|- Photo Gallery|
|Post-Game Comments: Denis Savard|
|Opponents Video: Penner / MacTavish|
The largest home crowd of the season saw the Blackhawks rally on Brent Seabrook's 2nd goal of the game early in the final period to give Chicago a 3-2 victory over Edmonton for their 3rd straight win at the United Center Sunday.
The Hawks paid a holiday tribute to the 20,151 fans by skating back on the ice after the game to salute the enthusiastic crowd.
Seabrook registered his first two-goal game in the NHL by blasting the game-winner 1:20 into the final period on a 30-foot slap shot past goalie Mathieu Garon into the right corner of the net. Seabrook was set up on a pass from Robert Lang for his 5th of the season and his 3rd in two games.
Seabrook's winner came seconds after goalie Nikolai Khabibulin stopped Oilers top scorer Shawn Horcoff in-close on the other end of the ice.
Khabibulin came up with another strong performance, making 25 saves, which included stopping Tom Gilbert on a wicked 30-footer at 8:30 and Dustin Penner's 15-footer at the 14 minute mark of the frame.
Edmonton had a power play in the last two minutes of the game and pulled Garon for an extra attacker in the final 90 seconds, but the Hawks defense stood firm.
The Hawks opened the scoring in the 1st period at 6:53 on a power play with Seabrook connecting on a 45-footer that deflected off Oilers defenseman Fernando Pisani.
The Oilers tied the game on a power play 72 seconds later when Gilbert's short shot trickled through Khabibulin's pads.
|Brent Seabrook celebrates his second goal of the game with teammate Patrick Sharo during the third period. (AP Photo/Jerry Lai)|
Edmonton took the lead three minutes later on a Chicago turnover when Penner had a partial breakaway and his shot just went inside the goal post for his 10th goal. Five minutes later, Khabibulin stopped Penner at the point blank range.
At 17:30 of the 2nd period, Khabibulin made two great saves on Andrew Cogliano and Zach Stortini in-close.
Chicago outshot Edmonton 34-27 with Seabrook, Jonathan Toews and Dustin Byfuglien all having 6 shots on goal while Penner had 6 for the Oilers.
The Hawks were 1 of 7 on the power play and the Oilers were 1 of 6.
Hawks coach Denis Savard called it another gritty win as his team swept back-to-back games after the overtime triumph in Ottawa Saturday.
Rookie Dave Bolland suffered a broken finger and will be out indefinitely.
Following the Christmas break, the Hawks will host Nashville Wednesday night at the United Center (7:30 pm).
AP Notes: Chicago RW Martin Havlat missed the game after pulling a groin Saturday night Ottawa. Havlat missed 22 games earlier this season because of a shoulder injury. In 12 games, he has five goals and six assists. ... Edmonton G Dwayne Roloson missed his second game because of the flu. Garon was backed up by Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers. ... Oilers LW Raffi Torres missed his fourth game because of a sprained ACL in his right knee.
Head coach Craig MacTavish: "I thought it was a good game, a hard-fought game by both sides; a little bit of everything in the game. Lots of power plays and all kinds of opportunities at the end to get it even and I like their battle. As disappointed as I was last game, and we let one slip away, we had to battle tonight. We battled hard and played a hard game, and at the end of the day you come up a little short and make some mistakes and cost us the hockey game but we battled hard and gave ourselves an opportunity to win the game."
"It was a dirty hit [by Martin Lapointe on Ales Hemsky]. He threw his knee out at him and it was a dirty hit. It should have easily been five. He didn't have the puck; it's interference, it's kneeing. How do you brace yourself and expect that type of hit? There's just no need for a guy to do that. And now we've got one of our best players getting an x-ray while taken out by a guy that plays 10 minutes a game."
Right wing Dustin Penner: "It was a good game. They ended up scoring one more goal than us. There's nothing to be surprised about. It's the NHL. The guys got to play hard every night otherwise you don't stay in the NHL. We played just as hard as them except they won."