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Five Thoughts: Chicago Blackhawks defeat Edmonton Oilers 6-2

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EDMONTON, AB - FEBRUARY 5: Cam Ward #30 and Carl Dahlstrom #63 of the Chicago Blackhawks celebrate after winning the game against the Edmonton Oilers on February 5, 2019 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
EDMONTON, AB - FEBRUARY 5: Cam Ward #30 and Carl Dahlstrom #63 of the Chicago Blackhawks celebrate after winning the game against the Edmonton Oilers on February 5, 2019 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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EDMONTON, AB – FEBRUARY 5: Tobias Rieder #22 of the Edmonton Oilers battles for position against Artem Anisimov #15 of the Chicago Blackhawks on February 5, 2019 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
EDMONTON, AB – FEBRUARY 5: Tobias Rieder #22 of the Edmonton Oilers battles for position against Artem Anisimov #15 of the Chicago Blackhawks on February 5, 2019 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images) /

2 – Penalties are a good way to kill a good start.

How do you kill your momentum? By taking penalties.  A boarding penalty by Connor Murphy at 16:02 in the first period resulted in a power play goal by Leon Draisaitl at 16:41.  The Oilers gained traction by turning up the speed.  The Chicago Blackhawks could only respond by taking more penalties.  In a crazy final four minutes of the first period, the ‘Hawks took four penalties including two 2-man disadvantages. The law of averages worked against them and they surrendered a second power-play goal to Draisaitl.

The ‘Hawks were out-shot 16-9 as a result of their sustained shorthanded time and were lucky to end the first period down by just a goal.  The Oilers have been struggling of late, but with the man advantage, they are downright scary.  The ‘Hawks managed to avoid seeing that power play for the rest of the game, and that is what turned the tide.

3 – In-game adjustments changed the game.

The Chicago Blackhawks came out in the 2nd period with a better solution for the blinding speed of Connor McDavid.  Coach Jeremy Colliton sent out varying defensive pairings to present bematchupsh ups against the Oilers’ speedy forwards.  Carl Dahlstrom had a tough night with his lack of speed.  So Colliton broke up the combination of Murphy-Dahlstrom, and paired Murphy at times with Duncan Keith.  Murphy had a decent game by playing smart angles and by bringing some physicality.

And of course, Patrick Kane found himself double-shifted at times with the second and third lines.  There isn’t much more that can be said about the season that Kane is having.  The Chicago Blackhawks’ lone All-Star Game representative continues to play at a Michael Jordan-type level, making whichever players are on the ice with him look better.  Kane logged a game-high total of 23:44 time on ice, and he was noticeable on every shift.

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