EDMONTON—The Blackhawks can say they earned their week off.Richard Panik scored twice and set up another goal and the Blackhawks beat the Edmonton Oilers 5-1 on Saturday night for their fifth straight win.Patrick Kane had a goal and two assists and Trevor van Riemsdyk and Artem Anisimov also scored for the Blackhawks, who had lost three in a row before their recent run.
”It’s tough to win five games in a row on the road,” Joel Quenneville said. ”Our guys played a lot of hockey and our guys that went to the All-Star Game, they didn’t get much of a break as well. Hopefully everybody gets away and comes back refreshed and tries to recapture this feeling we have right now.”
Patrick Maroon scored for the Oilers, who have lost four of five.
”It was just mistakes that shouldn’t happen anymore at this point of the year,” Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl said. ”It was a frustrating loss for us.”
The Oilers were coming off of their own five-day break, but coach Todd McLellan didn’t see that as an excuse for their play.
”We didn’t have a lot of emotion,” he said. ”There wasn’t a single Blackhawk who was mad at an Oiler all night until the last two minutes. I was disappointed in the loss, the power play, the penalty kill but mostly in the emotional level of our team.”
Scott Darling made 30 saves. Cam Talbot started in goal for Edmonton and allowed four goals on 20 shots before being relieved by Laurent Brossoit.Edmonton started the scoring 4:01 into the opening period when Connor McDavid deftly stole a puck from defender Niklas Hjalmarsson and sent a backhand pass in front to Maroon, who beat Darling for his 19th goal of the season.The Blackhawks scored less than two minutes later when Panik walked in from the point to take a pass and blasted a shot past Talbot.The Blackhawks surged ahead midway through the first with a power-play goal as Kane was able to bank a shot off Talbot’s skate from behind the net during a scramble in front for his 19th of the year.The Hawks made it 3-1 before the nine-minute mark of the second period when Edmonton’s Oscar Klefbom had a chance to clear but instead put it right on van Riemsdyk’s stick, and he beat Talbot high to the glove side.The Hawks scored another power-play goal late in the second period, when Panik swatted in a rebound during another scramble for his 14th of the season.Brossoit came in to replace Talbot for the third.Anisimov battled hard in front of the net to add another goal, his 20th, with four minutes left in the third.
”It seemed like we got better and better over the last five games and it’s more of the team game that we’re going to need going forward,” Duncan Keith said. ”I think we’re starting to show some of our potential.”
NOTES—The Oilers were returning from their five-day break, while it was the last game for the Blackhawks before starting theirs. … It was the second of three meetings between the two teams this season. The Oilers won the previous game at home on Nov. 21, when Talbot recorded a shutout in a 5-0 victory….The Blackhawks are off until Feb. 18, when they host the same Oilers.