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Blackhawks Score Two Late Goals In Final Minutes to Edge Oilers

Connor Murphy Chicago Blackhawks
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Game 3 of the Edmonton Oilers versus Chicago Blackhawks was a much different game than their first two in the series. Closing down the neutral zone and playing a tighter, chippier game in all areas, the game came down to the final minutes and two late goals by the Blackhawks that sealed the Oilers fate in a game many fans will say was controlled too much by the officials.

Game Notes:

What seemed like a much tighter game defensively started to open up around the midway point of the first period. The Oilers registered no shots for a good chunk of the first frame but after Chicago found the scoreboard off a bouncing point shot from Olli Maatta, Leon Draisaitl scored seconds later to even up the score. With six minutes left in the first, the Oilers had taken over the shot lead and were starting to gain momentum.

Two penalty calls against Edmonton in the final minutes of the first put the Oilers down two men. With just seconds left in the first to get the Oilers safely into the second period only down one man, a bouncing puck went off the skates of Jonathan Toews and past goaltender Mikko Koskinen. The Blackhawks entered the second up 2-1 and with another power play.

The Oilers killed off the first penalty and evened the score as Draisaitl — his third of the series — pounced on a rebound but the parade to the penalty box continued for Edmonton.

Edmonton’s trips to the box continued but they finally got a chance of their own. Neither team was able to capitalize. With 8:55 left in the second, it was Edmonton with a 15-13 edge in shots. Chicago was 1 for 5 on the power play and the Oilers 0 for 2.

An awkward hit into the boards took Oilers forward Tyler Ennis out of the game with what looked to be a serious leg injury. That led to a little animosity between the two teams and double minors, plus an extra two minutes to Chicago, giving the Oilers a power play. The Oilers were able to bury one in the final seconds as McDavid put home his fifth goal of the series to give Edmonton a 3-2 lead heading into the third period.

The Oilers were able to hold their lead into the final minutes of the game, but a goal at the 14:13 mark by Matthew Highmore (his first playoff goal) and another in with 1:16 left off of Ethan Bear’s stick sealed the Oilers fate. Head coach Dave Tippett said of the deflection: “Two deflections go in. One we didn’t make a play off the wall and the second one we lose a draw and it goes off Bearsy’s stick. Sometimes deflections go wide sometimes they go in.”

McDavid had a goal and Draisaitl two goals and an assist in the loss. Zack Kassian played 5:51 in just 8 shifts and Andreas Athanasiou not much more.

Overall Thoughts:

The Oilers took way too many penalties — some that were legit and undisciplined, others that weren’t infractions — and couldn’t pull out a strong third period to take it home like they did in Game 2. There were some bad bounces that hurt Edmonton but the Blackhawks kept filtering pucks to the net and good things happened. Chicago also missed a few golden opportunities which could have created a more lopsided score in the Blackawks favor.

Draisaitl said after the game that the multiple trips to the penalty box was difficult and while the Oilers have a great penalty kill, it’s taxing on the killers and takes the team out of their rhythm. He also said that isn’t why the Oilers lost the game

Draisaitl had easily his best game of the series and the Oilers will have to figure out a way to get this game back, possibly without the services of Tyler Ennis and Adam Larsson.

Oilers Lose Game 3

Pre-Game Notes:

While Leon Draisaitl had no shots and no points in Game 2, on the back of Connor McDavid’s hat trick (three goals on three shots), the Edmonton Oilers were able to work their way out of an early hole and tie their series with the Chicago Blackhawks at 1-1. Edmonton outshot the Blackhawks 36-25 and out-hit the Hawks 27-10.

Now, with the series tied, the final game on Wednesday could prove key to one team moving on in the series. Edmonton is still the favorite but Chicago has given them all they can handle. The Oilers will need to shore things up defensively, while the Blackhawks will need to try and calm McDavid and not let Draisaitl get going offensively.

Final Score

BLACKHAWKS

1-1-0

OILERS

1-1-0

4

3

 

Scoring Summary:

Period 1

Goal

Assists

9:14  Olli Maatta (2) Patrick Kane, Matthew Highmore
9:42 – Leon Draisaitl (2) Tyler Ennis, Kailer Yamamoto
19:55 – Jonathan Toews (3) (PP) Kirby Dach, Alex DeBrincat

Period 2

Goal

Assists

4:07 – Leon Draisaitl (3) Matt Benning
19:52 – Connor McDavid (5) (PP) Leon Draisaitl

Period 3

Goal

Assists

14:13 – Matthew Highmore (1) Slater Koekkeok, Olli Maatta
18:44 – Connor Murphy (1) Duncan Keith, Ryan Carpenter

 

Game Highlights:

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