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Oilers score shootout goals to edge Blackhawks 5-4

Tired Edmonton Oilers had more than energy to beat the speedy Chicago Blackhawks

CHICAGO — The tired Edmonton Oilers had more than energy to beat the speedy Chicago Blackhawks.

Patrick O’Sullivan and Ales Kotalik scored in a shootout as the Oilers beat the slumping Blackhawks 5-4 for their third straight victory.

Edmonton, 4-0-3 in its last seven games, strengthened its hold on seventh place in the Western Conference and closed within a point of sixth-place Columbus.

Dustin Penner had a goal and an assist in regulation. Andrew Cogliano, Ethan Moreau and Sam Gagner also scored.

The Oilers arrived at their hotel in Chicago at 3 a.m. following an 8-1 win at Colorado on Thursday night. Still, they managed to skate to a 4-4 tie through overtime with the Blackhawks in the uptempo game.

Then O’Sullivan and Kotalik converted Edmonton’s first two shootout attempts against Nikolai Khabibulin to win it.

“It was tough,” O’Sullivan said. “Every team has to go through it, but points are critical right now.
“Seventy games in, you’re going to be a little bit tired.”

Added Moreau: “We got their best and we responded really well, especially in a back-to-back game. This is pretty good tempo, what we have to deal with the rest of the year.”

Dwayne Roloson made 39 saves, including one on Jonathan Toews’ penalty shot with 7:07 left in regulation and the game tied 4-4. In the shootout, Toews lost control of the puck on Chicago’s first attempt, then Roloson stopped Patrick Kane.

Roloson extended a team record by making his 27th straight start.

“He’s an absolute warrior,” Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said. “Great save on the penalty shot.
“It was one of the keys in a game where it seemed there were many keys.”

Chicago’s Martin Havlat and Dave Bolland each had a goal and an assist. Adam Burish and Cam Barker also scored for the Blackhawks, 0-3-2 in their last five.

Havlat’s goal at 7:23 of the third period tied it at 4 and set up overtime.

The Blackhawks’ winless streak is their longest this season. They’re 3-7-3 in their last 13. With a point, Chicago moved into a fourth-place tie with Vancouver in the Western Conference.

“We’re having a hard time keeping the puck out of our net and getting momentum in games,”

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “We’ve gotten the effort the last few games. It’s a matter of confidence.

“A win is what we’re looking for.”

Khabibulin stopped 27 shots. He hasn’t won since Feb. 11 in Atlanta, when he sustained a groin injury that sidelined him for a month.

Chicago had won its three previous games against Edmonton this season, outscoring the Oilers 15-3.

 
 
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