Oilers generate offense going into game against Blackhawks
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CHICAGO -- If the Edmonton Oilers were looking to carry any sort of momentum into a quick turnaround, finding a way to notch back-to-back victories while keeping up its recent surge in scoring was certainly way to do it.
Fresh off a 5-3 victory over the Nashville Predators on Saturday night, the Oilers will look to extend their winning streak to three games when they face the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday at the United Center.
The Oilers have scored nine goals in their past two games and have at least four goals in each of their past three.
On Saturday, Edmonton got two goals each from Leon Draisaiti and Drake Caggiula to push their season mark to 5-3-1.
"It was a really strong effort," Draisaiti told reporters after the victory, according to the Oilers' official team website. "We played for 60 minutes."
The complete-game effort only adds to the self-assurance Edmonton has played with during the last three games, which has produced a wealth of scoring after the Oilers were shut out last weekend against the Predators.
And considering the way Edmonton has produced of late, Cagguila has noticed a marked difference in how his teammates have responded heading into Sunday's game in Chicago.
"We've got a confident group," Cagguila told reporters Saturday, according to the team website. "As the season's gone on, you could see every game we've gotten better and better. We're a very confident group right now."
Oilers coach Todd McLellan credited his team's strong start on Saturday, which led to the Oilers reaching the five-goal plateau for the second time in three games.
Despite having to quickly turn around and face the Blackhawks, McLellan -- like Cagguila -- has seen a different on-ice product of late from his team.
"We're at a point now where the guys are believing in themselves," McLellan told reporters on Saturday. "And when you do that and you start to win, you believe in it a little more. It's a powerful thing."
While the Oilers have found a way to string a couple of victories together, the Blackhawks will attempt to quickly rebound from a forgettable performance on Saturday against St. Louis.
Despite getting two goals from Patrick Kane, who pushed his season total to 11, Chicago allowed three third-period goals in a 7-3 loss to the Blues.
"The game was there to be had," Chicago's Duncan Keith said after the loss, according to the Chicago Tribune. "But unfortunately, we weren't good enough."
The Blackhawks saw their two-game winning streak snapped and, despite Kane's continued strong play, watched St. Louis break open a game that Chicago had a chance to extend its winning ways in quickly left the Blackhawks looking to rebound against the suddenly surging Oilers.
But like the Oilers, Chicago won't have much time to process its most recent performance.
"It seemed like (the Blues) were playing with maybe a little bit more intensity than we were," Kane told reporters, according to NHL.com. "We knew that was going to happen, especially with the media attention about their team and what happened last game. We just didn't come out and match it."
Updated October 28, 2018