Balanced Blackhawks attack sends Oilers to 11th loss in row

EDMONTON, Alberta -- The Chicago Blackhawks needed 44 seconds to take the fight out of the Edmonton Oilers.

Jonathan Toews scored on Chicago's first shot of the game and the Blackhawks added to Edmonton's misery Tuesday night, beating the Oilers 4-2 and extending the NHL's last-place team's winless streak to 11 games.

Troy Brouwer, Dustin Byfuglien and Marian Hossa also scored for the Blackhawks, who are 4-2 through six games of a season-high eight-game road trip. Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith added two assists apiece for Chicago.

Oilers coach Pat Quinn said it was obvious what was going to happen when the Blackhawks scored on the first shot of the game.

"I think we were trying to scrape ourselves together after that," he said. "When we had the puck in the second period for sure, it was like we just gave it back to them and went 'here you are.'"

Fernando Pisani and Ryan Potulny scored for the Oilers, who are in the midst of their worst losing streak since a 12-game skid three years ago. The franchise record for consecutive losses is 14, set in 1993. The Oilers have won once in their last 19 and just one of their last 15 at home.

"We played like deer in the headlights," Quinn said. "We knew it was a good team we were playing and it was like we were going to just stand there and hope nothing bad would happen."

The Blackhawks are almost the complete opposite of the Oilers, with exactly double the points in the standings at 76 to Edmonton's 38 and now just two points behind the San Jose Sharks for first place overall.

"That was a really good response after the loss to Vancouver," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. "We were very disappointed with that game. But the way we played in this one sets up a game with San Jose where we have a chance to tie for first. That's the way we have to play. I liked the pace we had all night."

The Hawks were up 1-0 before most of the fans were in their seats, scoring just 44 seconds in as Toews beat Jeff Deslauriers with a wrister on the game's first shot.

The Blackhawks went up 2-0 five minutes into the second. Kane circled the Oilers' zone before finally dishing it in front to Brouwer, who scored his 15th of the season.

"I thought in the first two periods we did some good things, but I think that's far from the way we can play," Toews said. "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, until it's over."

Chicago made it 3-0 midway through the second when Keith's point shot through traffic was tipped in by Byfuglien.

The Blackhawks connected on the game's first power-play opportunity to go up 4-0. Hossa hammered home the third rebound off a mad scramble in front of Deslauriers.

The Oilers finally beat Cristobal Huet with 20 seconds left in the period. Moreau tipped a shot through Huet's legs before Pisani knocked it in to make the score 4-1 score heading to the third.

Edmonton got to within two goals six minutes into the final period when Patrick O'Sullivan stole the puck from Niklas Hjalmarsson deep in the Chicago zone. He fed it to Potulny in front, who beat Huet five-hole.

With the Oilers pressing late, Huet made a magnificent diving save to keep the score at 4-2.

Game notes
It was the third meeting between the two teams with Chicago also winning the first two. ... The Oilers have only won two home games since starting goalie Nikolai Khabibulin went down with a back injury just prior to their last game against Chicago on Nov. 21. ... With Edmonton defensemen Ladislav Smid and Steve Staios both out with concussions, the Oilers once again recalled Taylor Chorney from Springfield for the game. ... Blackhawks second-line center Dave Bolland, who has been out several months after back surgery, has reportedly joined the team and begun skating. ... Hossa is tied for the league lead with three short-handed goals. The entire Edmonton team has just one this season. ... Kane recorded his 200th NHL point with his assist in the first period.