Blackhawks tighten up and down Oilers 5-1

Blackhawks tighten up and down Oilers 5-1

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

For the Edmonton Oilers the night started off poorly and got worse. When the horn sounded it wasn't a second too soon for the home team as the Blackhawks dismissed the Oilers 5-1.

Joel Quenneville had his troops dialed in to think defense first. When the Hawks stick to that rule they usually are able to generate scoring chances. For much of the game the Blackhawks looked like they were playing with a man advantage as Edmonton couldn't create much offense. The Oilers often pose more of a problem than they should for Chicago. Not so on Monday night as they were overmatched from the opening faceoff until time ran out.

There must have been a plan in mind when Edmonton had five forwards out on the ice for a power play early in a scoreless game. Elite players can smell a mistake about to happen and Jonathan Toews did just that. The Oilers Nail Yakupov appeared to be out of position and then turned over the puck. Toews pounced on it and made no mistake as he scored a beautiful breakaway goal.

Patrick Kane closed out the opening period scoring by putting in a rebound for a power play goal. In the second period Johnny Oduya scored after his shot deflected off an Oiler player. Andrew Shaw added a marker for the Hawks second goal of the middle frame. Jeremy Morin had a nice assist on the Shaw tally. Shaw then capped off the scoring by tipping in a Nick Leddy shot late in the third period.

Shaw played well and was always around the puck. Losing seven out of eight faceoffs is an issue. Unfortunately taking faceoffs is a sore point for Shaw as he often struggles at the dot. So far Shaw hasn't shown any improvement in that area unlike Marcus Kruger.

Duncan Keith picked up two more assists as did Brandon Saad. Both are playing great hockey. Saad is so strong on the puck for a 21 year old . It's scary for opponents to consider how much stronger Saad will be in two or three years.

The Blackhawks will travel to Calgary for a Wednesday night affair.

Joel Quenneville sort of smirked when asked if Antti Raanta would get the start versus the Flames. This could be the time to give Corey Crawford an overdue rest. Quenneville knows his squad should be focused as Calgary defeated the Hawks in overtime a few weeks ago at the United Center.

Al's Shots

Marian Hossa has missed the last couple of games due to a family situation in Chicago. Hossa is set to rejoin the team in Calgary.

Michal Handzus was back in action after being out for a month and played 12:57. Handzus also won 5 of 9 faceoffs.

It looks like the choice for Quenneville will be to scratch Morin if Hossa returns. Morin hasn't played himself out of a spot but is likely caught in a numbers crunch.

You can follow me on Twitter @AlCimaglia and I will be back on Thursday morning.

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