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Oilers score 4 in first, barely hold off Hawks

Published: Sunday, March 10, 2013 9:38 p.m. CDT
Caption
Edmonton Oilers center Sam Gagner scores his second goal on Blackhawks goalie Ray Emery with a backhand shot during the first period Sunday at the United Center. The Hawks lost, 6-5. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

CHICAGO – Sam Gagner scored two of Edmonton's four goals in the first period and the Oilers beat the Blackhawks, 6-5, on Sunday night, sending them to their second consecutive loss after their record-breaking start.

Ryan Whitney and Taylor Hall each had a goal and an assist for Edmonton, which snapped a five-game losing streak. Captain Shawn Horcoff also scored as the Oilers went 3 for 4 on the power play.

The Hawks set an NHL record by recording at least one point in the first 24 games of the season. The streak ended with a 6-2 loss at Colorado on Friday night, and coach Joel Quenneville said he was looking forward to seeing how his team responded.

The Hawks then got off to their worst start of the season before putting together a spirited rally.

Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa, Sheldon Brookbank and Brent Seabrook scored during a wild second period, and Kane added his team-best 14th of the season to get the Hawks within one with 13 minutes left.

The Hawks kept up the pressure for the last part of the game, but couldn't get the tying goal. Yann Davis, who came in after Devan Dubnyk was hurt in the second period, finished with 21 saves.

Dubnyk made a nice pad save on Hossa before the posts were dislodged when the right winger and Edmonton center Teemu Hartikainen converged on the goal. Hartikainen practically skated over the prone Dubnyk, who was down for several minutes before he was escorted from the ice.

A trainer appeared to be examining Dubnyk's head and neck.

The Hawks looked slow and listless on defense as Edmonton skated free all over the ice. Ray Emery was pulled midway through the first, marking the second straight time that Quenneville yanked his starting goaltender from the game.

The onslaught started with a pair of ugly goals just 36 seconds apart.

First, Mike Brown's turnaround wrister went in off the right post after the Hawks were unable to clear the puck out of their zone. Then a wide-open Gagner slammed in Magnus Paajarvi's pass to make it 2-0 just three minutes into the game.

It was only the beginning for the Oilers.

Whitney got open along the left side of the goal and converted a cross-ice pass from Hall to make it 3-0 at 9:19, chasing Emery from the game. Corey Crawford came in and shut out the Oilers for three minutes before a streaking Gagner went to his backhand for a power-play goal with 7:38 left in the period.

The sellout crowd at the United Center was mostly silent as the final seconds of the first ticked off. The four goals set a season high for a period for the Oilers, who have scored four or more goals in just four games this season. It also was a season worst for a period for the Hawks.

NOTES: It was Brown's first goal since Feb. 29, 2012, for Toronto at Chicago ... Blackhawks D Steve Montador hasn't played since missing the final part of last season due to a concussion. He is on the active roster, but the Hawks' defensemen have played so well he hasn't been able to crack the lineup. Asked if Montador might have to go to the minors, Quenneville said: "We'll see."

• Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap

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