Chicago Blackhawks vs. Edmonton Oilers Pick & Prediction JANUARY 9th 2024

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Streakiness continues to define the Edmonton Oilers this season, only lately, it’s for the good.

Edmonton, which fired coach Jay Woodcroft in November and slumped through skids of four, four and three games before Thanksgiving, is rolling now.

The Oilers have won seven in a row entering Tuesday’s visit to the Chicago Blackhawks to vault back into the Western Conference playoff race. A victory will match the club’s longest winning streak this season (eight games, Nov. 24-Dec. 12).

“You’re happy with it, but with the position we’re in we’re not satisfied,” center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins said. “We know there’s more for our group. Whether it’s defense or playing a full 60 (minutes), we know that we can continue to get better.”

Edmonton has prevailed by multiple goals five times during the current tear. The latest came Saturday, as Zach Hyman’s third hat trick of the season and a 29-save effort from Stuart Skinner boosted the Oilers to a 3-1 home victory against Ottawa.

Hyman has scored a team-best 25 goals and is 11 short of matching his career high. His surge has helped the Oilers to a 15-3-0 mark over their past 18 games.

“I’m kind of doing the same thing (as last season), but obviously they’re going in a little bit more this year,” Hyman said. “If you continue to get the chances they’re going to go in and as I’ve said numerous times, there are some pretty good players here who can make plays every single game and I’m very fortunate to be playing with them.”

Edmonton topped visiting Chicago 4-1 on Dec. 12, as the Oilers responded with four unanswered goals after Blackhawks star rookie Connor Bedard scored 3:21 into the game.

Chicago has lost nine of 12 since then and is also without Bedard (fractured jaw), who was placed on injured reserve Saturday as the team remains banged up.

Still, Sunday’s 4-3 home win against Calgary offered a bright spot for the beleaguered Blackhawks, who were coming off an 0-4-1 road trip in which Bedard, Nick Foligno (fractured left finger), Taylor Raddysh (groin), Tyler Johnson (right foot) and Anthony Beauvillier (left wrist) each left games with injuries.

“No one’s going to be able to step out and play like Connor Bedard,” Chicago defenseman Connor Murphy said. “Everyone has to play to their strengths and how they can, and realize that if everyone plays to their best ability and their own way, you’re still going to have a chance to win.”

Colin Blackwell sparked Chicago with two goals and an assist, while Jarred Tinordi added two assists.

Claimed off waivers from Arizona on Saturday, Zach Sanford assisted on Blackwell’s game-winner at 14:37 of the third period in his Blackhawks debut.

“(If) you ask anyone around the league, they’ve never really seen anything like what’s been going on with the Hawks here,” Sanford said. “But for me, it’s exciting. It’s a … great opportunity, so I’m just trying to make the most of it.”

The Blackhawks are trying for their first three-game home winning streak of the season.

–Field Level Media

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