by Scott King
The Blackhawks played their second game of back-to-back contests Thursday night at home vs. the struggling Edmonton Oilers (1-4-0 prior to Thursday). Chicago needed to have a strong showing after a performance in St. Louis Wednesday night that head coach Joel Quenneville deemed “brutal.”
The Hawks had another slow start against the Blues on hump day and found themselves in the penalty box far too many times. The team had five tripping calls against them alone. They were able to muster up two power play goals in the third period, but it was too little too late as they fell to the Blues 5-2.
Patrick Kane got the Hawks off to a much better start on Thursday night, putting one past Oilers goalie Cam Talbot at 7:33 into the first period.
Connor McDavid spun around Hawks defenseman Duncan Keith to set up Patrick Maroon to make it 1-1 at 17:18 in the first.
“Two veteran D that really know what they’re doing (Keith and Seabrook), just try to shield the puck and make a play,” McDavid said of the first Oiler’s goal. “Good thing Maroon was back there.
“I definitely knew it was a two-on-two, maybe a two-on-one if I could have skated Keith, but he’s a good skater, world class. He’s been one of the best defenseman in the league for many, many years now and he’s a tough guy to skate.”
Sixty minutes wouldn’t cut it, so the game headed to overtime for the tie-breaker. Kane got called for hooking with 1:15 left in overtime, but probably saved a goal on the foul. Mark Letestu scored with 16 seconds remaining in overtime to win it for the Oilers 2-1. McDavid assisted on both of Edmonton’s goals.
“We did some good things, but obviously not good enough,” Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith said. “We need to find a way to get a win against that team. Maybe their confidence isn’t as high as it’s been (because of their 1-4-0 start). We just need to find a way to get a win there.”
Defenseman Jordan Oesterle made his Blackhawks debut Thursday night. The 25-year-old Quebec native signed a two-year contract with the Hawks during the offseason and impressed the organization enough in training camp to make the roster.
“I thought he was good,” Keith said of Oesterle’s first game as a Hawk. “It’s a tough situation for him, he hasn’t played all year in a game. Thought he was solid. He’s got good poise, he’s smart back there.”
Oesterle grabbed six assists in 25 games with the Edmonton Oilers prior to coming to Chicago. In his Chicago debut, Oesterle logged 15:01 of ice time and a +/- rating of 0.
Hawks back up goaltender Anton Forsberg made his second start of the season against the Oilers, first at the United Center. Forsberg had a strong showing for his Blackhawks debut on October 9 in Toronto saving 39 of 43 Maple Leaf shots. He stopped 40 of 42 Edmonton shots on Thursday. In both of his first two games, Forsberg managed to get the Hawks to overtime, but they couldn’t get the win either time.
“It’s always nice to have a lot of shots,” Forsberg said of his first two games in net for Chicago. “Today we did a really good job of keeping them outside, makes it easier for me and that makes it more comfortable.”
Ice To See You Again
Oilers captain Connor McDavid had high praise for his former Eerie Otters (OHL) teammate Alex DeBrincat.
“I’m happy for him. He deserves everything he’s gotten.” McDavid said of the Hawks rookie, who has four points in his first eight games. “He’s a guy that came out of high school hockey to come play junior in Eerie and not many people knew about him, and a lot of people definitely know about him now. He’s a guy that’s made a living for himself scoring goals and I would imagine he’s going to continue the same here.”
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