Blackhawks’ rally falls short against Oilers as losing streak continues

The Hawks battled hard in the third period but in the third period only, ultimately falling 5-4 for their eighth straight defeat.

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Leon Draisaitl skates with the puck.

Oilers stars Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid exploited the Blackhawks in a 5-4 Oilers win Wednesday.

Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The Blackhawks’ third-period rally Wednesday against the Oilers shared some similarities with the Stars’ epic third-period rally against the Hawks last Wednesday.

But that Stars’ rally succeeded. The Hawks’ rally did not. And both games ultimately resulted in regulation losses for the Hawks, whose 5-4 defeat against Edmonton marked their eighth straight and 14th in their last 16 games.

“If we play with that desperation, a little bit of emotion in our game, like we did in the third period, it can go a long way,” forward MacKenzie Entwistle said. “Now we see it. We’ve seen it for the past couple games now. We just have to get out of this little drought.”

Max Domi and Entwistle scored 19 seconds apart to cut the Oilers’ lead to 4-3 with seven minutes left, then Domi scored again to cut the Oilers’ lead to 5-4 with 71 seconds left, and the Hawks generated a golden chance for Taylor Raddysh to tie the game with 13.9 seconds left. But Oilers goalie Stuart Skinner made the save and the visitors held on.

Outside of those fleeting moments of Hawks hope, the Oilers’ blindingly bright star duo of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl largely controlled the game. They combined for three goals and five points, including two beautifully executed two-on-one rushes.

“If they’re on a two-on-one, the damage is done,” Hawks coach Luke Richardson. “Even when they’re on a two-on-four, it’s difficult.”

The Oilers outshot the Hawks 41-25, peppering Hawks goalie Arvid Soderblom with pressure— including quite a few shots off the post not included in that total. The Hawks’ new first line featuring Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews together did not fare particularly well; they were outshot 9-2 and outscored 3-0 during their five-on-five time together.

Richardson sounded skeptical when asked if the Hawks could’ve tried to play with their third-period desperation for the full 60 minutes, responding that he believed the Hawks’ breakdowns were more due to over-aggression than a lack of it.

“We [were] playing forceful and taking chances because we’re behind,” he said. “I don’t think you can do that against this team. We gave them way too many outnumbered chances as it is.”

“It is good to see that we do fight back to the end. But we have to be more stingy defensively without taking away from our offense.”

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