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Photo Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

GDB 6.0 Wrap Up: End of the Road.

The Edmonton Oilers headed into the Windy City to take on the Chicago Blackhawks in the last stop on their four game roadtrip. Both teams played well, but the Blackhawks snapped the Oilers five game unbeaten streak to start the season with a 3-1 victory.

Starting goalies: Mike Smith and Corey Crawford

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First Period

  • Smith, in the nice, white road kit, makes a sassy little glove save on the first shot of the game.
  • Five minutes into the first period, the Oilers have spent most of the time in the Blackhawks’ end. Lots of pressure to start the game. It’s glorious to see.
  • Leon Draisaitl picks off Olli Maata’s pass at the Oilers’ blueline, turns on the jets, and gets a nice breakaway chance. But his goal-scoring plans are foiled by Crawford. Drats!
  • Jonathan Toews gets his own break around Joel Persson but Smith stops him. Smith isn’t about to let Crawford upstage him.
  • Draisaitl turns up the ice again, and feeds Connor McDavid in the slot, but Crawford bests him again.
  • Connor gets a break! … and misses the net 😐
  • Halfway through the period, and the play’s end-to-end, with each team getting a couple chances, with Riley Sheahan getting a nice chance, but nothing getting past these goalies yet.
  • 5:49 into the period, and the Oilers go on the powerplay. Special teams are life!
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins uses that sneaky little wrister he’s quietly perfected, and lets one go from the right hash-mark, rings it off the crossbar! Finally beats Crawford, but the post bails him out. Pretty rude of them to do that.
  • Andrew Shaw tries to cheat and holds Josh Archibald! Oilers back to the powerplay!
  • The top unit plays nearly the entirety of the PP, but can’t really generate any great chances. 0-2 with the man-advantage.
  • Period ends without a goal scored, but both goalies look pretty sharp. Shots 12-10 for the Oilers.

Second Period

  • Darnell Nurse and James Neal get a 2-on-1 less than two minutes in, but Nurse elects to shoot. Nurse jumping into the play is great, but maybe opt to give the shot to the leading goal-scorer in the NHL…? 😬
  • MARKUS GRANLUND gets a backhand chance in the slot, but Crawford turns it aside.
  • The turncoat Drake Caggiula gets a partial break, but misses the net. History does not favour traitors.
  • Off the face-off in the Oilers’ defensive zone, Patrick Kane rips it low past Mike. Blasted Blackhawks take the lead…
  • Andrew Shaw hits Persson hard behind the Oilers’ net, and Jujhar Khaira jumps in to stand up for Joel and gets a penalty for roughing… Oilers go to the penalty kill. But it’s alright, this is a top-2 PK. Special teams are life.
  • Sheahan feeds Archibald get a 2-on-1, but he puts it over the net…
  • Brandon Saad gets his own chance, but Nurse tracks him down to mess with his chance and Smith stops him.
  • Duncan Keith gets a clean shot in the slot, but Smith flashes the leather. At least one of our goalies can make that save…
  • Nearly every Blackhawk player touches the puck as they move into the Oilers’ zone, but Saad is stopped low glove-side.
  • Right off the faceoff in the defensive zone, Ethan Bear takes a tripping penalty… But faith is strong in the mighty PK.
  • Oilers kill off the Blackhawks’ without any issue. Both team 0-2 on the PP.
  • Saad gets another chance, but Smith has everything covered except the post, so he rings it off of that.
  • Connor works his black magic, and gets an unreal scoring chance after stealing the puck at centre ice, but Crawford knocks the net off just as Connor slips the puck behind him with a slick backhand move. Can only assume Crawford cheated and got away with it. Ref waves off the goal.
  • Period ends, Blackhawks up 1-0. Shots 26-18 for the Blackhawks.

Third Period

  • Connor feeds Draisaitl in the slot, who’s shot get blocked with Zack Kassian standing in the blue paint. Kassian then throws a couple punches but if he chooses to stand there, then he will.
  • Kassian gets a nice shot
  • Matt Benning commits an awful give-away in the Oilers’ slot, but the turncoat Caggiula over-skates it. History never favours traitors.
  • McDavid gives up the puck at the Oilers’ blueline, Smith gets caught trying to come out to play it, and Alexander Nylander gets a bit of crummy goal. 2-0 for the Blackhawks
  • Khaira takes a penalty immediately on the next play. But no worries, because this is the Oilers mighty PK we’re talking about.
  • Special teams are life. Blackhawks 0-3 on the PP.
  • This Crawford guy is really starting to get on my nerves; Kassian gets another fantastic chance in the slot from a McDavid pass, but Crawford stops him again.
  • Dylan Strome gets a great chance in the slot, but Smith absolutely robs him.
  • Fists fly after Calvin De Haan tries to lay a finger on McDavid. Not today, Junior!
  • After the melee, the teams play 4-on-4, but nothing much happens. Bear gets a decent shot off, but then breaks up a long pass to Kane.
  • Dominik Kubalik slashes and goes to the bench. Every time they’ve said his name tonight, it got me thinking about Ales Kotalik. Remember him?
  • THE REAL STEAL! James Neal takes a nice cross-crease pass from Nuge to roof it on the PP. Special teams are life. 2-1 Blackhawks with just over two minutes left.
  •  Smith gets pulled, and the Oilers very really get anything going. Nuge makes a great save, but the puck sits in the crease and Saad pokes it home. 3-1 Blackhawks.
  • Ugh. Oilers drop their first of the season to go 5-1-0.

SCORING SUMMARY

1ST PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
No Scoring

2ND PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
04:11 Chicago Patrick Kane (2) ASST: Dylan Strome (2) 0-1

3RD PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
06:20 Chicago Alexander Nylander (2) ASST: Ryan Carpenter (2) 0-2
17:49 Edmonton PPG – James Neal (8) ASST: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (4), Leon Draisaitl (8) 1-2
19:27 Chicago EN – Brandon Saad (2) ASST: David Kampf (1), Dylan Strome (3) 1-3

PENALTY SUMMARY

1ST PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS
14:11 Chicago Dominik Kubalik – High-sticking – 2 minutes
16:52 Chicago Andrew Shaw – Holding – 2 minutes

2ND PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS
05:12 Edmonton Jujhar Khaira – Roughing – 2 minutes
11:05 Edmonton Ethan Bear – Tripping – 2 minutes

3RD PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS
06:32 Edmonton Jujhar Khaira – Holding – 2 minutes
14:23 Edmonton Darnell Nurse – Roughing – 2 minutes
14:23 Chicago Calvin de Haan – Roughing – 2 minutes
16:58 Chicago Dominik Kubalik – Slashing – 2 minutes

Final Thought

The Oilers came out flying in the first period, and kept the pace up even as the Blackhawks started to pick it up. The chances were back and forth, and both goalies kept their teams in it with some solid saves. The Oilers lost a but of a step in the second period, while the Blackhawks didn’t and took advantage, though the Oilers had a handful of chances and killed off both penalties they took. Mike Smith had one get past him, but was great otherwise. They played well in third, but just couldn’t convert their chances. It always sucks to lose, but the played well on the last game of a roadtrip. The one thing that is very clear, is this version of the Oilers plays with a structure and poise that always has them in position to break up a play or jump on a loose puck. 5v5 scoring has to catch up with the powerplay scoring, especially from the bottom six (still). But, the team looks good.

They home to take on the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday at 7:30pm MST.