EDMONTON, Alberta — The months of arduous rehabilitation worked for James Wisniewski.
The last time the Hawks scored nine goals was in a 9-3 victory over the Bruins in Boston on Dec. 4, 1999.
Wisniewski injured his right knee in June training for the season and underwent surgery—the third operation in his career on that knee—and had been rehabbing ever since. He picked up his first points of the season with three assists and was strong defensively as the Hawks extended their winning streak to five games and their points streak to seven (6-0-1).
"It's always good to come back and in the first game get a victory," Wisniewski said. "I was a little rusty but other than that … our whole team was solid. It's always a bonus to come back and get a little bit of confidence with three points."
Wisniewski had seven goals, 19 assists and 103 penalty minutes in 68 games last season and should bolster the Hawks' defensive unit.
"He's mobile, he's quick, he has a nice shot and he's feisty," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "We want some predictability in our own end and, hopefully, he can improve that area."
Troy Brouwer had two goals and an assist and Patrick Kane a goal and two assists as the Hawks improved to 16-6-7 overall and 6-5-3 on the road. They kicked off this three-game trip with their second victory in a row away from home.
Kane started the onslaught with a wrist shot from the right circle past Edmonton goaltender Mathieu Garon with the Hawks on a first-period power play.
Wisniewski picked up his first assist on Colin Fraser's goal in the waning minutes of the first. Wisniewski put the puck in deep behind the Edmonton net where Andrew Ladd scooped it up and passed to an open Fraser between the circles from where the center fired a wrist shot by Garon.
The Hawks exploded for five goals in the second. While with a man advantage, Brian Campbell's slap shot from the top of the left circle early in the period made it 3-0. After the Oilers' Shawn Horcoff cut it to 3-1, the Hawks left no doubt as Brouwer scored his first of the night, tucking in a rebound of a Duncan Keith shot, also on the power play. Kris Versteeg scored 21 seconds later with a shot from the right of Garon.
Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish had seen enough of his starter and replaced him with Dwayne Roloson. That didn't deter the Hawks as Ben Eager scored off a rebound of a Cam Barker shot that Kane dug away from Roloson and Eager knocked into the net.
Brouwer scored the fifth goal of the period to make it 7-1 when Wisniewski blasted a shot from just inside the blue line that deflected off Brouwer and into the goal.
"We got off to a good start," Fraser said. "We talked about that. Our starts haven't been great recently and we got off to a 3-0 lead and never looked back."
Keith scored short-handed early in the third to make it 8-1 and Craig Adams added the Hawks' fourth power-play goal to end their scoring.
Nikolai Khabibulin got the start in goal for the Hawks against the Oilers and played solid to run his record to 9-1-4.
"It was a great effort across the board," Quenneville said. "Khabibulin was great in the first period. He stood his ground and we got better as the game went along. It was a good way to begin this trip."