Patrick Kane, Alex Nylander and Brandon Saad each scored, Corey Crawford made 27 saves, and the Chicago Blackhawks held on for a 3-1 win over the visiting Edmonton Oilers on Monday night.
Saad’s empty-net goal with 32.7 seconds remaining in the third period sealed the outcome for Chicago which notched its first victory of the season through four games. The Blackhawks bounced back from an overtime loss against the Winnipeg Jets two nights earlier.
James Neal scored the lone goal for Edmonton whose loss followed five straight wins to start the season. The Oilers entered the contest with an NHL-record five consecutive comeback wins to begin the season.
Crawford provided an array of impressive saves to prevent another Oilers comeback. He stuffed top-line forward Leon Draisaitl on a breakaway in the early going and fended off eight shots in the third period as Edmonton furiously tried to rally.
Oilers goaltender Mike Smith took the hard-luck loss despite stopping 32 of 34 shots.
The game remained scoreless until 4:11 into the second period, when Kane put Chicago on top 1-0. Dylan Strome won a faceoff in the left circle and fed the puck to Kane, who unleashed a wrist shot for his second goal of the season.
The 30-year-old Kane has tallied at least one point in three of his first four games. He led Chicago with 110 points last season.
Chicago increased its lead to 2-0 with 13:40 remaining in the third period. Nylander sprinted past Oilers defenseman Joel Persson to track down a loose puck in the offensive zone and then punched it between Smith’s leg pads for his second goal of the season.
Edmonton snapped the shutout with 2:11 left in the third period. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins slid a pass across the front of the crease for Neal, who poked it above Crawford’s outstretched leg for his eighth goal in six games.
The play marked the only flub for Crawford, who fell just short of notching his first shutout of the season and the 26th of his career.
The Oilers pulled Smith for an extra attacker in an attempt to force overtime, but Saad capped the scoring when he tapped in his second goal of the season in the final minute.
—Field Level Media