Blackhawks 4, Flames 1
CALGARY, Alberta -- Andrew Ladd had two goals and an assist Saturday and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Calgary Flames 4-1.
Andrew Shaw also scored for the third straight game for Chicago. Ladd's second goal was into an empty net with 1:12 remaining and Teuvo Teravainen also scored with the net empty with nine seconds left.
The win keeps the Blackhawks (43-25-7) alone in third place in the Western Conference's Central Division, two points up on the Nashville Predators, who also won Saturday. Both teams have seven regular-season games remaining.
Dougie Hamilton replied for Calgary (31-38-6).
The defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks have been struggling approaching the playoffs so the win is big for them. This was just their second win their past eight games and they haven't beaten a team currently occupying a Western Conference playoff spot since the Dallas Stars on Feb. 6.
Scott Darling got a sixth straight start in goal for the Blackhawks in place of injured starter Corey Crawford. He stopped 29 shots and is 2-3-1 during that stretch.
The Blackhawks are 8-0-4 against Calgary the past four seasons.
The Flames were mathematically eliminated from the playoff race with the Minnesota Wild's 4-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche earlier Saturday.
A horrible play by Flames defenseman TJ Brodie led to Ladd's goal to open the scoring at 5:51 of the second period. The last man in his zone, Brodie put a clearing pass right on Ladd's stick and Ladd found himself one-on-one with Flames goalieJoni Ortio, beating him to the stick side.
Hamilton tied it at 12:43. Hamilton's brother Freddie fanned on a shot in the slot. It slid over to the defenseman and he blasted it past a diving Darling.
Shaw gave Chicago the lead again with 49 seconds remaining in the period on a tip-in of Michal Rozsival's shot.
NOTES: The Blackhawks welcomed back C Marcus Kruger, a defensive specialist, who had been out of the lineup since Dec. 17 because of a wrist injury that required surgery. ... Blackhawks starting G Corey Crawford was sidelined for a sixth straight game with an upper-body injury and is not on the team's four-game road trip, which began in Calgary. ... Chicago's scratches were RW Dale Weise, D Erik Gustafsson, LW Brandon Mashinter, D Christian Ehrhoff and C Dennis Rasmussen. ... D Viktor Svedberg was recalled from by the Blackhawks from AHL Rockford on Thursday for the fourth time this season. ... Out of the lineup for Calgary with injuries were D Dennis Wideman (upper body), and RW Josh Jooris (lower body). ... Calgary's lone healthy scratch was G Niklas Backstrom. ... The Flames are attempting to sign C Mark Jankowski, their first-round pick from 2012, who played his final U.S. college game earlier this week at Providence. The 21-year-old can opt to become a free agent on Aug. 15.