Blackhawks top Oilers 4–1 behind Fleury’s 40 saves


The Chicago Blackhawks came into Wednesday night’s contest with the Edmonton Oilers having lost six of their last seven games, and the Oilers hosting the Blackhawks having won five of their last six games. Marc-Andre Fleury started his 33rd game of the season while Blackhawks’ fan favorite Mike Smith started in net for the Oilers.

Early in the first period, Chicago was awarded a power play and could not get a better start when forward Alex DeBrincat scored his 11th goal on the power play, 27th overall, when Patrick Kane found the Michigan native for the early 1–0 lead with a nice no-look pass across the center of the ice.

One minute later, forward Brandon Hagel scored to give the 2–0 lead when Hagel beat Smith blocker side. DeBrincat did an excellent job of drawing a defender to him and found a streaking Hagel on a nice center lane drive by Caleb Jones. Watching Smith give up two goals within the first three minutes of the game is always fun.

Chicago looked very sloppy to start the second period and let the Oilers cut the lead in half when Leon Draisaitl scored his 33rd goal of the season. Fleury made several excellent saves, some in desperation, but Draistil’s power play goal was just a matter of time.

Oilers’ forward Evander Kane was sent off at with 11:28 left in the second period after boarding Hagel in the Oilers’ zone. At this point in the middle frame, Chicago had been outshot 12–0 since intermission. To say the Blackhawks were scrambling in their own zone and creating zero offense would have been an understatement.

Chicago was lucky to walk out of the period with the one-goal lead. If the period had to be described, it was methodical and boring for the Blackhawks.

Dylan Strome scored the second power play goal of the season at the 1:08 mark of the third period when he beat Smith for the Chicago 3–1 lead. The goal was Strome’s eighth goal this season. A few minutes later, Kirby Dach found the back of the net for his seventh goal this season. Chicago claimed the game 4–1 despite being outshot 37–22.


Fleury was fantastic again tonight. When his game is on, he can be the huge Band-aid this leaky defense needs.

DeBrincat continues to lead the way with his fire power on offense. Blackhawks fans know what Kane has brought in his career, but we are starting to see that DeBrincat is the face of this franchise moving forward.

Chicago slept-walked for the middle frame and still came away with a three-goal victory. Hockey is a crazy game sometimes, but overall, the away team was forcing the issue in the first and last periods.

Edmonton is nothing without Draisaitl and Connor McDavid. Nothing.

Watching Mike Smith give up goals never gets old.

The Blackhawks return to action Saturday when they travel to face the St. Louis Blues for a 7 p.m. CST puck drop.

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