CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks aren't about to blame the schedule-makers that had them playing their seventh game in 11 days for their second consecutive loss, but they're not being shy about the need for the upcoming three-day break.
"Absolutely," coach Joel Quenneville said after the Blackhawks came out on the short end of a track meet with the Oilers, 6-5 on Sunday night at the United Center. "It will be good for us."
The Hawks looked out of gas during a first period in which the Oilers hit them in the mouth with an onslaught of goals to take a 4-0 lead at intermission. With Patrick Kane as the spark, the Hawks kicked into gear in the final two periods but failed to get the equalizer as they fell to 21-2-3 on the season. It was their second game in a row without a point after getting at least one in their first 24 games.
"If you look at the first 20 minutes, we were just so flat and didn't have any jump," captain Jonathan Toews said. "We made every mistake possible by taking penalties and giving them chances in our zone. You give them a 4-0 lead and it's pretty tough to come back. We didn't get a point or two points, but considering where we put ourselves we didn't give up and we tried to come back."
In the midst of a season-long, nine-game road trip, the Oilers looked refreshed as Sam Gagner scored twice, Taylor Hall and Ryan Whitney each added a goal and an assist and Mike Brown and Shawn Horcoff found the back of the net. Yann Danis earned the win in goal as he replaced Devan Dubnyk after a second-period injury to the starter.
Flying all game, Kane scored two goals and added an assist and got help from Marian Hossa (goal, assist) and Brent Seabrook and Sheldon Brookbank (a goal each). Corey Crawford suffered the loss in goal after he replaced Ray Emery during the first period.
"We knew we were going to give it a fight, especially after the first period," Kane said. "When you're down 4-0 and you can come back to make it 6-5, you have to have a little bit of a good feeling about that.
"We've had a lot of games in the past 11 days. Maybe there's a little bit of an excuse there, but for us, hopefully we can build on those last two periods."
The Hawks have no practice the next two days, then will return to work Wednesday before embarking on four-game trip staring Thursday night against the Blue Jackets in Columbus.
"We're just going to take a couple days off (and) get away," Quenneville said. "Gather some energy and I think when you're able to play the game when you feel good, your thought process is much more effective. When you're not thinking good, it slows you down. I think everybody should get some energy."
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