CHICAGO – Brent Seabrook and the Chicago Blackhawks had quite a weekend at the expense of the Ottawa Senators and Edmonton Oilers.
Seabrook had his first two-goal game in the NHL, and the Blackhawks beat the Oilers 3-2 on Sunday night for their third straight victory.
The defenceman’s second goal, at 1:20 of the third period, broke a 2-2 tie. His drive from the right wing beat goalie Mathieu Garon on the short side.
In his third NHL season, Seabrook also scored in Chicago’s 4-3 overtime win in Ottawa on Saturday night and has four points in his last three games.
Seabrook, who played just three minor league games following junior hockey, may have enjoyed his most impressive weekend as a pro.
“Probably,” Seabrook said. “We had a great game in Ottawa, a big win, and a great team effort tonight. We all came out, played hard for 60 minutes and did the little things.”
“I thought we’ve played very well during this span,” Chicago coach Denis Savard added. “Everybody’s really stepped up. It’s all about desire, character, grit.”
Patrick Sharp also scored for the Blackhawks, and Nikolai Khabibulin made 25 saves.
“I think we all expected a letdown today,” Sharp said. “To our credit we all showed up and played for three periods.”
Following Sunday’s victory, many of the Blackhawks players came back on to the ice to wave to and salute a season-high crowd of 20,151 in the 20,500-seat United Center.
“It’s Christmastime and our fans have been so great this year,” Seabrook said. “They’ve supported us through thick and thin.”
Tom Gilbert and Dustin Penner connected for the Oilers, 0-2-1 in their last three games. Garon finished with 31 saves in the often-physical contest.
“We played just as hard as they did,” Penner said. “The only difference is they won.”
Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish agreed.
“We battled hard and showed a lot of moxie tonight,” he said.
Edmonton’s Ales Hemsky left the game late in the second period because of a left knee injury after colliding with Chicago’s Martin Lapointe and didn’t return.
Lapointe received a minor penalty for tripping on the play.
“It’s was a dirty hit, there was no doubt about it,” MacTavish said. “It’s should have been at least five minutes. Now we’ve got one of our best guys having X-rays because of a guy who plays 10 minutes a game.”
MacTavish said Hemsky will undergo an MRI in the next few days.
Chicago forward Dave Bolland broke a finger in the third period.
Seabrook opened the scoring on a power play 6:53 in. His shot from the blue line struck Edmonton forward Fernando Pisani’s stick, deflected downward and past Garon.
Gilbert tied it with a power-play goal at 8:05, beating Khabibulin from the right circle. Andrew Cogliano’s centring pass from left wing hit Chicago defencemen James Wisniewski’s stick and went to Gilbert.
Penner pounced on a Chicago turnover, broke in alone up the slot and gave the Oilers a 2-1 a lead at 11:08 of the first. Penner picked off a pass from Chicago’s Adam Burish to Bolland when Bolland couldn’t handle the puck.
Sharp tied it at 2 with 2:16 left in the second from the edge of the crease. He was set up by Patrick Kane, the NHL rookie scoring leader who made a move around Joni Pitkanen on right wing, then backhanded a centring pass to Sharp from behind the net.
The Blackhawks played the final 1:59 short-handed, with Brent Sopel off for delay of game. Garon was pulled for an extra attacker during the final 1:30.
Notes: Chicago RW Martin Havlat missed the game after pulling a groin Saturday night Ottawa. Havlat missed 22 games earlier this season because of a shoulder injury. In 12 games, he has five goals and six assists. … Edmonton G Dwayne Roloson missed his second game because of the flu. Garon was backed up by Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers. … Oilers LW Raffi Torres missed his fourth game because of a sprained ACL in his right knee.