photo credit: Yahoo! Sports
By Brad Gardner
The speed and skill of the Oilers put the Blackhawks on their heels early and the result was the worst whooping of the year for Chicago. Careless play with the puck and a parade to the penalty box in the second period sealed Chicago’s fate in their 9-2 shellacking at the hands of the young guns in Edmonton.
Ales Hemsky opened the scoring in the first minute by carrying the puck with speed into the zone and eluding a hip check by Steve Montador. The veteran winger had a clear lane to the net and beat Chicago’s starter Ray Emery over the glove.
Patrick Sharp knotted the game at one goal apiece just a couple minutes later. The first power play unit notched another goal after Sharp picked up a rebound off the post and beat Nikolai Khabibulin.
The speed of the Oilers started to wreak havoc for the Blackhawks, though, and the home team rattled off four unanswered goals through the rest of the first period. Ryan Jones scored a goal from a horrible angle against Emery and it was downhill from there for the ‘Hawks. Ryan Smyth’s team-leading 11th goal of the season came on a good set-up from Jordan Eberle, putting the Oilers up 3-1 just 7:32 into the first period.