The Edmonton Oilers came oh-so-close to giving the Chicago Blackhawks their first loss of the season, but it just wasn’t meant to be, as they went down like every team before them, losing 3-2 in overtime.
Marian Hossa scored the winner 1:44 into the extra frame to give the NHL‘s best team another two points and to stretch their record opening points streak to 19 games.
Up 2-1 going into the third period, the Oilers gave themselves as good a chance as anyone has of beating Jonathan Toews & Company. A third period goal by Viktor Stalberg that went to video replay and just barely crossed the line, got them back even and sent the game to overtime. Patrick Kane had the Blackhawks other tally in the first period.
Nail Yakupov and Jeff Petry replied for the Oilers, who can still take momentum on the remainder of their road trip that they earned at least a single point from the best team in the league in their own rink.
A further positive sign was yet another solid goaltending performance, as Nikolai Khabibulin had 31 saves and looked strong in the game. Both he and Devan Dubnyk will be needed in the next two weeks.
The Oilers desperately needed to get off to a good start on their franchise record nine-game road trip as they are outside the playoff picture at the moment, and this kind of road trip can make or break a season.
They have a back-to back-coming up Thursday and Friday in Dallas and St. Louis, and are looking to collect as many points as possible along the way. There should also be some help on the way, as Taylor Hall will return to the lineup after serving his two-game suspension to join his linemates on the top line again. Shawn Horcoff looks to be at least another week away and it’s doubtful whether he’ll get in on the road trip or not.
The Oilers are 0-2 against the Stars this season, with all three meetings coming in February and it will be their first meeting against the Blues in 2013.