Chicago Blackhawks Win Again Despite Regressing Penalty Kill

Duncan Keith and Corey Crawford

Rob Grabowski-USA Today Sports

The Chicago Blackhawks were able to secure their third straight win against the young Edmonton Oilers Sunday night at the United Center in a game that matched youth and firepower against each other. The Blackhawks now have scored points in seven straight games, and will look to get healthy before their next contest on Thursday night.

Among the injuries that the Blackhawks are battling through is center Michal Handzus, who is recovering from an upper-body injury and has begun to lightly skate in practice. Ideally rejoining the team soon will be winger Brad Mills, who will likely jump right back into the penalty kill unit that regressed mightily on Sunday.

Jeremy Morin was once again a healthy scratch and has seemed to draw the ire of the coaching staff for his lack of defense. That opens the ability for Mills to re-enter the fourth line in favor of Ben Smith while Marcus Kruger would replace Sheldon Brookbank on the third line wing.

The Blackhawks continued to produce exceptionally and have scored four or more goals in six of the last seven games. Brandon Saad was able to play is best game in recent memory and provided two points to go along with a +2 rating.

The Blackhawks did not rely on their top line to score despite another great performance from Jonathan Toews at the faceoff dot. Bryan Bickell made a rare appearance on the score sheet with his first point in the last six games. Despite the team’s improving performance, Bickell’s time on ice has been decreasing slightly and is now around 10 minutes per game, a concern considering what a force he was last season.

Follow Mike Guzman on Twitter @Mike486

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