Crawford Makes 46 Saves as Blackhawks Sneak Past Oilers

Vermette scores shootout winner as Hawks win second straight game

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The Chicago Blackhawks struggled through much of their game Friday against the Edmonton Oilers, but a late goal from Brent Seabrook and a shootout tally from Antoine Vermette helped Corey Crawford seal a 2-1 win.

Derek Roy scored the lone goal of the game for the Oilers, but it wasn’t enough as Edmonton saw their lost season continue. Ben Scrivens made 38 saves for Edmonton in the game.

The game started out well for the Oilers as they put a ton of early pressure on Crawford, but Nail Yakupov and Roy were both denied on chances in close. The Blackhawks responded well to the early push as Marian Hossa and Andrew Shaw both had great chances, but Scrivens stopped both. Marcus Kruger finished off the rally by firing a shot toward the net, but it sailed just over the crossbar as the game remained scoreless.

The scoring chances continued to mount for the Blackhawks as Vermette and Hossa each had good chances in the middle stages of the period, but neither was converted. Those failures came back to bite the Blackhawks with about four and a half minutes to go in the frame as Roy scored after a bad turnover by Duncan Keith. Yakupov stripped the puck in the corner from the Hawks’ defenseman, and his pass found Roy as he put the Oilers ahead.

Vermette did have a last second chance for the Blackhawks, but it slid just wide as the Oilers held a 1-0 lead on the scoreboard and racked up a total of 18 shots in the period.

The Blackhawks failed to convert on an early power play to open the second period, but Chicago continued piling up scoring chances. Patrick Sharp and Hossa had back-to-back chances from in close, and David Rundblad had a good look of his own from the slot, but Scrivens continued to stand on his head in the crease. Finally, Sharp had a tremendous chance on a breakaway, but he was stopped yet again as Edmonton stayed in front.

The final minutes of the period saw a couple more Chicago chances fall by the wayside, as a Jonathan Toews wraparound attempt was stopped and Kris Versteeg missed a shot on a wide open net, leaving Edmonton in front by a goal after two periods of play.

The third period saw both teams get some quality scoring chances, with Oscar Klefbom putting a shot off the crossbar for the Oilers and Vermette barely missing a shot on net at the other end. Brandon Saad also had a good opportunity after that, but Scrivens made another key save.

Finally, with about six minutes remaining in regulation, the Blackhawks were able to score and tie things up. With two Oilers players clogging the slot and blocking Scrivens’ line of vision, Seabrook sent a low, hard slap shot in toward the far post of the net. Scrivens never saw the puck coming, and it found the back of the cage to make it a 1-1 game.

That goal ultimately forced overtime, and neither team was able to score in the extra stanza. After five consecutive saves to start the shootout, Vermette came down the slot and made a nifty backhanded move to shovel a shot between Scrivens’ leg pads, and the Blackhawks took home the critical second point as they try to stay ahead of the Minnesota Wild for third place in the Central Division.

The Blackhawks will look to keep their winning ways going on Sunday night when they welcome their Original Six rival New York Rangers to the United Center.

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