It was a successful road trip for the Calgary Flames as they went 3-1-0 with Mark Giordano scoring his 300th assist against the Chicago Blackhawks.
That’s now six straight wins for the Calgary Flames over the Chicago Blackhawks and they won three of four on this road trip. The Flames came back in the second period but brought the heat in the third.
NHL’s first star of the week last week, Johnny Gaudreau, extended his point streak to five games by recording two goals tonight, now putting him up to third in NHL scoring with 64 points. Mark Giordano recorded an assist tonight which is his 300th career assist.
Matthew Tkachuk and Elias Lindholm both reached 50 points tonight for the first time in their careers. The Flames now have four players with 50+ points. Last season, they had two all season. The Flames also have five players with 40+ points — the most in the NHL.
Let’s check out how the Flames got here tonight.
Early on, Brendan Perlini had a nice pass over to Alex DeBrincat who was all alone in front of David Rittich, but it was stopped. Shortly after, Johnny Gaudreau started a play, got it over to Sean Monahan who shot it on Collin Delia which was stopped. As the rebound happened and that top line was trying to get it in, Gaudreau had an open net on the side and scored an easy one for the early 1-0 lead.
The Blackhawks have now allowed 20 goals in the first six minutes of the game which leads the NHL.
A few minutes later, the Blackhawks were in the O-zone and David Kampf found the rebound and looked to tie the game, but the puck bounced off the post and hit Rittich’s back, which he found instantly and made sure it didn’t go into the net.
Around the midway mark, there was a lot of action happening. The Calgary Flames had a good chance which then went down the other way. The Hawks got a couple of good shots in but Rittich stopped them. With a bit of a sloppy line change for the Hawks, this led to a James Neal breakaway. So basically, nothing really happened since we can all assume the outcome of this one.
Inside the eight-minute mark, the Flames took the first penalty of the game. On that powerplay, the Blackhawks had a couple attempts but no shots. They took a little while to set up and the fans were calling for a shot, but it didn’t come.
With less than four to go, Patrick Kane had the puck and from a weird angle, shot the puck on his backhand which found its way past Rittich.
In the final minute of the game, the Flames got another good chance on Delia, but this period finished 1-1 with the Flames outshooting the Hawks 16-12 with the Flames having the slight edge at 5v5.
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The Calgary Flames started the period with two good shifts from the top line followed by the third line. This was followed by a good chance by the Blackhawks in which Rittich had to make a couple of nice saves. Four minutes into the period and the Hawks were outshooting the Flames 6-0.
Right after, Noah Hanifin snuck in at the point and had a good shot which was stopped by Delia.
The Flames lack of puck-management to start this period came back to bite them. As the Blackhawks came into the zone and made some good plays, DeBrincat finished the play and gave the Hawks the 2-1 lead.
Shortly after, the Hawks went on the powerplay. As they were trying to set up, they took a penalty, so we saw the majority of it at 4on4. On this 4on4, the Hawks got a majority of the chances and Rittich had to be sharp with Sam Bennett also doing a good job of taking away a scoring chance on Brandon Saad.
Later in the period, the Flames had their chance at a full powerplay. They had one really great chance from a good play by Monahan, but Delia stopped that one. The rest of the PP went scoreless.
Late in the game, the Flames had another powerplay. On that PP, Matthew Tkachuk did a great job of making a play behind the net and got the puck over to Monahan who got it past Delia for the tie-game.
This period wasn’t the best for the Flames and the Hawks outshot them12-9. The Hawks also had a big edge at 5v5 in basically every aspect.
Early in the powerplay, Gaudreau had a breakaway and went to his typical Gaudreau move of going five-hole. It seemed to be stopped first but the puck trickled through and went into the net, so they got the 3-2 lead early. And Gaudreau finally got a breakaway goal on this road trip after, like, a million that were stopped.
With an assist on that, captain Mark Giordano has hit 300 NHL assists!
Shortly after that goal, the Flames went on a powerplay and had great looks on it. They had four shots but none got past Delia, so this game remained 3-2 for the Flames.
Around the five-minute mark, the Hawks put on a good shift and had a couple good looks on Rittich, but it went scoreless. Moments later, Gaudreau and Monahan went down on a two-on-one breakaway. Gaudreau got it over to Monahan who had a great wrist shot, but Delia stopped it.
For the next ten minutes, the Calgary Flames were excellent and had a majority of the chances and already put up 16 shots. Within the last five minutes of the period, the Blackhawks started coming back and started pressing. Late in the game, the Blackhawks got a powerplay and took out the goalie. The Flames took advantage of the empty-net and Garnet Hathaway gave the Flames the 4-2 lead and that’s now 14 shorthanded goals for the team.
Within the last 30 seconds, the Blackhawks kept things interesting as Saad got the goal, which didn’t seem like a goal at first, but after replay, it was clear that it hit the net-cam, so it’s a good goal.
They couldn’t get another goal though, so this game finished 4-3 for the Flames.
While the Calgary Flames didn’t have a great second period, they were excellent in the third period and deserved that win. They went 3-1-0 on this road trip and continue to lead the Western Conference with 58 points.