Blackhawks flip the script on ‘dangerous’ Oilers in 5-1 rout
BY MARK LAZERUS Staff Reporter November 25, 2013 11:04PM
Updated: November 26, 2013 11:34AM
EDMONTON, Alberta — The Blackhawks stuck to the script before Monday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers. Joel Quenneville said it was “scary” to come to Rexall Place, the Hawks’ own personal house of horrors. Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane talked up the Oilers’ elite speed and skill. Brandon Saad termed them “dangerous.”
Well the next time these teams meet, it might be time for a new storyline.
The Hawks scored the first four goals, Andrew Shaw had two goals and an assist, and Corey Crawford made 24 saves in a 5-1 rout of the Oilers on Monday night. It was the Hawks’ third straight win after dropping the opener of the seven-game circus trip. It was also their fourth win in five tries against Edmonton in 2013, as the idea of the Oilers’ vexing mastery of the Hawks and the memories of the two massacres at Rexall in 2011-12 continue to fade away.
“I think we had that in the back of our minds, we got beat those two games here a couple years ago,” said Crawford, who appeared in his 15th straight game. “I think that’s long gone now.”
The Hawks even chased Devan Dubnyk — the NHL’s reigning third star of the week after allowing a total of one goal in two victories — early in the second period, forcing Oilers coach Dallas Eakins to give Ilya Bryzgalov his first game time of the season.
One storyline that did continue was the subtle but never-ending competition between Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. Toews gave the Hawks a 1-0 lead with a shorthanded goal at 5:14 of the first, tying Kane for the team lead in goals with 12.
Less than three minutes later, Kane took the lead right back with a power-play goal. It extended Kane’s point streak to a career-high-tying 11 games (six goals, nine assists). It also was the fifth time in 2013 — and third time this month — that Toews tied Kane, only to see Kane answer with a goal of his own in the same period.
“It was a great start,” Quenneville said. “Special teams in the first period really put us in a good spot. But I thought across the board, we did what we were looking to do tonight. Real solid game.”
Duncan Keith had the secondary assist on both goals, pushing his total to 19 in 25 games, in his second straight stellar performance. Brandon Saad had a pair of assists, as well.
The Hawks made it 3-0 1:28 into the second period when Johnny Oduya’s shot from the point was put in the Oilers net by Edmonton’s Corey Potter. Shaw pushed the lead to 4-0 — and sent Dubnyk to the bench — when he buried a pretty pass from Jeremy Morin on a two-on-one.
Justin Schultz’s blast beat Crawford — who had his second strong game in a row — at 8:08 of the second to get the Oilers on the board, but that was all they got. Shaw — after having a goal disallowed because he kicked it in — beat Bryzgalov with less than two minutes in the game for the final margin.
Shaw now has seven goals on the season, as he continues to camp out on the opponent’s doorstep.
“I eat there, I do everything there,” Shaw joked.
The Oilers might still give the Hawks fits at times, playing that risky, end-to-end style that suits the Hawks’ talent but not their system. But they’ve lost their hold on the Hawks, in their heads and on the scoreboard.
“We’ve got to keep going into the [Edmonton] games with that mind-set,” Shaw said. “They’re a good team, they’re dangerous, they like to play on the rush. But if we keep sticking to our guys, we should be fine.”