The Chicago Blackhawks came into Rogers Place having won four of their last five games, all on the road, and again got the job done, defeating the Oilers 5-1. The Oilers struck first at 4:01 of the first period, when Connor McDavid made a fine defensive play in the offensive zone and proceeded to dish a perfect pass to Patrick Maroon who put the puck in the net behind goaltender Scott Darling. The Blackhawks took complete control of the game afterwards, scoring twice in the 1st (Panik, Kane), twice in the 2nd (van Riemsdyk, Panik), and once more in the final period (Anisimov). Another complete team-win for the Blackhawks (35-17-5), who have their league-mandated bye week next and do not play until next Saturday night when they host Edmonton (29-19-8).
Scott Darling once again provided a stellar effort in net, stopping 30 of 31 shots. He has been exceptional when called upon all season long, a luxury many teams do not have available to them.
Edmonton’s Cam Talbot saved 16 of 20 shots faced through two periods, and was given the bench for the 3rd period. Backup goalie Laurent Brossoit made four saves on five shots in the 3rd period.
Richard Panik was as solid as any player on the ice for Chicago, scoring twice and adding an assist. Patrick Kane had a goal as well as two assists. Plenty of Blackhawks players contributed on the offensive end tonight, which has been the common theme of the current five-game win streak.
The Hawks pull within three points of Minnesota, who leads the Central division with 78 points and has three games in-hand compared to Chicago.
Edmonton currently sits in the final playoff spot of the Pacific, 6 points in front of Los Angeles.
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