Blackhawks lose wild one in Calgary

January, 29, 2014
Jan 29
12:38
AM CT
By Ryan Dittrick
Special to ESPNChicago.com
Archive
CALGARY, Alberta -- On the scale from 1 to ‘wild one!’ Tuesday’s game between the Chicago Blackhawks and Calgary Flames was a real hootenanny in the Heart of the New West.

If you like goals -- and a variety of pretty (and ugly) ones at that -- Scotiabank Saddledome was the place to be on this night.

Unless you’re a goaltender, of course, in which case cover your ears.

[+] EnlargeAntti Raanta
Derek Leung/Getty ImagesAntti Raanta was pulled after allowing four goals before the end of the second period. "I feel bad," he said. "Our guys were playing well and they scored four goals and when your team does that, you should usually win the game."
Both starting goaltenders, Antti Raanta and Reto Berra, were chased after allowing four goals each before the expiration of the second period.

By night’s end the Flames were crowned victors, with T.J. Brodie scoring the overtime winner 2:26 into the extra frame.

“I have no idea what happened tonight,” Raanta said. “I could make lots of excuses, but the bottom line is that I allowed four goals in 30 minutes.

“I feel bad. Our guys were playing well and they scored four goals. And when your team does that, you should usually win the game.”

The Blackhawks rallied after pulling Raanta, scoring twice -- one at even strength (Ben Smith) and the other short-handed (Marian Hossa) -- late in the second period, but couldn’t close the deal in overtime.

Another by Hossa and a single from Patrick Kane rounded out the scoring for Chicago.

“They’re a hard-working team, so we expected that kind of a battle,” Kane said. “They always seem to give us a tough game in this building. I thought we were ready for it and did a good job fighting back when we needed to, but we made far too many mistakes tonight.

“We have to find a way to win these games.”

Mikael Backlund put the Flames up 1-0 at 1:13, slipping a backhand shot past Raanta after bulling his way to the net on a partial breakaway. The Blackhawks’ revamped second line brought the game back on even terms 4½ minutes later, with Kane last to touch, whipping a shot up and over Berra’s left shoulder.

The Flames regained the lead at 11:43 when a sharp-angle shot from Lance Bouma handcuffed Raanta and trickled across the goal line. Hossa deflected a Patrick Sharp shot past Berra shortly thereafter, making it a 2-2 game after 20 minutes of play.

It was back and forth for much of the night.

“We gave up a couple funny goals right off the bat,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “We worked our way back into the game and I thought we made a good push and didn’t give up much in the third, but overtime has been a sore spot for us this year.”

The Blackhawks have lost a league-leading 13 games in overtime or a shootout this season.

Fresh off the signing of a new four-year, $3.125 million contract extension, Matt Stajan put the Flames back in front 3-2 after a successful two-on-one rush with David Jones.

Marcus Kruger appeared to have tied it up less than six minutes into the second period, but his short-side jam play was immediately washed out.

A quick review confirmed the call on the ice: no goal. An incensed Quenneville lashed out at the officials throughout the ensuing TV timeout.

“The ref blew the whistle because he thought it was covered. That was the explanation.”

Still, the Blackhawks had a glorious chance to tie things up moments later as Flames forward Ben Street was sent off for holding the stick.

Forty-three seconds into the man-advantage, the Flames broke back the other way on an odd-man rush. Tallying his second of the evening, Backlund tucked home the rebound, prompting Quenneville to make a goalie change.

“They were going in on him, but at the same time it was an easy time to make the decision to pull him,” Quenneville said.

Corey Crawford came on in relief, posting 13 saves in 30 minutes of work.

After Smith cut the deficit to one with 2:27 to play in the second period, Berra was replaced by Kari Ramo to start the third.

It didn’t do much, though. Hossa wasted little time netting the equalizer, cashing his team-leading third short-handed goal of the season.

A feverish rally followed, but it wasn’t enough to snap what has now become a four-game losing streak.

“We were excited to play tonight and, for whatever reason, we got behind the eight ball,” Kane said. “I don't know if it's good to go through this now so we can learn from it, but we know we have to play better.

“Sometimes a good effort isn't good enough. It's tough to win in this league when you're going through stretches like this.”

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Patrick Sharp
PTS GOALS AST +/-
78 34 44 13
OTHER LEADERS
GoalsP. Sharp 34
AssistsD. Keith 55
+/-M. Hossa 28
GAAC. Crawford 2.26