Late Lapses Cost Blackhawks in 5-2 Loss to Oilers

Nail Yakupov's late goal seals the Hawks' fate as they fall on the road

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The Chicago Blackhawks came into Edmonton looking to continue their winning streak against the Oilers, but the home team had other ideas as they blew out the Hawks by a score of 5-2 on Friday night.

Brandon Saad did score twice for the Blackhawks, but that was about the only positive that could be gleaned from the game as Chicago was outplayed on both ends of the ice.

The game started out with some good jump by Edmonton, as their top line got several scoring chances in the opening minute of the contest. The Hawks did start to turn the tide a bit when Brad Richards received a feed from Patrick Kane on the rush, but Ben Scrivens was there to make the save and keep the game scoreless.

Despite that setback, the Blackhawks rebounded nicely and were able to put the first goal on the board. Jonathan Toews made a good play to split the defense and drive into the zone, and he fired a low, hard shot on Scrivens. The goaltender kicked out the puck on the save, and Saad was able to get his stick blade on it and muscle it into the net to give Chicago a 1-0 lead.

Edmonton came roaring back shortly after the goal and scored one of their own to tie things up. With Nail Yakupov and Derek Roy both hammering away at a loose puck in the crease, Antti Raanta eventually lost it from underneath his pads and Benoit Pouliot was able to backhand a shot past the goaltender to tie things up at 1-1.

The Oilers looked to gain more momentum with David Rundblad in the penalty box later in the period, and they were able to do exactly that. Teddy Purcell came into the offensive zone with a head of steam, and he feathered a perfect pass to the front of the net. There it was Roy who did the rest, one-timing a shot past Raanta to give Edmonton a 2-1 lead.

Late in the first period the Blackhawks got a power play, but they weren’t able to convert as it carried over into the second period. Their first line continued its hot play however when the teams were back at full strength, as Saad scored his second goal of the game off a Marian Hossa rebound to tie things up at 2-2.

Just about a minute later, the Oilers scored and took the lead right back. Yakupov made a nice play on the rush to fire a high shot at Raanta, and when the Hawks’ goaltender couldn’t corral the rebound, Alex Petry came in and squeezed home a shot between Raanta and the near post to make it a 3-2 game.

Over the final half of the second period, the Blackhawks got a few more chances, including a power play, but they weren’t able to convert. Teuvo Teravainen found two different teammates during that stretch, but Andrew Shaw couldn’t get the puck over the goal line on his chance and Patrick Sharp ended up whiffing on his one-timer opportunity, and Edmonton carried a one-goal lead into the third period.

The early portion of the third period was dominated by the Blackhawks, but a penalty to Bryan Bickell helped to tamp down some of the momentum. Both teams traded opportunities as time wore on, but both goaltenders were up to the task as Scrivens robbed a shot by Hossa and Raanta made a splendid short-side save on a shot from Rob Klinkhammer.

Late in the period however, it was the Blackhawks’ defense that ultimately did the team in. With Duncan Keith sprawled to the ice and Brent Seabrook pinched in deep, the Oilers got a 2-on-0 breakaway, and Yakupov finished it off with a backhanded wrist shot that tucked just underneath the crossbar to make it a 4-2 game.

Taylor Hall scored the empty netter a few moments later off a turnover from Rundblad, and the Oilers grabbed a victory from the Blackhawks for the first time in their last six tries.

The Blackhawks will head back to Chicago for the weekend, where they will take on the Minnesota Wild on Sunday night at the United Center.

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