Feb 262013

By Brad Vandenberk

Now that the dust has settled after a weekend of NHL record setting, it was time for the Blackhawks to shift the focus toward the young guns from Edmonton.  This was the first meeting between these two teams this season.

If we take a second to remember last season, the Oilers dominated the Hawks with Sam Ganger recording an 8 point night during one of the contests in northern Alberta.  So, it would be sort of fitting if the Hawks were to have their record streak broken by the hands of these Oilers.   However, the Oilers were missing one of their top forwards in Taylor Hall.  He was serving his second game of a 2 game suspension for a vicious open ice hit on Wild’s forward Cal Clutterbuck.  This would slightly deplete an already star-studded Oilers’ line up.

On the other hand, the Hawks were missing second line center, Dave Bolland, who suffered an upper body injury during the Sharks game on Friday and missed Sunday night’s game against Columbus. 

Despite pitching a shutout against the Jackets, Corey Crawford watched this one from his perch on the bench.  Ray Emery was sent in to man the net.  The three B’s were your scratches; Sheldon Brookbank, Brandon Bollig and Dave Bolland.  The Oilers opted to start their back up, Nikolai Khabibulin.

Early in the first period, the Hawks get a chance on the power play as Magnus Paajarvi punts the puck over the glass.  The Oilers break in shorthanded Lennart Petrell throws it at Emery who thinks he has it underneath him.  It squeaks out and Jeff Petry is there to put the Oilers on the board 1-0.

On the goal, Duncan Keith seems to lose his edge and give the puck up at center ice.  He didn’t see the ice for about 7 minutes after that play.

Before the power play expires, Patrick Kane evens the score with a nifty move across Khabibulin sending the puck to the back on the net.  The goal was Kane’s 10th on the season.

Not long after the score is tied Mark Fistric heads to the box for boarding.   Hawks can’t capitalize but the speed of the Hawks is starting to pick up.  Dan Carcillo begins to finish his checks and the crowd loves it.  Even tough guy Ben Eager has a few words for the Car Bomb, but Carcillo seems to understand his new role.  Edmonton gets their first chance on the power play when rookie Brandon Saad heads off for hooking.  Emery was sharp keeping the score even at 1.  The Hawks finished the period barely edging the Oilers 9-8 in shots.

The second started with the Oilers not registering a shot on net for the first 11 minutes.  The domination that this Hawks team has shown began to surface.  Carcillo welcomes Nail Yakupov to the league with a great hit.  However, Yakupov takes the young unsafe approach and ducks forcing Carcillo to hit his face hard into the glass.

Moments later, Carcillo breaks in on Khabby and the crowd his loving Danny boy.  The Oilers give up three chances in a row and neither Bickell, Stalberg nor Shaw can finish to give the Hawks the lead.

Saad again is shown the penalty box with a wild high stick.   The Oilers move the puck around and Yakupov rips a shot from the circle beating Emery giving the Oilers the lead 2-1.

Not long after, Jonathan Toews can’t contain Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and gets called for hooking.  Emery makes a few great saves to keep the Hawks within one.

Toews gets a terrific break as he steps out of the box, but falls down as he enters the zone.  The period ends with the Hawks down 2-1 but still leading in the shot department 19-14.

Carcillo plays his way to the Toews and Hossa line when the third period begins.  Saad was sent to the fourth line.  Just over 3 minutes in, Michal Rozsival carries the puck in the offensive zone and fires it on net.  Viktor Stalberg pushes the puck under Khabby and celebrates, but the goal light does not illuminate.  After a short phone call to Toronto it was deemed a good goal and the Hawks have tied it at 2 on Stalberg’s 5th of the year.

Stalberg comes right back after the faceoff.  These Hawks were relentless trying to maintain their perfect (regulation hockey) streak.  Carcillo and Hossa break in and Hossa seems to break a part of Khabby’s helmet with a high shot.

Johnny Oduya breaks the stick of Jordan Eberle with a slash and the Oilers have a chance to win it.  Yakupov sat in the same spot for his first goal and his shot hits the goal post allowing the Hawks to kill off the man advantage.  Would you believe Carcillo gets another chance at the net?  He was a man possessed tonight.  Emery and the Hawks extend the streak to 19 games gaining at least 1 point as this games heads to over time.

The only 3 single point games that the hawks have had this season have all gone to a shootout.  The Hawks were determined to end this early, and they did.

Patrick Sharp screams into the zone and pulls a move similar to Kane’s goal, coming across the crease.  Khabby upsets the puck, but Sharp still gets a shot off.  Hossa gets 2 pokes at it and gets it past Khabby to win the game 3-2 and give the Hawks their 16 victory of the year.

Quick Hits

-Hawks outshot the Oilers 34-19

Johnny Oduya led all Hawks in TOI with 24:53, Niklas Hjalmarsson 23:42, Rozsival 20:03.  Keith only had 16:43.

-Toews won 12 of out 21 face offs. Kruger was also over 50% winning 9 of 13.

-Kane scored his 10th, with Hossa catching up scoring his 9th.

-Sharp records his 400th career point getting an assist on Hossa game winning goal.

Ray Emery wins his 8th of the year and has yet to lose posting an 8-0-0 record.

-The Hawks end their 7-game home stand obtaining 13 out of a possible 14 points.

-Next up it’s a visit to central rival St Louis on Thursday where the Hawks will look to extend their point streak to 20 games.

Brad Vandenberk

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