Oilers score four first period goals to defeat Blackhawks

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Coaching changes mid-season often spawn early successes because the new sheriff in town has a different voice, as well as different ideas, so it was no surprise that the Chicago Blackhawks had their kit ready and four back-to-back wins under Derek King for their road trip to Rogers Place on Saturday night.

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As Fort Saskatchewan pride Kirby Dach put it so succinctly before the game, “It’s kind of a fire under our butt. Ass is an old man’s word, the kind his dad Dale might use, not the one a 20-year-old usually says, but, hey, you see the picture.

And so it was that Dach, center of the Hawks’ front row with the Hall of Fame awaiting Patrick Kane and Connor McDavid’s former junior teammate (Erie) Alex DeBrincat, came to town to see their three-time winner. of the Duncan Keith Cup in an Oiler jersey. Strange sight, indeed… but the Oilers burned the Hawks early in a 5-2 win.

They scored four times in their first 13 shots in the first period against Kevin Lankinen – one on the power play (five on three) from Tyson Barrie, one on the shorthand from Kailer Yamamoto and two even down from McDavid, who extended his 17-game point streak since the start of the season (third longest in team history) and Ryan McLeod.

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Then, early in the second period, they didn’t score but ran all four lines on the Hawks’ side, playing on the sidelines with ex-Oiler Caleb Jones for a 4:50 quarter-defense with his partner Connor Murphy – the two almost needing stretchers to get off when they finally got a whistle. The only Oiler who didn’t change during that shift (no Oilers shooting, no penalties) was starting goaltender Stuart Skinner.

Lankinen didn’t have a prayer over McDavid (rebound), Barrie (off a tee 25 feet from a Draisaitl pass) or McLeod’s deke alone. Maybe he could have saved Yamamoto’s shot after a terrible gift from Seth Jones because it was from a distance. But the Hawks were excruciating defensively in the first, with Philip Broberg assisting on McLeod’s easy goal in his NHL debut, and the Oilers hanging on to the puck for nearly five minutes in the second.

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On the other end, Skinner looked as calm and composed as he did in his shootout victory over Winnipeg 2-1, giving up one deflection and another during a two-on-none break with Philipp Kurashev after the end of a power play for the Oilers – DeBrincat’s 10th and 11th and 43rd in 69 games over the past two seasons.

He got another start in Dallas on Tuesday.

“Skinner was quick at first… it was good for him to jump right in there. He had a grade A chance against him in the first quarter (Patrick Kane) and made the save, ”Tippett said.

“It was a game where we immediately put him back on the game. A lot of emotion in the last game against Winnipeg. Lots of accolades, a great game against a very good team. But a young player also has to do it the following night. This is what goalkeepers who have been playing for a long time do. He was very solid.

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He’s had plenty of help as Keith and his other teammates went comfortably to 13-4 while the Hawks are now 5-10-2. Keith, who played 1,192 games for the Hawks before his trade here this summer for Jones, played 18 minutes in the first two periods. He got the ice time (penalty-kill, a bit of power play) Darnell Nurse would normally, but Nurse broke a bone in her finger in the last game and is out for two to three weeks or maybe eight games.

On Saturday morning, Draisaitl, who scored the last goal of the game in a shorthanded breakaway (18th of the season), spoke about what Keith might think when he saw his old jersey and a lot of old friends. He joked that he hoped Keith wouldn’t give Kane a pass. Keith may have gotten his throat tight seeing some old Cup buddies, but he’s played more than any player on both sides.

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“Obviously a little weird playing for the old team, wearing that jersey for a long time and having great memories with this team and this organization, especially with Kane and (Jonathan) Toews,” said Keith. “I think it was good to eliminate this one a bit, in some ways. Just another page forward here.

Draisaitl didn’t have to worry about Keith’s over-the-top moments. Seth Jones dropped one against Yamamoto as the Hawks were on the power play, while Draisaitl drew in the defensive zone and then left the ice. It was only 2-0 at the time, but the first shortie was the dagger.

this and that : McDavid, who had shot only six minor games in the first 16 games, received three penalties, including two by Hawks captain Jonathan Toews… Oilers defenseman Slater Koekkoek, absent for three to four weeks, wears a boot on the foot, maybe a sprain… Oilers center Derek Ryan missed his second straight game (with a header) after being touched by Winnipeg’s Mark Scheifele this week. He will embark on the road trip to Dallas, Arizona and Vegas, which begins with consecutive games on Tuesday and Wednesday… Lankinen broke a blade on a McDavid shot from behind the net which bounced off him as he gripped the post… Oilers greeted Jujhar Khaira with a welcome video in the first half and he received a nice hand from the crowd… Referee Dean Morton fell hard in the first half with no one around him… The Oilers brought in William Lageson from Bakersfield but he sat down as seventh defenseman… Ian Mitchell of Calahoo didn’t get a chance to play in front of his parents on Saturday. The Hawks defenseman is back at Rockford in the AHL, in their best pair… Hawks best prospect, forward Lukas Reichel, lights him up (six goals in 10 AHL games) after being their first draft round in 2020, will play for Germany in Canada’s group pool at the world junior championships over Christmas at Rogers Place… Swedish winger Tim Soderlund, who came from Chicago with Keith to complement the deal so that the Hawks could cancel a contract with their up to 50 players in the NHL roster, did not participate in any Oilers exposure, and also only played one game at Bakersfield.

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