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Oilers 8, Blackhawks 4: Crawford gets hook as Edmonton pulls away in third

Taylor Hall Jonathan Toews

Taylor Hall, Jonathan Toews

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Updated: March 4, 2012 8:16AM

EDMONTON, Alberta — When you’re a team with the talent and depth of the Blackhawks, looking at the standings and finding yourself in fourth place never is a comfortable feeling.

But the feeling the Hawks were left with after another shellacking in Rexall Place at the hands of the Edmonton Oilers — an 8-4 loss Thursday that echoed the 9-2 beatdown they suffered in late November — was decidedly worse.

“Forget about payback, forget about all that stuff,” Jonathan Toews said afterward. “We just didn’t do the right things at all again. It was an easy game for their top players, we let them do whatever they wanted — tap in goals, left and right. We hung our goaltenders out to dry.”

Edmonton center Sam Gagner, who has been the subject of trade speculation about a possible move to the Hawks, had four goals and four assists to tie Wayne Gretzky and Paul Coffee for the Edmonton franchise record with eight points in one game.

Taylor Hall, Ryan Whitney, Jordan Eberle and Andy Sutton all had two points for Oilers, who scored 24 goals in four games against the Hawks — including 17 in two games in Edmonton.

“It comes down to us and the attitude we came in with,” Toews said. “We all were thinking about scoring goals and we’re not worried about our own end. We’re a smart, good defensive team and if we ­commit ourselves to doing that we’re going to get some chances and keep their dangerous players away from our net.”

Corey Crawford was pulled from goal four minutes into the third after giving up his fifth goal on 28 shots.

“I don’t know what happened,” Crawford said. “It’s definitely frustrating. Everyone here is pissed off. It’s definitely not the way we usually play. Our guys deserved better from me. It’s just disappointing.”

It all began so positively for the Hawks, who took a 2-0 goal lead on Patrick Sharp’s first goal since he broke a bone in his left wrist. But it quickly unraveled.

“We did some good things until they scored the first goal and we got out of what we wanted to do,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “They like to score, they like to go off the rush, they like the attack and we can’t play that way. We’ve got to be more patient. They play run-and-gun and they were better at it than us by a long margin.”

Sharp added a short-handed goal in the second period. Jamal Mayers and Dave Bolland also scored.

There was no official word on whom Quenneville would start in goal Friday. But he said he was leaning a certain way.

“We haven’t let [the goalies] know yet, but we’ve got an idea,” Quenneville said.

Andrew Brunette left the game with an undisclosed upper-body injury. The Hawks have lost four in a row for the second time in a month.

“There’s not much to say about our game other than that it was embarrassing,” Toews said.

“If it was 4-3, if we had given up one goal instead of five in the third period, we still didn’t play well enough. I don’t know what to say, nothing really changed since the last time.” 

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