Blackhawks Set Oilers on Brink with wild 4-3 comeback in Game 3

The Chicago Blackhawks snatched a 4-3 victory from the jaws of defeat last night, stunning the Edmonton Oilers with a two-goal rally in the third period to secure a critical 2-1 series lead.

The Blackhawks would finally score first when defenseman Olli Maatta rocketed a slap-shot past goalie Mikko Koskinen, who was screened on the play by rookie Kirby Dach. Leon Draisaitl would tie the game less than a minute later after Hawks coach Jeremy Colliton left his fourth line on the ice for a defensive zone faceoff against Edmonton’s second line. Captain Jonathan Toews would regain the lead for Chicago late in the first, converting the Hawks’ lone power-play tally during a 5-on-3 man-advantage.

After a glaring turnover by rookie Matthew Highmore early in the second period, Draisaitl would once again tie the game 2-2. With four power plays in the period, the Hawks had plenty of opportunities to regain the lead, only to fall behind when Connor McDavid scored his fifth goal of the series on the power play with 8 seconds remaining in the period.

Down 3-2 with the Oilers seemingly on the cruise-control, Highmore would gain sweet redemption, deflecting a shot from defenseman Slater Koekkoek past Koskinen with just under six minutes remaining in the game. With less than two minutes to go, Toews would complete a deflection of his own off a Connor Murphy wrist shot, scoring his second goal of the game and completing a series-changing 4-3 comeback for Chicago.

The victory was earned in spite of an ineffective Blackhawks power play that was 1-for-6 on the man-advantage. Edmonton not only shut down the Blackhawks’ power play; they also neutralized the Hawks’ star players in Patrick Kane, Dominik Kubalik, and Brandon Saad, while once again netting contributions from their big guns in Connor McDavid (1 goal) and Leon Draisaitl (2 goals, 1 assist).

Nevertheless, the Oilers find themselves one game away from being eliminated by the lowest seed in the Western Conference.

“We stuck with it,” said Toews, who leads the Hawks in both goals (4) and points (5) this series. “It was a great team effort, some great contributions from all over our lineup.”

In a best-of-five series tied at 1, the winner of Game 3 has a 75% success rate of advancing to the next round. The Blackhawks will now have two opportunities to close out the series beginning with Game 4 on Friday.

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