Nikolai Khabibulin stumbled coming out of the tunnel from the Oilers' dressing room to start the second period before steadying himself on the bench and taking the ice.
Then the Oilers goaltender was tripped up by the Blackhawks, and the longest streak in NHL history to start a season without a regulation loss lives on at 19.
Marian Hossa scored the winner in overtime to lift the Hawks to a 3-2 victory over the Oilers on Monday night at the United Center. Patrick Kane and Viktor Stalberg had goals in regulation and Ray Emery earned the win in goal as the Hawks improved to 16-0-3 this season. Dating to last season, they have gone 25 consecutive games with at least one point.
Jeff Petry and Nail Yakupov scored for the Oilers, who kicked off a 17-day, nine-game trip with the loss.
The Oilers came out with the speed and determination they displayed last season against the Hawks when they won three of four games with a 24-15 goal advantage. Emery was tested early but came up big when he dropped to his pads to smother an attempt from the slot by Ales Hemsky.
A delay-of-game penalty on Magnus Paajarvi for flipping the puck into the stands produced offense from both sides. Edmonton got on the board while short-handed as Lennart Petrell raced into the Hawks' zone on a breakaway after defenseman Duncan Keith fell down. Emery made a strong save on Petrell's attempt, but the rebound was ripe for the picking and Petry fired it into the open net.
With time running out in the penalty, the Hawks displayed the resiliency that has been a key to their points streak as Kane worked his way into the slot and slid a backhander past Khabibulin for his 10th goal of the season and a 1-1 tie.
Later in the first, Emery kept it even when he stoned Corey Potter from in close with the Oilers on the power play.
In the second, Daniel Carcillo, who was the most physical player on the ice for both sides with booming hits throughout the game, had a chance offensively from the slot but couldn't solve Khabibulin.
Brandon Saad's second penalty of the game for the Hawks led to the Oilers' second goal. Edmonton moved the puck nicely and Sam Gagner hit an open Yakupov with a pass and the rookie unloaded a one-timer past Emery.
Stalberg pulled the Hawks even early in the third when he stuffed a shot under the pad of Khabibulin from the crease. A video review confirmed the puck crossed the line and the score was 2-2.
The close game was nothing new to the Hawks, who entered the game with a 9-0-3 mark in one-goal games.
"The whole league is close," coach Joel Quenneville said. "When you aren't playing … you're watching and it's a one-goal night and you're hoping it's not a three-point game. Everybody keeps themselves in games."
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Author: Mama Liga News
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