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Under the Scope: Oilers vs Blackhawks

by Karmela Arocena / Edmonton Oilers

After coming off a 4-0 shutout win against the Nashville Predators on Monday night, the Oilers wanted to continue the winning ways Wednesday night against the Chicago Blackhawks.  The Oilers turned to Dubnyk for the second straight game after he recorded his first NHL shutout.  Unfortunately, a lethargic start to the game resulted in a 4-1 loss against the defending Stanley Cup Champions.

The first two periods were not the best hockey the Oilers had played.  10:41 into the first period, Patrick Sharp fired a snap shot past Devan Dubnyk to put the opposition up 1-0.  Two minutes later, the Oilers received a too many men penalty that they managed to kill off, but seconds later had to go back on the PK after Kurtis Foster went off for holding.  The Oilers did kill off both penalties, so they ended the first just down a goal.

In the second, a gaffe by Jeff Petry at the offensive blueline allowed Blackhawks forward Bryan Bickell to get free on a breakaway.  He was able to score on the play, leaving both Petry and Dubnyk frustrated at allowing the goal. 

Going into the final frame of the game, Patrick Kane scored a powerplay goal that put the exclamation mark on the Oilers lackluster play.  After the goal, Andrew Cogliano and Theo Peckham both received 10 minute misconducts for letting their emotions take over.  While the Oilers did start to turn it on in the final frame with numerous chances and, eventually, a Jordan Eberle goal, their deficit was already too deep for them to recover.  Patrick Kane sealed the victory for the visiting team with an empty net goal, and the Blackhawks won 4-1.

Devan Dubnyk stopped 22 of 25 shots in the losing effort.

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

Although the Blackhawks were the ones to open the scoring in tonight's game, the Oilers did manage to quell some of the pressure after they killed two consecutive penalties after that first goal.  However, when Blackhawks forward Bryan Bickell scored on a breakaway 5:14 in the second to put the visiting team up 2-0 after Petry gaffed the puck at the offensive blueline, the Oilers lost some jump in their step and the Blackhawks went ahead and took the game 4-1.

53 53% of the draws were won by the Oilers tonight.  Dustin Penner impressed by going perfect in the faceoff dot tonight, winning all three of his matchups.
9 The Oilers only let 9 giveaways happen tonight.  However, 6 of those were in the second period.  A telling sign as to how the Blackhawks were able to add to their lead in the middle frame.
16 A fairly physical game was played by the home team tonight.  The Oilers threw 16 hits tonight, 4 of them coming from Jim Vandermeer.
2 At 4:15 of the third, tensions started to boil over with Andrew Cogliano and Theo Peckham.  Both received a 10 minute misconduct tonight.

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

Corey Crawford
24 23 1 59:53 .958

Jordan Eberle
G A P +/- Shots
1 0 1 -1 3

Corey Crawford
24 23 1 59:53 .958

Devan Dubnyk
22 22 3 58:07 .880

Duncan Keith - D

  25:11 - 3 Shots, +1 rating

Tom Gilbert - D

24:00 - 0P, -1 rating

What started as a call-up has turned into a starring role for Linus Omark.  With the Oilers down 3-0 in the third against the Blackhawks, Omark did everything he could to put his team on the board.  He started by creating a glorious scoring chance by passing the puck to Paajarvi who then blasted a shot from the offensive blue line.  When the shot bounced off the boards to the front of the net, Omark kept banging away at the puck hoping to score.  Blackhawks goalie Crawford tried to cover up the puck, but Omark was able to dig it out and end his shift by drawing the Blackhawks first penalty on the night.

In his first home game back from an ankle injury, Jordan Eberle impressed with his play.  In his 17:14 of ice time, Eberle fired 3 shots, scored the Oilers only goal, and helped create numerous chances with his line mate Hall.  His efforts in his first home game from injury earned him second star.

When the Oilers started to turn up the heat in the third period, Linus Omark impressed the most.  The Swede played a hard-working game in the third, creating chances and digging for pucks.  He was even able to draw the Blackhawks first penalty of the night, an effort that earned an applause from the crowd at Rexall Place.

Dustin Penner is known for being a power forward, and that was definitely evident tonight.  At 6:07 of the third period, the Winkler, MB native threw a huge hit on Duncan Keith that sent the bruising Blackhawks defenceman into the boards and onto the ice.

While everyone in Rexall Place was excited for rookie Jordan Eberle's first home game back from injury tonight, another rookie made a significant step today.  Ralph Krueger took over as interim Head Coach in Tom Renney's abscence tonight; his first stint as a head coach in the NHL.

"We just weren't sharp, we weren't making plays the way we needed to and spent a lot of time in our defensive zone because of it and it came back to bite us."

-  Oilers forward Sam Gagner on the loss to Chicago

Saturday, February 12 vs. Ottawa
  12:00pm MT (CBC / 630 CHED)

CBC's Hockey Day in Canada begins at Rexall Place Saturday afternoon when the Oilers host a struggling Ottawa Senators squad.

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