When you’re on a roll, sometimes good things happen. Patrick Kane and the Chicago Blackhawks were proof of that Wednesday night.
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Kane scored twice, including the tiebreaking goal with 18 seconds left, and the Blackhawks rallied for three straight goals in the third period – aided by a few lucky bounces – to beat the Calgary Flames 3-2.
Kane’s team-leading 14th and 15th goals gave him a career-high 12-game points streak.
”It’s nice to be on a streak like that, try to produce consistently. I think the biggest thing is just to try and go into every game with a clean slate and take it for what it is,” Kane said. ”You have the chance to play with good players, playing on a pretty hot power play right now, you’re going to get some points.”
Patrick Sharp also scored for Chicago (18-4-4), the top team in the NHL. The defending Stanley Cup champions improved to 4-1-0 on their seven-game road trip.
”I think it’s a group that’s familiar with the situation of being down going into the third period and we’ve been good at coming back and winning games or getting a point out of those games,” Kane said.
Matt Stajan and Sean Monahan scored for the Flames, who are 1-5-2 in their last eight home games.
UPDATE: Nov. 8, 11:30 AM ET: Flames rookie forward Sean Monahan has a hairline fracture in his foot. The team said Thursday the 19-year-old’s status is week to week. With nine goals and six assists, Monahan is second in NHL rookie scoring behind Thomas Hertl of the San Jose Sharks. Monahan is also second for Calgary in scoring.
The game-winner came after Sven Baertschi lost the puck at the Calgary blue line. A shot from Niklas Hjalmarsson caromed sharply off the skate of Flames defenseman Chris Butler. The puck went straight to Kane at the bottom of the circle, where he spun and lifted a backhand over goalie Reto Berra.
”It just came right to me. I tried to spin around and my first reaction was to try and pass but I ended up flipping it on net and lucky enough, it went in,” Kane said.
Similar good fortune was on his side when Kane started the comeback at 9:42 of the third.
Dashing down the left wing, he attempted to send a centering pass to Andrew Shaw in front. The puck deflected off the stick of Flames defenseman Kris Russell instead and beat a surprised Berra inside the post.
”Maybe you think he’s charmed because he makes a play like that and it goes in for him,” Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. ”He does have the puck a lot and eventually he’ll get his turn and he’ll get his A-plus chance. Might not have the A-plus-plus chances tonight, but he scored a couple.”
Only 56 seconds later, Marian Hossa sent a pass into the slot that deflected off Sharp’s stick and bounced into the net to tie the game.
”Sharp’s goes off his stick. I don’t think he was even ready for it. It just bounces off his stick and rolls in. The last one, not a hard shot either,” Baertschi said. ”It’s just one of those games.”
The wild finish erased what had been 2 1/2 solid periods for Berra and the Flames.
”Reto kept us in the game and he did everything he could, then stuff like that happens?” Baertschi said. ”There are nights like that where you work really hard for it and you think you deserve it but in the end you walk out with a kick in the butt.”
Flames coach Bob Hartley said his team was aware all night of Chicago’s quick-strike ability.
”That was something we were trying to guard against because number one, we know the firepower of that team. They basically did the same trick to the Vancouver Canucks a few night ago,” Hartley said. ”You make a few mistakes and they are so skilled they will make you pay for it, and it’s too bad because I thought we played very well and we showed up to play.”
Antti Raanta finished with 20 saves for Chicago in his first NHL start. Recalled from the minors Nov. 17 when Nikolai Khabibulin went on injured reserve, Raanta stopped 14 of 16 shots in his only previous appearance a week ago in Colorado in relief of Corey Crawford.
”It was a pretty nice feeling. Didn’t have to go to overtime or a shootout, so that’s the main thing,” said the 24-year-old Raanta. ”I felt pretty good all game long. Had a couple good saves in the first period and I got that feeling of confidence. Of course, a couple goals just over the pad to the glove side. With those types of goals, you want to catch them for a highlight save, but we got three goals and we take two points and that’s the main thing.”
Berra made his 10th start in the last 11 games for the Flames. He finished with 27 saves and fell 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.
NOTES: Hossa returned to the lineup after missing two games for personal reasons. … The Flames placed LW TJ Galiardi (back) on injured reserve and recalled forward Max Reinhart from Abbotsford (AHL). … Calgary D Mark Giordano (broken ankle) is back skating with the club, although it’s unclear when he will return. LW Curtis Glencross (knee) hopes to be back on the ice next week. The two veterans have missed 16 and nine games, respectively. … The Flames were coming off four days off. Other than the Olympic break, they will not go that long between games the rest of the season. … Monahan is tied with Mike Cammalleri for the team lead with nine goals.