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Hawks win to clinch Presidents’ Trophy

Published: Thursday, April 25, 2013 12:26 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, April 25, 2013 9:17 a.m. CDT
Caption
(Jason Franson)
The Blackhawks' Jonathan Toews is stopped by Edmonton Oilers goalie Devan Dubnyk during the first period Wednesday in Edmonton, Alberta. The Hawks won, 4-1. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jason Franson)

EDMONTON, Alberta – Patrick Kane had a goal and two assists and the Blackhawks secured the Presidents’ Trophy for the first time in 22 years with a 4-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday night.

The Blackhawks (35-6-5) held off the Eastern Conference-leading Pittsburgh Penguins for the top regular-season record in the NHL.

Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp and Johnny Oduya also scored for the Blackhawks, who have gone 10-1-2 in their past 13 games and clinched the league’s best record for the first time since 1991.

Nail Yakupov scored for the Oilers (17-22-7), who lost for the ninth time in 10 games and are headed toward another high draft pick.

The Hawks took a 1-0 lead 3:58 in when Toews elected to shoot on a 2-on-1 rush, cleanly beating goalie Devan Dubnyk with a wrist shot to the stick side for his 22nd goal.

The Oilers tied it 52 seconds later when Yakupov gathered a rebound off the boards and fired a slap shot that goalie Ray Emery couldn’t stop. It was the 12th goal for Yakupov, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 draft.

The Hawks went ahead 2-1 at 8:11 of the first as Kane fought off Justin Schultz to go in on a breakaway. He put a shot between Dubnyk’s legs with relative ease, tying Toews for the team lead with 22 goals.

Corey Crawford came in to replace Emery with 6:11 left in the first after Emery sustained a lower body injury.

Crawford kept his team in the lead with a beautiful glove save eight minutes into the second. Jordan Eberle waited for a sliding defenseman to go by before lifting the puck up high on the doorstep.

The Blackhawks came close to adding to their lead with six minutes left in the second when a puck got through Dubnyk’s legs during a scramble and sat on the goal line before being swept to safety by Schultz.

Edmonton had only two shots in the second period.

The Hawks went ahead 3-1 at 4:36 of the third period when Oduya took a pass from Kane on the fly and picked the top corner with a quick wrist shot.

The Blackhawks sealed it with an empty-net goal from Sharp. Despite his early exit, Emery was credited with the win.

NOTES: It was the first time the Blackhawks played in Edmonton since Feb. 2, 2012, the night Sam Gagner had eight points to tie the Oilers’ franchise record for most points in a game — matching Wayne Gretzky and Paul Coffey. ... The Oilers have 20 players on their active roster who are in the minus column. The Blackhawks have three. ... Patrick Sharp returned to the Chicago lineup after missing five games with an injured shoulder. Dave Bolland remained out with a groin injury. ... 2013 Hobey Baker Memorial Award winner Drew LeBlanc made his NHL debut for the Blackhawks after singing as a free agent with the team earlier in the month. ... Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (shoulder) and Ales Hemsky (foot) remained out for Edmonton. Magnus Paajarvi returned from a foot injury. ... With the Oilers eliminated from the playoff chase, Taylor Hall, Eberle and Dubnyk accepted invitations to play for Canada at the World Hockey Championship.

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