SUN Hockey Pool

Blackhawks blowout

DEREK VANDIEST

, Last Updated: 8:01 AM ET

It started with the inability to kill a penalty, escalated with the incapability of making a save, and then just got completely out of hand.

Last night, the Edmonton Oilers didn't know whether to laugh or cry after being humiliated 9-2 by the Chicago Blackhawks at Rexall Place. Like a bad nightmare, they just wanted to forget about it and move on.

"It's been a long time since I've been part of a game like that, for sure," said Oilers defenceman Sheldon Souray. "We got exposed in pretty much every area of the game. It's humiliating and there's not much more to say about it."

The last time the Oilers gave up nine goals was in a 9-4 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Dec. 28, 1991.

Incidentally, it's the third time in franchise history the Oilers have lost by seven goals at home to the Blackhawks.

Tonight, the Oilers are in Vancouver to face the Canucks.

"It's tough to find anything to say about how poorly we played," said Oilers defenceman Steve Staios. "But we get an opportunity (tonight) to pick ourselves up and come up with a better effort.

"There was nothing positive to take out of this game, but we have chance to prove to ourselves (tonight) that we can come up with a big effort after a humiliating loss."

Mathieu Garon, who got the start in goal for the Oilers, didn't make it out of the second period, getting pulled after allowing five goals on 16 shots. The loss, however, can hardly be pinned entirely on him.

The Blackhawks took every advantage the Oilers gave them through the first two periods - literally - and scored three power-play goals. They finished with four in total and added a short-handed marker for good measure.

"It was a wild game," said Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish. "Thankfully we play (tonight) and we can try and bounce back. There is nothing we can do about this game other than address the shortcomings, of which there were many.

"We've been on the end of a few of these over the years and the best thing to do is drop the puck (tonight)."

It only took the Blackhawks six second to capitalize on their first power play as super sophomore Patrick Kane snapped a shot over the shoulder of Garon after Staios was sent to the box on a holding penalty.

Colin Fraser extended the lead before the end of the period.

Outscored, but not necessarily out-played coming out for the second, the Oilers had a couple of golden opportunities but could not capitalize.

The Blackhawks then went up 3-0, this time needing 1:39 of power play time as defenceman Brian Campbell scored on a point shot that Garon did not see, but probably heard whizz by him.

Shawn Horcoff gave the Oilers some life, converting a cross-ice feed from Ales Hemsky on the power play to cut into the lead. But any thoughts of a comeback were short-lived as Troy Brouwer scored on a rebound in front with five seconds left in a roughing penalty to defenceman Ladislav Smid.

When Kris Versteeg scored to make it 5-1 on a soft wrist shot in front, which found it's way through Garon's pads, Dwayne Roloson got the nod and hopped over the boards to take over in goal. It didn't help much, as Roloson promptly gave up a goal to Ben Eager on a rebound in front, then had another puck bounce in over him, off Brouwer's arm.

Roloson was then beaten by defenceman Tom Gilbert, who put the puck into his own net trying to clear a rebound that had bounced off the end boards and back out in front.

The short-handed marker was credited to Duncan Keith. Craig Adams added another power-play goal later in the third period, while Marc Pouliot added a consolation marker for the Oilers.


Videos

Photos