Doug Wilson's tie-breaking goal with 1:59 remaining led the Chicago Blackhawks to a 4-3 victory over the Edmonton Oilers Friday night, tying their NHL playoff series at a game apiece.
Wilson scored on a wrist shot from the top of the left circle only moments after Edmonton goaltender Bill Ranford had robbed Steve Larmer on a shot from 15 feet out.Esa Tikkanen attempted to clear the puck after Larmer's shot and it wound up on Wilson's stick. The Blackhawks' defenseman wristed a 35-footer past a screened Ranford, sending the Campbell Conference series back to Chicago for the third and fourth games on Sunday and Tuesday.
The loss broke an eight-game playoff winning streak for the Oilers, who had won the opener of this series at the Northlands Coliseum 5-2 on Wednesday night.
Greg Millen, who had a 4-18-4 career record against the Oilers, had never played against them in a playoff game before. It was his first appearance in the playoffs since losing in the Norris Division finals to St. Louis. Ed Belfour had played the last five games for the Blackhawks.
Millen preserved the victory with 20 seconds remaining when he dove backwards to cover Tikkanen's shot in the crease after the puck deflected off Wilson's skate and was rolling toward the goal line.
It was the first time the Blackhawks had ever beaten the Oilers in playoff game at the Northlands Coliseum, where they came in Friday night with an 0-6 record.
The Blackhawks took a 1-0 lead when Troy Murray banged in a centering pass from Jeremy Roenick on a breakaway at 17:50 of the first period. The play was set up on a nice feed from Greg Gilbert.
Denis Savard made it 2-0 with a 25-foot slapshot from the slot at 2:02 of the second period after the Oilers failed to clear the puck.
The Oilers came back with a goal by Glenn Anderson, who scored from the lower left circle at 9:49 after taking a pass across the slot from Mark Messier. The goal capped a three-on-two break.
Steve Thomas restored Chicago's two-goal lead when he scored from in front on a breakway with Wayne Presley at 17:36. Oiler defenseman Charlie Huddy fell down on the play, allowing Thomas a clear shot at Ranford.