Forsberg makes 32 saves as Blackhawks beat Oilers 4-1

CHICAGO — Anton Forsberg made 32 saves, Nick Schmaltz and Alex DeBrincat scored in the first period, and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the slumping Edmonton Oilers 4-1 on Sunday.

Brandon Saad and Jordan Oesterle also scored for the Blackhawks, who got their first home win since a 4-1 victory against Minnesota on Dec. 17. Jonathan Toews extended his point streak to four games.

It was Forsberg’s first win since Nov. 11 and just the second of his first season in Chicago. Forsberg had been the backup all year, but his role had come into question after Jeff Glass came up the minors and played well with starter Corey Crawford sidelined by an upper-body injury.

Edmonton has dropped six of seven, including a 5-1 loss at Dallas on Saturday. The Oilers have been outscored 20-3 in their last five games.

Darnell Nurse’s sharp-angled backhander trimmed Chicago’s lead to 2-1 at 4:12 of the second. Jujhar Khaira got a look at the tying goal after Brent Seabrook’s turnover with about six minutes left in the period, but Forsberg smothered his shot.

Chicago’s top line of Vinnie Hinostroza, Toews and Saad then combined for a big play in the final seconds of the second. Hinostroza got the puck up to Toews, who muscled his way toward the net before shaking free for a shot that Saad deflected past Talbot at 19:50.

Oesterle added his third of the season midway through the third. Talbot finished with 25 saves.

Chicago was coming off a disappointing 5-4 loss to expansion Vegas on Friday night, prompting coach Joel Quenneville to shuffle his lineup. Defencemen Connor Murphy and Cody Franson were benched in favour of Michal Kempny and Jan Rutta, and John Hayden was a healthy scratch with Ryan Hartman returning from an upper-body injury.

The Blackhawks got off to a slow start against the Golden Knights and then blew a 4-3 lead in the third period. They were much better in the first against the Oilers.

Schmaltz jumped on a loose puck and slipped a backhand through Talbot’s legs for a 1-0 lead at 8:03, extending his goal streak to three straight games with his 10th of the season. Chicago then caught a break when DeBrincat’s centring pass went off the right skate of Edmonton forward Mark Letestu and past Talbot for the rookie’s 14th goal at 9:29.

NOTES: Oilers F Patrick Maroon returned to the lineup after serving a two-game suspension for a hit on Los Angeles D Drew Doughty on Tuesday. … Quenneville had no update on Crawford and C Artem Anisimov, who also is out with an upper-body injury. Neither player has skated since they were placed on injured reserve.

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