Along the boards: Blackhawks drop fourth in a row, defeated by Oilers 5-3

  

After losing to the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday, the Blackhawks looked to get back on track against the McDavid-less Edmonton Oilers.

This morning, head coach Jeremy Colliton announced that Dylan Strome would be a healthy scratch. Robin Lehner got the start in net.

The Oilers got an early lead in the game. Zack Kassian‘s original shot was blocked by Alex DeBrincat, went off the pad of Lehner, and bounced right to Riley Sheahan for an easy tap-in goal.

About four minutes later, Patrick Kane streaked into the zone and patiently waited for Brandon Saad to follow him in. Saad beat Kassian to the net, and Kane sent a cross-crease pass right to the stick of the winger to tie the game at one goal apiece.

After taking a penalty just over five minutes into the first period, the penalty kill went to work. Olli Maatta battled for the puck along the boards in the Oilers’ offensive zone and sent it to Jonathan Toews. He passed to Ryan Carpenter on the blue line, who then slipped it across the ice to the captain for a shorthanded goal and a 2-1 lead.

Then, after a questionable penalty call on Jonathan Toews for “tripping,” the Kailer Yamamoto tied it back up on Edmonton’s power play when Chicago failed to clear the zone.

Early into the second period, the Blackhawks found themselves on a rush down the ice. Kane beat Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and slipped a pass to a yawning Adam Boqvist, who directed it right by Mike Smith to give the Blackhawks a 3-2 lead.

Not even two minutes later, the Oilers tied it up yet again. The original shot by Nugent-Hopkins hit Lehner’s pad, but Yamamoto found the loose puck right and deposited it into the net for his second of the game. That’s a puck your goalie just has to stop, but no defensive coverage in front of him didn’t help either.

The Oilers then went to the power play on another questionable call, and they capitalized. Smith sent a pass all the way down to Nugent-Hopkins. Leon Draisaitl then threw it on net before Nugent-Hopkins converted on the man advantage to give Edmonton a 4-3 lead.

As the game continued, the Blackhawks had a surplus of chances. The power play started off awful, but eventually got better the more time they received on the advantage. Chicago put six shots on net during their third power play of the game.

Despite dominating the third period in shot attempts (28-6), shots on goal (18-5), scoring chances (12-3), and high-danger chances (6-1), the Blackhawks couldn’t put the puck in the back of the net again to tie it up. Draisaitl scored the empty-netter and the Oilers handed Chicago their fourth-straight loss.

Along the Boards

For the third game in a row, questionable calls were made. This “trip” that the officials called on Jonathan Toews was nothing of sorts. Instead, the Edmonton player fell right over the linesman’s skate, but the crew still deemed it a penalty. So instead of the call being overturned by the linesman, the Oilers go on the advantage and tie the game.

They made another bad call in the second period, dinging Zack Smith for slashing (rightly so) but not getting Gaetan Haas for holding the stick, which is what clearly happened before Smith slashed them. What should’ve been coincidental minors ended up being a power play for Edmonton, and they scored the game-winning goal.

Officiating gets worse and worse every night.

This isn’t about Kane having two ridiculous assists tonight, which he did, but more about Boqvist scoring the 3-2 goal. I loved watching him join the rush with Kane on this play. We all know he’s offensively talented, and that shows when he’s on the power play. But plays like this are where he can make a difference on the offense, because he’s not afraid to act as the fourth forward at times.

And while that sometimes can end up being a bad thing if he’s behind a rush the other way, Boqvist has been steadily improving defensively every night. He’s a joy to watch, and much like Kirby Dach, it’s awesome to see him grow. I think he’s going to turn into a much better defenseman than we anticipated if he can continue to up his defensive game.

Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester collapsed on the bench during the first period of their game against the Anaheim Ducks tonight. He was transported to the hospital and is alert. The Blues and Ducks postponed the game to a later date due to the medical emergency. All of us here at The-Rink are sending thoughts to Bouwmeester, his family, and the St. Louis Blues organization. We wish him the best in his recovery.

The Blackhawks will continue their western Canadian road trip tomorrow when they take on the Vancouver Canucks. Daniel and Henrik Sedin will have their jerseys retired in a pre-game ceremony. Puck drop is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. CST. 

Center Ice Forums Along the boards: Blackhawks drop fourth in a row, defeated by Oilers 5-3

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