CHICAGO – Niklas Hjalmarsson, Dustin Byfuglien and Jonathan Toews scored in the third period to help the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Edmonton Oilers 5-2 on Wednesday night for their fifth victory in six games.
Marian Hossa and Dave Bolland also scored, Patrick Kane added two assists and the Blackhawks outshot Edmonton 47-14. Robert Nilsson and Shawn Horcoff scored for Edmonton. The Oilers have lost three straight and seven of their last eight.
The Oilers, who made two trades before the deadline Wednesday, skated with a largely inexperienced group of defencemen, including recent AHL callups Dean Arsene, Taylor Chorney, Theo Peckham and Johan Motin.
Chicago’s Cristobal Huet made 12 saves in his first start in nearly a month. Antti Niemi had made five straight starts for the Blackhawks, but Huet replaced him early in the second period of a 5-3 road loss to the New York Islanders on Tuesday night.
The Blackhawks failed to make a long-rumoured trade to upgrade their goaltending before the deadline.
“We’re not letting in a lot of goals,” general manager Stan Bowman said. “We have confidence in our goaltenders.”
Edmonton backup Devan Dubnyk stopped 42 shots. He was recalled from Springfield of the AHL on Monday after playing there during the Olympic break.
Earlier, Edmonton sent veteran defenceman Steve Staios to Calgary for defenceman Aaron Johnson and a third-round 2010 draft pick. The Oilers also dealt Lubomir Visnovsky, their top-scoring defenceman, to Anaheim for defenceman Ryan Whitney and a sixth-round pick this year.
On Wednesday Edmonton claimed forward Ryan Jones off waivers from Nashville.
Jones was in the lineup, however Johnson and Whitney didn’t arrive in time for the game.
Hossa put Chicago ahead 1-0 during a 4-on-4 at 3:26 of the second when he ripped in a high shot from the top of the left circle. Nilsson and Horcoff scored a 52-second span late in the second gave Edmonton a 2-1 lead.
Nilsson jammed the puck under Huet from the edge of the crease with 4:29 left in the second after Sam Gagne had driven to the net. Horcoff beat Huet with a screened shot from the top of the slot with 3:37 left in the period.
Bolland tied it 2-2 with 1:57 remaining in the second when he batted in a loose puck from the left side of the net. The play was set up by Hossa, who intercepted a pass from Edmonton’s Tom Gilbert.
Hjalmarsson scored on a screened shot from the left point 20 seconds into the third to give Chicago a 3-2 lead. It was only his second goal this season, and first since Oct. 17.
Byfuglien made it 4-2 with a power-play goal midway through the third when he tucked in a shot from the edge of the crease.
The puck was accidentally deflected straight to Byfuglien by Edmonton’s Patrick O’Sullivan who tried to cut off Kane’s pass from the right boards.
Toews completed the scoring with 3:44 left on shot from the right circle.
NOTES: The Blackhawks honoured their six players who participated in the Winter Olympics – D Duncan Keith, D Brent Seabrook and Toews (Canada), RW Kane (U.S.) and RW Hossa and RW Tomas Kopecky (Slovakia) in a pre-game ceremony. Motin played in his first NHL game … Arsene missed the first period, but arrived in time to skate for the second after being bumped from a flight after being recalled from Springfield. … After making two minor trades earlier this week, the Blackhawks did not make any deals Wednesday.