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Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Blackhawks 4, Oilers 1

By Derek Van Diest
Special to ESPNChicago.com



EDMONTON -- A quick look at the Chicago Blackhawks’ 4-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place on Wednesday.

How it happened: Patrick Kane scored on a breakaway just more than eight minutes into the first period, which held up as the game winner in a relatively low-scoring affair between the two teams. Kane was sprung on a great pass by Michal Handzus and beat Oilers goaltender Devan Dubnyk, slipping the puck between his pads. Jonathan Toews opened the scoring just under four minutes into the contest, and Nail Yakupov responded for the Oilers less than a minute later. Johnny Oduya added a third, then Patrick Sharp scored an empty-netter. In their previous two encounters this season, the teams had combined for 16 goals. Corey Crawford earned the victory in goal for the Blackhawks after entering the game in relief of Ray Emery, who left at the 11:49 mark of the first period with an undisclosed lower-body injury.

Player of the game: Kane, scored the winner and added two assists. He was a threat for the Blackhawks all night.

What it means: With the win, the Blackhawks clinch the Presidents' Trophy with the top regular-season record in the league for the first time in 22 years and therefore claim home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs. The victory snapped a two-game skid and gave them eight victories in their past 10 games.

What’s next: The Blackhawks host the Calgary Flames on Friday in their final home game of the regular season. They’ll close out the lockout-shortened schedule Saturday at the St. Louis Blues.