July 14th, 2024

McDavid and Bouchard have two assists apiece as Oilers top Blackhawks 4-1

By Shane Jones, The Canadian Press on December 12, 2023.

Chicago Blackhawks goalie Petr Mrazek (34) reacts as Edmonton Oilers' Sam Gagner (89), Connor Brown (28), Cody Ceci (5) and Warren Foegele (37) celebrate a goal during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Tuesday December 12, 2023.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

EDMONTON – Connor McDavid and Evan Bouchard each had a pair of assists as the Edmonton Oilers emerged victorious in the Clash of the Connors, defeating the Chicago Blackhawks 4-1 on Tuesday in the first-ever meeting between McDavid and star rookie Connor Bedard.

Sam Gagner had a goal and an assist and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Leon Draisaitl and Zach Hyman also scored for the Oilers (13-12-1), who have won eight games in a row.

Bedard replied for the Blackhawks (9-18-1) who have lost seven consecutive road games.

The younger Connor got the first word as Bedard scored his 12th of the season just 3:21 into the contest on the second shot of the game. Bedard took a long pass from Alex Vlasic for a partial breakaway and unleashed a deceptive shot that beat Oilers goalie Stuart Skinner glove-side to the top corner.

Another first overall draft pick was able to tie the game up midway through the opening period as Nugent-Hopkins took a saucer pass on a give-and-go with McDavid and beat Hawks netminder Petr Mrazek for his sixth of the season.

McDavid extended his points streak to 10 games, while blueliner Bouchard picked up the secondary assist to stretch his points streak to 12 games. It is the second-longest points streak by a defenceman in Oilers history.

Edmonton took the lead with 1:41 to play in the first frame as Derek Ryan sent a backhand pass from behind the net to Gagner, who chipped it in for his fourth of the campaign.

The Oilers got a gift goal with 6:36 remaining in the second period as a Draisaitl pass was cleanly deflected into his own net by Chicago defender Nikita Zaitsev. The goal was Draisaitl’s 12th of the season.

Edmonton made it 4-1 just 43 seconds into the final frame with a power-play goal. Hyman had an easy tap-in of a perfectly placed McDavid feed for his 16th goal.

NOTES – McDavid was the first overall draft pick in 2015, while Bedard was selected first this past summer “¦ The Blackhawks have had plenty of adversity so far this season. Out with injuries at the moment are Taylor Hall, Andreas Athanasiou, Colin Blackwell, Seth Jones and Kevin Korchinksi. Veteran forward Corey Perry is also gone due to a contract termination. “¦ The only Oiler on the shelf is forward Dylan Holloway. “¦ Over the first seven games of their win streak, the Oilers were first in the NHL in goals per game with 4.86, goals against per game with 1.71, a goal differential of plus-22 and a power-play percentage of 43.5.

UP NEXT – Both teams return to action on Thursday. The Blackhawks play the second game of a short two-game trip in Seattle. The Oilers play the fifth game of a lengthy six-game homestand against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 12, 2023.

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