|Goaltender||GAA / SV%||% Games Won of Total GP|
|Edmonton Oilers||Mikko Koskinen||4.07 / .840||.585|
|Chicago Blackhawks||Corey Crawford||3.00 / .893||.514|
The Chicago Blackhawks took a 2-1 series lead the other day over the Edmonton Oilers and will look to close out the series on Friday afternoon. Doing so would be their first post-season series win since the 2014-15 season, in which the Hawks won the Stanley Cup for the third time in six seasons.
Edmonton dropped their third qualifying round game by a score of 4-3, and now face elimination. The Oilers received the first power play of the evening, a hooking penalty against Jonathan Toews, but did not convert. It was the Blackhawks this time that scored first, for the first time in the series, and Olli Maatta was the goal scorer. Less than 60 seconds later, Leon Draisaitl evened the score with a set play off the face-off. Chicago got its first power play just beyond the sixteen-minute mark as Josh Archibald was called for high-sticking, but play resumed as 4-on-4 just 16 seconds later as Dominik Kubalik went off for interference. Then, Kailer Yamamoto was called for holding the stick, and the Blackhawks played 4-on-3 momentarily before 16 seconds of 4-on-4, then a traditional man-advantage for a minute and 33 seconds. The Hawks played 5-on-3 with Kris Russel coming off for holding, all this coming before the end of the first period. Mikko Koskinen fought to keep the score tied, but the puck slipped past the goal line, and Toews got credit for the power play goal. Just beyond the four-minute mark of the second, Leon Draisaitl potted his second of the game to tie the game 2-2. Connor McDavid gave the Oilers a lead with his 5th goal of the post-season, a power play goal, coming in the final eight seconds of the middle frame. Unfortunately for Edmonton, two Blackhawks goals in the third would lift Chicago to a 4-3 lead, and ultimately take a 2-1 series lead. Matthew Highmore at the 14:13 mark scored the tying goal for Chicago, and Jonathan Toews at 18:44 was the eventual game-winner. Oilers goaltender Mikko Koskinen made 21 saves on 25 shots, and Hawks netminder Corey Crawford allowed three goals on 28 shots.For the Oilers to avoid elimination, they will need to win Games 4 and 5. It is undetermined if Oilers head coach Dave Tippett will elect to start Koskinen in game 4, or if he will go back to Mike Smith.
TXHT’s Top Takeaways
- Koskinen was not the reason for the Game 3 loss. Poor coverage and lucky bounces were.
- Corey Crawford became the 20th goaltender in NHL history to record 50+ postseason wins
- Look to Leon Draisaitl to be the difference-maker in Game 4.
The Edmonton Oilers and the Chicago Blackhawks will play Game 4 of the Qualifiers on Friday August 7th, at 6:45pm EST in Edmonton at Rogers Place.
HockeyReference. (2020). Chicago Blackhawks Franchise History. Retrieved from https://www.hockey-reference.com/teams/CHI/history.html.