Rookies lead Oilers to blowout over Blackhawks

Edmonton 9 Chicago 2 EDMONTON — The Edmonton Oilers didn’t just break their four-game losing streak, they smashed it to pieces.

Edmonton Oilers'  Shawn Horcoff

Edmonton Oilers' Shawn Horcoff

Edmonton 9 Chicago 2

EDMONTON — The Edmonton Oilers didn’t just break their four-game losing streak, they smashed it to pieces.

Taylor Hall had a hat trick and rookie Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had five assists, and the Oilers snapped a four-game losing skid in a big way with a 9-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday.

Jordan Eberle and Tom Gilbert each had a goal and three assists for the Oilers (10-7-2), while Ales Hemsky, Ryan Jones, Ryan Smyth and Shawn Horcoff also scored.

“It definitely gives us confidence,” said Hall, who snapped a nine-game stretch without a goal. “It’s great we won all three periods. It’s easy to let off the gas pedal, but we didn’t.”

Nikolai Khabibulin made 34 saves to move into a tie for 19th in all-time wins with Sean Burke.

The last time the Oilers had three players with four-point nights was Jan. 30, 1991, when Mark Messier, Petr Klima and Steve Smith did it.

“It was fun to see the guys enjoying themselves,” said Oilers head coach Tom Renney. “This was a big game for us under the circumstances.

“Chicago is a good hockey club. I’m not sure you are going to see something like this happen to them again this season.”

Patrick Sharp and Dave Bolland replied for the Blackhawks (12-6-3) who have lost two in a row on the heels of a four-game winning streak. Chicago lost 5-2 Friday to a Calgary Flames team that was also in an offensive funk.

“We’re all pissed off,” said Chicago captain Jonathan Toews. “We are all embarrassed. At the same time we are going to stick together and remain a team and not point the finger at any one guy or another. We are going to have to find a way to move on. We know our effort has to be way better. The way we played these last two nights was completely unacceptable.”

One player hanging the loss on himself was goalie Ray Emery, who allowed seven of the Oiler goals.

“It’s personally embarrassing,” he said. “I want to play better than that. We have to remember how bad this feels because we don’t want it to happen again.”

Edmonton got on the board early when Hemsky was a one-man show, walking past a pair of defenders and scoring his first of the season glove-side Emery just 48 seconds in. It was Hemsky’s 400th career NHL point.

Chicago evened the score two minutes later on the power play when Sharp banked a rebound off Khabibulin and in after a scramble in front of the Edmonton net.

The Oilers regained the lead six minutes into the first when Jones threw a hopeful backhand on net that somehow snuck past Emery.

Eberle put the Oilers up 3-1 less than two minutes later as he made a beautiful backhand pass to Smyth at the side of the net for an easy tap-in and his 11th goal of the year.

It was Edmonton’s third goal in nine shots, prompting the Hawks to pull Emery in favour of Corey Crawford, the first time this season a Chicago goalie has been pulled in a game.

Edmonton kept it coming with a power-play goal just under 13 minutes. Crawford made a stop on a Nugent-Hopkins shot but couldn’t prevent Hall from chipping in the rebound from the doorstep.

The Oilers took a 5-1 lead with just over four minutes to play in the first period when Nugent-Hopkins made a nice feed on a two-on-one to Eberle, who deposited his fifth goal of the year.

Emery returned to the Chicago net to start the second.

The Oilers went up by five goals five minutes into the second when Gilbert pinched in to score on a Nugent-Hopkins feed from behind the goal-line with Edmonton enjoying a two-man advantage.

Hall made it 7-1 with his second of the game, putting in a rebound off the boards following a Gilbert shot.

Chicago got one back two minutes later on a power-play goal when a Bolland shot from the top of the circle caught a piece of Khabibulin and caromed into the net.

Edmonton made it 8-2 with one minute left in the second, scoring their fourth power-play goal when Horcoff fought to slide the puck under a diving Emery.

The Oilers capped it at 9-2 midway through the third when Hall used Steve Montador as a screen before rifling home his third of the game, leading to a cascade of hats from the Edmonton faithful and even a shoe.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, centre, tables the federal budget in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Monday April 19, 2021. The federal government unveiled spending plans to manage the remainder of the COVID-19 crisis and chart an economic course for a post-pandemic Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
ATB Financial: Five things to know about the federal budget

Five things stand out above the rest in the federal government’s budget,… Continue reading

House sales remain hot in central Alberta with first-quarter sales nearly double last year’s numbers. Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
Central Alberta real estate market hot in 2021

Residential sales nearly double 2020 in first quarter

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer gave an update on Olymel's COVID-19 situation on Wednesday. (File photo by Advocate staff).
Veer addresses rising COVID-19 cases in Red Deer

Red Deer has added nearly 200 cases of active COVID-19 cases in past week

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw and Premier Jason Kenney say the province would look at adding additional COVID-19 measures in the coming weeks if the virus continues to spread. (Photo by Government of Alberta)
Walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinic to open in Red Deer

Alberta adds 1,345 new cases of the virus

Innisfail RCMP are investigating a single-vehicle crash that happened west of Bowden on March 21, 2021. (File photo by Advocate staff)
RCMP investigate culturally insensitive graffiti at Sylvan Lake school

Sylvan Lake RCMP is investigating a vandalism incident. On April 17 around… Continue reading

A vial of the Medicago vaccine sits on a surface. CARe Clinic, located in Red Deer, has been selected to participate in the third phase of vaccine study. (Photo courtesy www.medicago.com)
Red Deer clinical research centre participating in plant-based COVID-19 vaccine trial

A Red Deer research centre has been selected to participate in the… Continue reading

Gwynne Dyer
Bolsonaro: Suicide by COVID

‘Rounding into the home stretch, it’s Italy by a full length, then… Continue reading

Queen Elizabeth II during her visit to Red Deer, June 28, 1990. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Red Deer and the Royal Family

The recent passing and funeral of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in… Continue reading

Vancouver Canucks' Tanner Pearson, right, celebrates after scoring against Toronto Maple Leafs goalie David Rittich during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Pearson, Sutter each score twice as Canucks dump Leafs 6-3

Pearson, Sutter each score twice as Canucks dump Leafs 6-3

Everton's Gylfi Sigurdsson celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's second goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Everton and Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison Park in Liverpool, England, Friday, April 16, 2021. (Peter Powell/Pool via AP)
Super League collapses after the 6 English clubs withdraw

Super League collapses after the 6 English clubs withdraw

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez delivers against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at Fenway Park in Boston. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
Bogaerts’ 3-run HR, Rodriguez lift BoSox over Blue Jays 4-2

Bogaerts’ 3-run HR, Rodriguez lift BoSox over Blue Jays 4-2

Pound says Olympic qualifying issues a concern to IOC

Pound says Olympic qualifying issues a concern to IOC

Former University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Rowing Canada sanctions former head coach of B.C. varsity women’s team

Rowing Canada sanctions former head coach of B.C. varsity women’s team

Ontario Hockey League cancels 2020-21 season as COVID-19 cases surge in province

Ontario Hockey League cancels 2020-21 season as COVID-19 cases surge in province

Most Read