Edmonton, AB – The Chicago Blackhawks wrapped up their first Presidents' Trophy in 22 years on Wednesday thanks to a 4-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers.
Thanks in large part to playing their first 24 games of this season without a loss in regulation, the Blackhawks clinched the best record in the NHL for the first time since the 1990-91 season, the only other time they claimed the honor which assures home-ice advantage through all four rounds of the playoffs.
Patrick Kane had a goal and two assists while Patrick Sharp, Jonathan Toews and Johnny Oduya all scored for the Blackhawks, who snapped a two-game slide and upped their point total to 75.
Ray Emery started in net, but left with about six minutes to play in the first period with a lower-body injury. He gave up one goal on eight shots while Corey Crawford turned aside all 14 shots he faced.
"The guys should be commended on a good win tonight and a good season," said Chicago head coach Joel Quenneville. "The start of our year put us in a great spot, and the consistency has put us in this place as well. I'd like to congratulate the guys; they deserve what they got."
Nail Yakupov scored the only goal of the game for the Oilers, who have lost three straight and nine of their last 10. Devan Dubnyk allowed three goals on 29 shots in the loss.
"I wish I had an answer for you," said Dubnyk. "We need to be a group of professionals in here and we need to be proud. These games are learning experiences for us and it's not acceptable for any of us with the way we've been playing lately."
Chicago got on the board 3:58 in when Toews skated into the Edmonton end on a 2-on-1 and buried a wrister from the right circle for a 1-0 lead.
The Oilers tied the game under a minute later as Yakupov blasted the puck past Emery from the right circle for his 12th of the season.
It was 2-1 in favor of Chicago at 8:11 of the first as Michal Handzus sprung Kane on a breakaway and he stuffed it between the pads of Dubnyk for his 22nd of the year.
After a scoreless second period, Chicago made it a 3-1 game 4:36 into the third as Kane sent a pass from the right wing to the left where Oduya wristed it over the glove of Dubnyk.
Sharp scored with the net empty inside of two minutes to play to wrap up the win.
Chicago hosts Calgary on Friday ... Edmonton plays in Minnesota on Friday ... The Blackhawks took two of three from the Oilers this season ... Edmonton went 0-for-4 on the power play and is scoreless over 15 man advantages in its last four games ... Chicago went 0-for-2 on the power play.