|3:45 PM PT4:45 PM MT5:45 PM CT6:45 PM ET22:45 GMT6:45 3:45 PM MST5:45 PM EST2:45 UAE (+1)18:45 ET19:45 BRT, August 7, 2020
Rogers Place, Edmonton, Alberta Attendance: 0
Blackhawks aim to eliminate hub host Oilers
Edmonton Oilers at Chicago Blackhawks
- The Blackhawks took a 2-1 series lead after recording a come-from-behind 4-3 win in Game 3 on Wednesday. Chicago outscored Edmonton 2-0 in the third period after getting outscored 2-0 by the Oilers in each of the first two games. The Blackhawks were tied for 21st in the league with a -4 third period goal differential this season.
- Jonathan Toews scored the game-winning goal with 1:16 left in the third period, his 11th playoff winner. That ties him with Stan Mikita, Bobby Hull and Patrick Kane for the most playoff GWG in franchise history.
- Toews also scored on the power play in the first period, giving him his second two-goal game of the series. He's had just two other postseasons with multiple multi-goal games -- 2015 (also two) and 2009 (three).
- Since 2009, the Blackhawks are 16-5 (.762) in potential series-clinching games, the best record by any team in the league with at least three such games. They lost their last such game, in Game 7 of the first round against St. Louis in 2016. They had won each of the four prior to that.
- The Oilers are 16-16 all-time when facing elimination, but just 3-7 in their last 10. The last such win came in Game 6 of the second round in 2017, a 7-1 decision against the Ducks. They would lose Game 7 2-1.
- Leon Draisaitl had two goals and an assist in the Game 3 loss, his second three-point effort this series, both coming in losses. Prior to those two games, the Oilers were 39-3-0 in his career (regular and postseason) when he recorded at least three points.
- Stamkos scores, leaves as Tampa rolls
- Another slow start dooms Stars in Game 3
- Sharks retain Bob Boughner as coach
- Draisaitl first German to win Hart
- Penalties cost Stars dearly in Game 2
The Chicago Blackhawks have a chance to advance to the Western Conference quarterfinals with a win against the Edmonton Oilers in Game 4 of Friday's best-of-five qualifying series.
Chicago grabbed a 2-1 series lead on Wednesday with a dramatic comeback victory. The Blackhawks trailed by a goal late in the third period, but Matthew Highmore tied the score with 5:47 remaining, and Jonathan Toews put Chicago on top with 1:16 to go.
The rally tipped the series in favor of Chicago. According to the NHL, teams that win Game 3 after a series is tied 1-1 have gone on to win a best-of-five series 75 percent of the time (21-7).
"A five-game series is definitely different," Toews said to reporters. "But you always know even in a seven-game series, Games 3 (and) 4 are always the toughest ones to close it out. We had some experience in the past knowing how to play and how to prepare for those big games. ...
"Knowing that every game in the series has gotten tougher, that's going to be the toughest game coming up."
The Blackhawks have won three Stanley Cup titles since 2010, while the Oilers are built around youth and have emerged as a legitimate threat in recent seasons. It remains to be seen how Edmonton's young core will handle the pressure of an upcoming elimination game.
Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl said he and his teammates have no choice but to play with desperation. The Hart Trophy finalist finished the regular season with a league-best 110 points (43 goals, 67 assists) in 71 games, and he has stayed hot with six points (three goals, three assists) in the series' first three games.
"It's obviously disappointing, no question," Draisaitl told reporters after the Oilers' late collapse. "... Got to make sure we win the next two. I mean, we all know the situation we're in right now. We have to prepare for a back-to-back. Whatever it takes to win two games in a row."
Connor McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins are tied for the Oilers' team lead with seven points apiece through three playoff games. McDavid has five goals and two assists, while Nugent-Hopkins has one goal and six assists.
The Oilers will be without center Tyler Ennis, who is out indefinitely with an apparent right leg injury after taking a hit from Chicago's Kirby Dach in Game 3. Defenseman Adam Larsson remains in doubt after missing Game 3 with an injury.
For Chicago, Jonathan Toews and rookie Dominik Kubalik are tied for the lead with five points apiece. Toews has four goals and one assists, and Kubalik has two goals and three assists.
Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford is 2-1-0 with a 4.33 goals-against average and an .859 save percentage during the series.
On the opposite end of the ice, Oilers goaltender Mikko Koskinen is 1-1-0 with a 3.21 GAA and an .886 save percentage. He has played the bulk of the minutes ahead of veteran netminder Mike Smith, who allowed five goals in 26:32 of ice time for an unsightly 11.31 GAA and a .783 save percentage.
Edmonton defenseman Darnell Nurse said everyone must remain focused.
"It's a long series," Nurse told reporters. "There are still two games to be played. We battled and put ourselves in position at the end of the game that we could've won. But sometimes the bounces go the other way. We have to respond, come here Friday and play our best game."
--Field Level Media
Updated August 7, 2020