successful debut as he hopes to make a lasting impression on the organization.

The Oilers came out with one of their better opening sequences in quite some time. The offensive pressure and overall gumption on the forecheck was something that carried into the defensive zone as well. Blackhawks forward Tomas Kopecky dumped the puck into the corner and let off, feeling that he was safe to do so. Kurtis Foster was in his sightlines, as he lined up the gritty forward for a punishing hit that sent him violently to the ice.

Coming into tonight's game, Sam Gagner had scored three goals against the Blackhawks in the previous two meetings. In doing so, it only took three shots for Gagner to record his trio of markers. A perfect 100% shooting percentage is a rare feat in multiple games. Gagner didn't record a shot tonight, keeping his unusual statistic alive vs. Chicago.

"It's almost like we're waiting for something poor to happen. We've got to avoid that because we could become our own worst enemy here if we're not careful. We could be the biggest opponent we face."

- Head Coach Tom Renney on the loss to Chicago

Friday, November 19 vs. Phoenix
  7:00 p.m. MT (Sportsnet West / 630 CHED)

Following five consecutive losses in which the Oilers have given up 30 goals against, Edmonton will try and rebound with a win over the Coyotes as Phoenix pays a visit to Rexall Place on Friday evening.

Author: Ryan Dittrick |

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