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Oilers score four in first, hang on to beat Blackhawks

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Associated Press
3/11/2013 12:07:43 AM
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CHICAGO -- All the streaks are over.

The Chicago Blackhawks have lost in regulation at home and on the road, in consecutive games.

Now they get a chance to rest.

Patrick Kane had two goals and an assist as the Blackhawks rallied after a terrible start, but Yann Denis made 10 saves in the third period to help the Edmonton Oilers hold on for a 6-5 victory on Sunday night.

"Definitely disappointed with the way we began the game," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. "We've seen that movie before from them. I like the response though after that."

Sam Gagner scored two of the Oilers' four goals in the first period, helping Edmonton come up with a sorely needed victory.

The Oilers had dropped five in a row and six of seven on their franchise-record, nine-game road trip. They were shut out in each of the previous two games.

"It's just a good feeling to come out with a win," Gagner said. "We wanted to respond after the last couple of games and we did a good job of that in the first. We got away from it a bit in the last two periods, but we were able to hang on to the win and that's the important thing."

Ryan Whitney and Taylor Hall each had a goal and an assist for Edmonton, which is at Colorado on Tuesday before returning home. Captain Shawn Horcoff also scored as the Oilers went 3 for 4 on the power play.

"The explosion we had in the first period, you could see they were a little back on their heels coming off their loss in Colorado," Oilers coach Ralph Krueger said. "They were slightly flat and we really took the opportunity. I thought all of our goals tonight, all six, were excellent goals."

Chicago set an NHL record by recording at least one point in the first 24 games of the season. The streak ended with a 6-2 loss at the Avalanche on Friday night, and the Blackhawks needed an entire period to find their footing in their seventh game in the past 11 days.

Now they're off until they open a four-game road trip Thursday at Columbus.

"We've got to take advantage, take care of our bodies and get ready for Thursday," captain Jonathan Toews said. "It'll be nice."

Back at home after their first regulation loss, the Blackhawks opened with their worst period of the season before putting together a spirited rally.

Kane, Marian Hossa, Sheldon Brookbank and Brent Seabrook scored during the second, and Kane added his team-best 14th of the season to get Chicago within one with 13 minutes left.

The Blackhawks kept up the pressure for the last part of the game, but couldn't get the tying goal. Davis, who came in after Devan Dubnyk was hurt in the second period, finished with 21 saves.

"I think in the room we knew we were going to give it a play, especially after the first period," Kane said. "It was an exciting end. When you're down 4-0 and can come back to make it 6-5 you gotta have a little bit of a good feeling about that, just not a great start."

Dubnyk made a nice pad save on Hossa before the posts were dislodged when the right winger and Edmonton centre Teemu Hartikainen converged on the goal. Hartikainen practically skated over the prone Dubnyk, who was down for several minutes before he was escorted from the ice.

A trainer appeared to be examining Dubnyk's head and neck.

"We don't see any signs of head injury," Krueger said. "We didn't see anything but a situation where there was a lot of risk in putting him back in there. With that kind of impact, we need some time overnight to fully assess him in the morning."

The Blackhawks looked slow and listless on defence as Edmonton skated free all over the ice in the first. Ray Emery was pulled midway through the period, marking the second straight time that Quenneville yanked his starting goaltender from the game.

Mike Brown and Gagner scored 36 seconds apart to make it 2-0 just three minutes into the game. Whitney then got open along the left side of the goal and converted a cross-ice pass from Hall to make it 3-0 at 9:19, chasing Emery from the game.

Corey Crawford came in and shut out the Oilers for three minutes before a streaking Gagner went to his backhand for a power-play goal with 7:38 left in the period.

"We took a lot of pride before the game in how we were going to come out and play," Hall said. "And the things that we were going to do and the intensity that we were going to play with and we showed a lot of those things."

NOTES: It was Brown's first goal since Feb. 29, 2012, for Toronto at Chicago ... Edmonton scored 24 goals while taking three of four against Chicago last season.

Oilers celebrate (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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