Chicago Globetrotters

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:49 AM ET

The Chicago Blackhawks distinguished how big the gap is between the haves and the have-nots in the NHL.

The 4-2 score was flattering to the Oilers, who were outclassed by one of the best teams in the league.

"I thought in the first two periods we did some good things, but I think that's far from the way we can play," said Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews. "There wasn't much of an atmosphere in the building tonight, and I wouldn't say that was an excuse, but some flat games like that you have to find a way to motivate yourself and try to remind ourselves when they scored that goal late in the second period, that it's never over, till it's over."

This was over shortly after the dropped the puck.

The Oilers were able to score a couple of goals to make the score respectable, but by that time the Blackhawks were already focusing on their first-place showdown with the San Jose Sharks on Thursday.

Toews scored on the first shot of the game and the Blackhawks essentially had it in cruise control from then on in. Troy Brouwer, Dustin Byfuglien and Marian Hossa added to the lead in the second as the Blackhawks out-shot the Oilers 28-13 through 40 minutes.

A late goal by Fernando Pisani gave the Oilers some life and Ryan Potulny added another in the third. However, by that time, the Blackhawks looked as though they taken their foot off the gas and called off the dogs.

"Not really," Toews said. "We just had to focus on playing a little bit smarter, instead of thinking of just scoring and getting distracted from our regular game.

"I think we got back to that in the third and we were able to pull it out, so we have to be happy about that."

Tuesday's contest showcased the talent of the Blackhawks. They were led by Patrick Kane, who assisted on the first goal, then danced around four players to set up the second. Those two assists increased his team-leading point-total to 59.

"He was special tonight," said Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville. "He's one of those guys that has really improved from last year -- his quickness and his strength.

"He made plays with his patience with the puck. He was a threat and is one of those guys where you really noticed tonight."

The win moved the Blackhawks within two points of the Sharks for the overall lead in the NHL, while extending the Oilers' losing skid to 11 games.

With Thursday's battle for top spot in the cards, it would have been easy for the Blackhawks to overlook the Oilers coming into the contest.

"Maybe that would creep in your mind just a little bit if we would have won the other night in Vancouver," Toews said. "But as bad as we played there, our focus had to be coming out hard and getting two points against Edmonton."

DEREK.VANDIEST@SUNMEDIA.CA


Videos

Photos