The Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Edmonton Oilers in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Qualifiers with a score of 4-3. The Blackhawks lead the series 2-1. Both teams played at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta. Here’s a recap of game one between the Blackhawks and Oilers.
This was probably the closest game in this series. There was momentum for both teams during this period but the Blackhawks were able to get the first goal of the game. Blackhawks defenseman Olli Maatta scored his second goal of the playoffs (technically still the qualifiers but it counts as a playoff goal). However, Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl scored just 42 seconds off a Blackhawks turnover in their own zone. Both teams went back and forth equalling nine shots on goal during this period. But, with just four seconds left, Blackhawks captain Jonathon Toews scored what appeared to be off of one his skates to take the lead again heading into the second period.
Chicago went into the second period with a 2-1 lead.
It was another back and forth period but it wasn’t as fast paced as the last period. This was due to the seven penalties called during this period. Draisaitl scored his second goal of the game tying the game at two at the 4:07 mark of the period. Both teams had great chances on their power plays but it would be Oilers captain Connor McDavid who scores on a power play. McDavid gave the Oilers their first lead in the game with seven seconds left in the period.
Edmonton went into the third period with a 3-2 lead.
Again, it was a back and forth period with the game still up for grabs. It seemed like Edmonton was going to secure the victory and be up 2-1 in the series. But, the Blackhawks didn’t win the Stanley Cup three times in five seasons for no reason. They made a late rally in the last 10 minutes of the period and scored two unanswered goals. Blackhawks forward Matthew Highmore tied the game at three with 5:47 left in the game. And, Toews would get credit for his second goal with 1:16 left in the game after the puck deflected off of Oilers defenseman Ethan Bear. However, the Oilers got some good chances to tie the game in the final seconds but they couldn’t find a goal.
Chicago won the game 4-3 and took the series lead 2-1.
O’ Captain, Blackhawks captain, how fitting it was that Toews took the lead in the final minutes of the game. This series is by far the most entertaining to watch out of all the qualifier matchups from both conferences.
It seems like the Oilers do the right things and they have the right players to make a deep playoff run. However, they let their game get away from them when they’re too complacent. They’re a team that can score for days no doubt about it but defense wins games. If they can play solid defense in Game 4 they should be able to force a Game 5.
Edmonton faces elimination in Game 4. Should the Blackhawks win Game 4, they could be the first team to pull off an upset. The Blackhawks are the No. 12 seed and the Oilers are the No. 5 seed. There are three other series matchups with potential upsets as well. (Penguins-Canadiens, Coyotes-Predators and Blue Jackets-Maple Leafs). All three of these games play on Aug. 7 as well.
Three Stars of the Game
Third Star: Leon Draisaitl (2 goals, 1 assist)
Second Star: Olli Maatta (1 goal, 1 assist)
First Star: Jonathon Toews (2 goals)
Game 4 of the Blackhawks-Oilers series is on Aug. 7 at 6:45 pm EST.