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NHL Chicago Blackhawks

Defense, Penalty Kill Doom Blackhawks In Loss To Oilers

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

For the second consecutive game, the Chicago Blackhawks nearly found themselves run out of the building. This time it was their own.

The Edmonton Oilers have had the Hawks’ number the past few seasons. They’ve handed the Blackhawks multiple drubbings, with another one almost coming on Sunday night. This one came with no Sam Gagner eight point performance. Just a solid attack and an apparently unstoppable power play.

By the time the first period was over on Sunday night, the Hawks found themselves down 4-0. They simply looked exhausted, and understandably so after this recent stretch of games. But they battled back.

The Hawks managed to get within two multiple times, before finally drawing within a goal when the score was 6-5. Each team used both goalies, with the Hawks pulling Ray Emery due to performance and Edmonton having to take Devan Dubnyk out due to an injury, leaving Yann Danis to take over.

There were no shortage of chances for the Blackhawks to win this one. They had 37 shots on goal and a power play in the waning minutes of the game. But their own failures on the blue line and on the penalty kill led to them being unable to salvage at least a point in this one.

For the second consecutive game, the opposing team wiped the floor with the Blackhawks’ defense. They simply looked awful. The penalty kill also surrendered three power play goals in the game. Had those two aspects been different, this one may have gone a different direction for the Hawks.

This’ll be a tough one to swallow for the Blackhawks. It was impressive to see them battle back, but it’s pretty clear, based off of their past two performances, that this team is just exhausted. They’ll finally have a few days to rest after a rough stretch, before getting back in action on Thursday.