The Chicago Blackhawks go into Game 3 tonight against the Edmonton Oilers with the series tied at 1, after losing 6-3 in Game 2.
Blackhawks’ Team Leaders:
Dominik Kubalik – 5 points (2G, 3A)
Jonathan Toews – 3 points (2G, 1A)
Patrick Kane – 3 points (1G, 2A)
Kubalik – Toews – Saad
Nylander – Strome – Kane
DeBrincat – Dach – Caggiula
Carpenter – Kampf – Highmore
Keith – Boqvist
de Haan – Murphy
Maatta – Koekkoek
After a solid 6-4 win in Game 1, the Chicago Blackhawks played terrible in Game 2. After having time to reflect on that ugly 6-3 loss, there’s a lot of things that factored into that loss. Most of it came down to poor defense and not having the puck enough. That’ll need to change tonight.
Chicago has to turn things around tonight. Corey Crawford has to be on his A-game, along with the six defensemen. Drake Caggiula coming back to the lineup adds that physical presence to the third line, a presence they missed in Game 2.
Dominik Kubalik has to open up the scoring tonight, as he did against the Blues and in Game 1 against the Oilers. He had a 5-point game last Saturday while remaining scoreless on Monday night.
Lastly, the Blackhawks have to pressure Connor McDavid every time he touches the puck. He needs to be put up against Jonathan Toews every chance Toews’ gets. Being physical with McDavid and keeping the puck away from him will increase the Blackhawks’ odds of winning this game.
Game Two Highlights:
Oilers’ Team Leaders:
Connor McDavid – 6 points (4G, 2A)
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – 6 points (1G, 5A)
Leon Draisatil – 3 points (1G, 2A)
Nugent-Hopkins – McDavid – Archibald
Ennis – Draisaitl – Yamamoto
Athanasiou – Sheehan – Kassian
Neal – Khaira – Chiasson
Klefbom – Larsson
Nurse – Bear
Russell – Benning
The Edmonton Oilers beat up on the Blackhawks for 60-minutes on Monday night. It was unpleasant and very, very frustrating. I forgot how stressful playoff hockey was until the Oilers did what they did.
For the Oilers, they have to get pucks deep, keep the puck with McDavid, and put the pressure on Corey Crawford. If McDavid has the puck and isn’t pressured, he could score another hat trick. Don’t expect the Blackhawks to just give this game away though. They’ve waited very long to be back in the playoffs, it’ll take a lot to win two more games on them.
These were my words from Monday’s pregame:
"“The lack of playoff experience for the Oilers showed to be costly in Game 1, but that doesn’t mean the series is over. If the Oilers take Game 2, the series is wide open again. If the Oilers can draw penalties and convert on the Power Play, this could be a very long night for the Blackhawks.”"
Everything I said turned out to be true. The Oilers won the game, the series is wide open. Adding to that, the Oilers drew penalties and converted on their Power Play chances. It was a very long night for the Blackhawks.
Who has the edge?
After Game 2, the Oilers not only have the edge in the Vegas’ odds, they’re coming off of an impressive win. A win that could have many teams defeated going into Game 3. Will that be the case though? I don’t think so.
The Oilers (-130) are again favored to win Game 3 by 1 1/2 goals. The over/under is 6.5 goals. *Odds subject to change*
Puck Drop is at 10:30 PM ET. Make sure to follow along on our Twitter page during the game, and come back here after the game for post-game reactions! Let’s Go Hawks! #AllForOne.