Chicago at Edmonton

Oilers drill Blackhawks with three-goal second period wire reports

EDMONTON, Alberta -- With only 27 games left in the regular season, the Edmonton Oilers believe they've found the formula for a run at a playoff spot.

Joni Pitkanen had a goal and an assist, and the Oilers defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 4-1 on Wednesday night for their second successive victory.

Jarret Stoll, Dustin Penner and Ethan Moreau also scored and Mathieu Garon stopped 40 shots for the Oilers, who moved within five points of eighth place in the Western Conference.

"We've played really hard the last three games and with a lot of passion and a lot of pride in our game," Moreau said. "It's a good lesson that the harder we play and the more structure we have, the more offense.

"We're keeping it simple and focusing on three or four things that we need to do well to win games. Getting a lot of shots, being physical, being a hard team coming off the puck, we're making sure everybody in this room is doing them. We do those things and we're going to be tough to beat."

One of the bright spots in the past two outings has been the normally poor power play, which scored three goals against Calgary on Monday and two more against the Blackhawks.

"We've been working on it for the past week, trying different looks and different personnel," Penner said. "And we seem to have found what we needed. The guys are really starting to click."

Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish has noticed a positive mood swing of late.

"We have lots of energy and lots of good things are happening," he said. "I can't really think of a time all season where we've had this much life on the bench. It's a product of having a little taste of success in the short term here. Hopefully we can continue in the same way and build some wins and get ourselves back into it. It feels like we could put a run together right now, for sure."

Patrick Sharp had the only goal for the Blackhawks, who have lost five in a row.

Edmonton broke a 1-1 tie eight minutes into the middle period on the power play as Penner tipped Sam Gagner's shot over Chicago goalie Patrick Lalime's shoulder.

The Oilers extended the lead 34 seconds later as Moreau outmuscled Cameron Barker in front of the net and redirected Ladislav Smid's shot past Lalime. Pitkanen closed the scoring in the first minute of the third period as he skated to the top of the faceoff circle before sending a shot over Lalime's shoulder.

The Blackhawks took a 1-0 lead on the power play with only 43 seconds remaining in the first period as Sharp tipped Duncan Keith's point shot past Garon.

"Garon played a good game for them," Chicago coach Denis Savard said. "We should have had a lot more than one goal, no question. The first period was probably the greatest period we've played since the All-Star break, but we got in some penalty trouble and that's what happened."

Edmonton tied the score on a power play of its own two minutes into the second as Ales Hemsky threaded a cross-ice pass back to Stoll at the point and he blasted a shot past Lalime.

The Oilers thought they had taken the lead three minutes later as a bad-angle shot by Tom Gilbert appeared to have gone in just as the net was knocked off its moorings. However a video review determined the puck actually hit Gagner and never crossed the goal line.

"We're not playing the way we can," Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith said. "At the same time, we know how fast that can change and how fast momentum can change and there's still time but it is dwindling away and we need to get those points."


  • Oilers F Shawn Horcoff underwent shoulder surgery Wednesday morning and will miss the remainder of the season.
  • Edmonton D Sheldon Souray took a trip to see a shoulder specialist in New Jersey to assess his shoulder and determine if he will return the lineup this season.
  • Chicago F Martin Lapointe (bruised kidney) suited up for the first time in seven games.
  • Blackhawks C Jonathan Toews took part in practice for the first time since his injury, and will likely return next week.
  • Edmonton sent F Patrick Thoresen to Springfield of the AHL on a conditioning assignment.
  • Pitkanen's assist on Penner's goal was the 100th of his career.
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Dustin Penner puts Edmonton ahead by deflecting a shot past Patrick Lalime in the second period.  (AP)
Dustin Penner puts Edmonton ahead by deflecting a shot past Patrick Lalime in the second period. (AP)
Chicago (23-25-5)1001
Edmonton  (25-26-5) «0314
Three Stars
M. Garon

Saves: 40
Save Pct.: .976
S. Gagner

Goals: 0
Assist(s): 2
J. Pitkanen

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1

Related Video

Scoring Summary
19:17Power Play - Patrick Sharp (24), Tip-In. Assist: Duncan Keith, Martin Havlat
02:16Power Play - Jarret Stoll (9), Slap Shot. Assist: Ales Hemsky, Sam Gagner
08:10Power Play - Dustin Penner (17), Tip-In. Assist: Sam Gagner, Joni Pitkanen
08:44Ethan Moreau (5), Tip-In. Assist: Ladislav Smid, Andrew Cogliano
51.0Joni Pitkanen (7), Slap Shot. Assist: Marty Reasoner, Tom Gilbert
Penalty Summary
19.0Lapointe, 5 min, Fighting
19.0Stortini, 5 min, Fighting
03:38Keith, 2 min, Hooking
05:14Nilsson, 2 min, Hooking
08:46Hendry, 2 min, Delay of Game - Puck Over Glass
11:42Moreau, 2 min, Tripping
18:20Greene, 2 min, Hooking
33.0Keith, 2 min, Hooking
06:33Seabrook, 2 min, Hooking
11:48Cogliano, 2 min, Bench - Too Many Men on the Ice
14:43Grebeshkov, 2 min, Interference
04:18Reasoner, 2 min, High-Sticking
12:45Brodziak, 2 min, Delay of Game - Puck Over Glass
14:10Ruutu, 2 min, Diving/Embellishment
14:10Smid, 2 min, Interference
15:35Gagner, 2 min, Hooking
17:08Greene, 2 min, Hooking
18:49Bourque, 2 min, High-Sticking
Shots On Goal
Patrick Lalime57:46234
Mathieu Garon59:50401
Game Information
Attendance - 16839
Referees - Tom Kowal, Don Van Massenhoven
Linesmen - Michel Cormier, Tim Nowak
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