How it happened: The Blackhawks scored early and often. On a speedy solo effort, Jonathan Toews gave the visitors a 1-0 lead with a short-handed goal at 5:14. Patrick Kane made it a 2-0 game less than three minutes later, tucking a rebound past Devan Dubnyk and extending his point streak to 11 games with a power-play marker. Chicago’s early advantage carried into the middle frame, as Johnny Oduya and Andrew Shaw each scored early in the second, chasing Dubnyk after allowing four goals on 14 shots. With Ilya Bryzgalov between the pipes, the Oilers got a spark when Justin Schultz rifled a slap shot past Corey Crawford at 8:08, but that was all they could muster. The Blackhawks’ netminder stood tall in the final period, turning aside 11 Oilers shots (24 saves total), while Shaw added another goal late to preserve a 5-1 victory.
What it means: The Blackhawks have now won three straight and eight of their past 10, improving to 17-4-4 overall. They continue to hold a slim, one-point advantage over the St. Louis Blues for the No. 1 spot in the Central Division and have leapfrogged the idle Anaheim Ducks, pacing the entire NHL with 38 points.
Player of the game:Duncan Keith continues to be Mr. Everything for the Blackhawks. The defenseman recorded a pair of assists, a plus-1 rating, led all skaters with 24:36 in ice time and helped limit the Oilers’ potent offensive attack to just 25 shots on the night. Keith now leads all NHL defensemen with 19 assists on the year.
What’s next: The Blackhawks’ season-long, seven-game road trip continues on Wednesday night against the Calgary Flames. The Hawks will then conclude their annual circus trip with back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday against the Dallas Stars and Phoenix Coyotes before returning home on Tuesday, Dec. 3.