Patrick Kane scored twice including the game-winner with 18 seconds left Wednesday night as the Chicago Blackhawks scored three straight goals in the third period to win 3-2 over the Calgary Flames.
After Sven Baertschi lost the puck at the Flames’ blue-line, a shot towards the goal by Niklas Hjalmarsson caromed sharply off the skate of Calgary defenceman Chris Butler and went straight to Kane at the side where he lifted a backhand over goaltender Reto Berra.
Patrick Sharp also scored for Chicago (18-4-4). The NHL’s top team improved to 4-1-0 with two stops to go on its seven-game road trip.
Matt Stajan and Sean Monahan scored for Calgary (8-12-4). The Flames are 1-5-2 in their last eight games at home.
Just as it looked like Chicago would be shut out for the first time in 93 games, the Blackhawks struck for two goals 56 seconds apart to tie the game and silence the crowd at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
Kane dashed down the left wing and as he attempted to send a centring pass to Andrew Shaw in front, the puck deflected off the stick of Flames defenceman Kris Russell instead and beat a surprised Berra inside the goal post at 9:42 of the third.
On the next shift, Marian Hossa sent a pass into the slot that Sharp redirected past Berra and suddenly the two teams were even.
Ahead 1-0 entering the third period, Calgary surged in front 2-0 at 2:05 on Monahan’s ninth goal. Taking a drop pass from Jiri Hudler, the Flames outstanding rookie fired a shot just inside the goal post, beating Antti Raanta.
Monahan is tied with Mike Cammalleri for the team lead in goals with nine.
Raanta finished with 20 saves in his first NHL start. Recalled from the minors on Nov. 17 when Nikolai Khabibulin went on injured reserve, he stopped 14-of-16 shots a week ago in Colorado in relief of Corey Crawford in his only previous appearance.
Berra made his 10th start in the last 11 games for the Flames. He finished with 27 saves to fall to 3-5-2.
It was Berra’s second start against Chicago. In his memorable NHL debut on Nov. 3, he made 42 saves in a 3-2 overtime victory at the United Center.
As is Bob Hartley’s style when he’s playing at home with the last line change, the Calgary head coach matched top line against top line and got a great night from the Flames’ trio of Stajan, Lee Stempniak and Cammalleri.
Up against Jonathan Toews, Hossa and Sharp for a majority of the game, the Flames’ unit stifled them offensively through the first two periods especially while creating a bunch of scoring chances for themselves.
Calgary opened the scoring at 13:32 of the second period. Stajan found himself some open space in the slot and one-timed a centring pass from Hudler for his fourth goal of the season.
Notes: Hossa returned to the line-up after missing two games for personal reasons... Flames have placed LW TJ Galiardi (back) on injured reserve and recalled RW Max LW Max Reinhart from Abbotsford (AHL) ... Calgary D Mark Giordano (broken ankle) is back skating with the club although no return date is known. Teammate LW Curtis Glencross (knee) hopes to be back on the ice next week. The two veterans have missed 16 and nine games respectively ... Flames were coming four days off. Other than the Olympic break, they will not go that long between games the rest of the season.