Sports

Toews, Blackhawks welcome Oilers

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Blackhawks eye a second victory in a row on Friday night when they play the middle part of a three-game homestand against the Edmonton Oilers.

The Blackhawks opened their brief residency with Monday's 5-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. The game marked the debut of a pair of recent acquisitions, defenseman Kimmo Timonen and forward Antoine Vermette, but captain Jonathan Toews grabbed the headlines with a three-point night.

Toews had a pair of goals and an assist in Chicago's third victory in four games. He reached the 20-goal mark for the eighth time in as many NHL seasons.

"We took advantage of our chances and got rewarded for it," said Toews. "I think when you're able to distance yourself in a game like that you're able to play with a little more confidence."

Marcus Kruger, Brandon Saad and Marian Hossa all scored for the Blackhawks, who are four points ahead of the Minnesota Wild for third place in the Central Division. Corey Crawford stopped 27 shots in the win.

Crawford is 5-5-0 with a 2.76 goals against average and .888 save percentage in 12 lifetime meetings, including eight starts, versus the Oilers. He will get the call tonight when the clubs meet for the third and final time this regular season.

Chicago had a five-game series winning streak snapped with a 5-2 loss in Edmonton on Jan. 9. Hossa has a goal and five assists in the two meetings, with Toews and Saad both notching a pair of goals and two helpers.

Edmonton kicks off a five-game road trip this evening having lost four of their past five games. That includes Tuesday's 5-2 setback to the Los Angeles Kings.

Luke Gazdic and Teddy Purcell each lit the lamp and Ben Scrivens allowed all five goals on 29 shots for Edmonton, which is last in the Western Conference with 46 points.

"You give any team time and space like that and they're going to shove it down your throat," said Gazdic.

Jordan Oesterle tallied his first career point with an assist in the loss. It came in the third career game for the 22-year Michigan-born defenseman.

Scrivens is 1-2-0 in three career meetings with the Blackhawks, posting a 4.23 GAA and .865 save percentage.