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Thursday, February 2, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Oilers 8, Blackhawks 4

By Jesse Rogers



EDMONTON -- Here's a quick look at the Chicago Blackhawks' loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday.

How it happened: The Oilers exploded for eight goals in less than two periods after getting down 2-0. The Hawks dominated the opening 20 minutes, but only led 1-0 thanks to a Jamal Mayers score. Devan Dubnyk made several big saves early in the game to keep the Oilers in it. Patrick Sharp scored early in the second to give the Hawks that 2-0 lead but then things fell apart. Edmonton stormed back the with three straight goals, the first of which Corey Crawford should have stopped. Taylor Hall went short side on Crawford with Brent Seabrook draped all over him, giving the Oilers life. They added a Sam Gagner tally and a Ryan Whitney power play score to take the brief lead before Sharp scored shorthanded off a Jonathan Toews shot and rebound. But Edmonton owned the final period while Crawford got pulled after giving up his fifth goal. Ray Emery came in and promptly gave up Gagner’s third of the night, and he wasn't done, adding a fourth tally minutes later. Gagner's eight points on the night tied Wayne Gretzky's franchise record for most points in a game.

What it means: No team exposes the Hawks on defense like the Oilers. A lot falls on Corey Crawford who may have lost his starting job for a while. The Hawks were sailing along at 2-0 early in the second when Crawford gave up a weak one and the slide started. He gave up several more that were questionable including his final one, a point shot that went right by his glove. Nick Leddy and Niklas Hjalmarsson were on the ice for four goals against and were caught scrambling on several sequences. Andrew Shaw was minus-3 having a rough night as well. The Hawks gave up 17 goals in two games in Edmonton this year. An awful final 40 minutes doomed the Hawks after a good start.

What’s next: The Hawks get right back on the ice on Friday with a matchup against the Calgary Flames to complete the first portion of their nine game road trip.