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Blackhawks lose 5-3 to Connor McDavid-less Oilers

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Chicago is winless in four straight and five of its past six games.

NHL: FEB 11 Blackhawks at Oilers

Facing an Oilers team that didn’t have its second-leading scorer in Connor McDavid, the Blackhawks still couldn’t capitalize, losing 5-3 on Tuesday night at Rogers Place.

Chicago is winless in four straight (0-2-2) and five of its past six games after a five-game winning streak.

That loss, combined with other results from Tuesday’s NHL action, has Chicago six points out of the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference — although they do own games in hand on two of the four teams it’s chasing.

In a total reversal of the Blackhawks’ last game, it was Edmonton controlling the early play, including a goal by Riley Sheahan 1:13 into the first period. But that lead didn’t last too long, thanks to Patrick Kane doing Patrick Kane things on this brilliant pass to Brandon Saad for a game-tying goal:

And in a further departure from how Chicago’s game Sunday in Winnipeg transpired, Chicago’s penalty kill came through with a shorthanded goal when Ryan Carpenter made a perfect pass through Edmonton defenders to Jonathan Toews, who rifled a one-timer into the net for a 2-1 Chicago lead.

Goals then followed at a frantic pace. First, Kailer Yamamoto made it a 2-2 game at 17:18. At the 1:45 mark of the second, Kane made another excellent pass, this time setting up Adam Boqvist for a goal that restored Chicago’s one-goal advantage 1:45 into the second:

Yamamoto tied it 3-3 at 3:38 and then 48 seconds later, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins added another Oilers power-play goal to give Edmonton the lead for good.

Leon Draisaitl added an empty-netter with 3 seconds remaining for the 5-3 final. Chicago dominated play for much of the third period yet couldn’t find the equalizing goal.

And so the story goes, again. The Blackhawks have a chance to gain two vital points in the standings and even get the bonus of a mediocre team losing what very may well be the best hockey player on the planet to an injury. Yet, despite that opportunity in a game of heightened importance, Chicago can’t find a way to win — or even grab a point. It’s the same thing that happened last season. After a strong run of play that thrust the Blackhawks back into the playoff picture when the season was on the verge of being lost, Chicago failed to deliver against the teams it had to beat to maintain its status as wild card contenders.

Sure, the season’s not over, with the Blackhawks still having 26 games to make up the six-point deficit they’re facing in the wild card chase.

Anyone think that’s actually going to happen, though?

Game Charts

Puck possession gameflow (5-on-5)
Shot heat map (All situations)

Three Stars

  1. Kailer Yamamoto (EDM) — 2 goals
  2. Leon Draisaitl (EDM) — 1 goal, 3 assists
  3. Patrick Kane (CHI) — 2 assists

What’s next?

The Blackhawks head to Vancouver for the second game of a back-to-back to face the Canucks at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday night at Rogers Arena.