Chicago Blackhawks: Calgary Flames

Stress-free Raanta steps up for Blackhawks

December, 14, 2014
12/14/14
11:00
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- Antti Raanta arrived to the United Center with a fresh mind on Sunday.

Raanta had been allowing himself to get caught up in the Chicago Blackhawks' goaltending situation. Scott Darling had started in net the previous four games prior to Sunday, and Raanta naturally began to worry what it would mean for him when Corey Crawford returns from his injury in the near future. The Blackhawks will eventually send either Darling or Raanta down to the AHL.

[+] EnlargeRaanta
Bill Smith/Getty ImagesAntti Raanta made 23 saves Sunday night, including all five of the Flames' power-play shots.
Raanta pushed all those thoughts aside Sunday before starting his first game since Dec. 5. Focused on the task at hand and feeling loose, Raanta went out and made 23 saves and helped the Blackhawks to a 2-1 win over the Calgary Flames.

"I was feeling really good," Raanta said. "I was relaxed. I don't want to take that kind of pressure if I lose the game or if I let in two goals or three goals, that’s it, game over. I just tried to come to the rink, I was like, 'We're going to play. I'm going to do my best. And we'll see after the game what's the results.'"

The results fell in Raanta's favor against the Flames. With the Blackhawks coming off the second game of a back-to-back, they weren't exactly flying early against the Flames, and Raanta protected the net. He stopped all nine shots he saw in the first period, nine of 10 in the second period and all five in the third period. He denied all five of the Flames' power-play shots.

Blackhawks forward Kris Versteeg was impressed by Raanta.

"He hadn't played since [Dec. 5]," Versteeg said. "This is a heck of a challenge for him tonight on a back-to-back. He kept us in there in the start."

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville also praised Raanta.

"I thought he was very good," Quenneville said. "He did a very good job, excellent."

With the win, the Blackhawks improved to 6-1-0 since Crawford injured himself at a concert on Dec. 1. Raanta is 3-0-0 and has 101 saves on 106 shots for a .953 save percentage during that stretch, and Darling is 3-1-0 and has 124 saves on 132 shots for a .939 save percentage.

Quenneville hasn't tipped his hand regarding which goaltender he prefers yet, but he said Sunday he's liked how both have responded to the competition.

"I think it's healthy," Quenneville said. "I think competition is not a bad thing. Organizationally, you got to commend all of our goaltenders pushing each other in the right way. They want to play. They take advantage of the opportunity when they get in there. They've done exactly what you hope for them to do."

Raanta has especially been mindful of making the competition friendly and still being a good teammate even if that's not how he's always feeling.

"Of course, this is all the time like fighting for those games, but I think me and Scotty are pretty much the same kind of guys that we just try to do our best and that's it," Raanta said. "If you start thinking too much, then it's like if Scotty plays a great game and he gets the win, then that's it. You still have to be like a good teammate. You can't start doing anything stupid because you only hurt yourself.

"Just come here every morning, even though sometimes you can feel a little frustrated and be pretty sad about the situation, it's just hockey. Just come here with a smile on your face and enjoy the moment."

That plan worked out just fine Sunday.

Rapid Reaction: Blackhawks 2, Flames 1

December, 14, 2014
12/14/14
9:51
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- Here's a quick look at the Chicago Blackhawks 2-1 win over the Calgary Flames at the United Center on Sunday:

How it happened: Brandon Saad scored the game-winning goal and broke a 1-1 tie off an odd-man rush at 12:57 of the second period. Jiri Hudler put the Flames ahead 1-0 when he scored from the deep slot off a pass from a Johnny Gaudreau at 4:27 of the second period. The Blackhawks answered with a power-play goal from Patrick Sharp later in the period. Blackhawks goaltender Antti Raanta made 23 saves on 24 shots. Flames goaltender Jonas Hiller stopped 26 of 28 shots. The Blackhawks were 1-for-3 on the power play and the Flames were 0-for-3.

What it means: The Blackhawks extended their home winning streak to six games. They improved to 21-9-1 on the season and overtook the St. Louis Blues for first place in the Central Division. The Flames dropped their fifth game in a row. The Blackhawks got contributions for both sides of their special teams. It was the Blackhawks' first power-play goal in five games. They have allowed just two power-play goals in the past 11 games. Chicago also continued its third-period success.

Player of the game: Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews had the primary assist on both goals.

Stat of the game: The Blackhawks won 30 of 49 faceoffs.

What's next: The Blackhawks remain home and play the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday. It's their first of five games this season.

Bollig: 'Weird' returning to Chicago with Flames

October, 15, 2014
10/15/14
6:14
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
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CHICAGO -- Brandon Bollig had made the walk through the hallway and toward the United Center’s locker rooms prior to a game many times before.

The difference Wednesday was he never got to the Chicago Blackhawks' locker room. He stopped at the visiting locker room.

Bollig returned to the United Center for the first time Wednesday since being traded by the Blackhawks to the Calgary Flames in June.

“It’s pretty weird,” Bollig said prior to the game. “It’s pretty weird walking into the building with another team. I’m excited. It’s going to be great to see all those guys out there and hopefully give them a couple of shots. It’ll be awesome. Definitely mixed emotions once I get out there and hear the anthem again and all that. It’ll be a good time for me.”

Bollig signed his first professional contract with the Blackhawks in April of 2010. He began his career in the AHL and eventually earned his way into the Blackhawks’ NHL lineup. He played in 125 career regular-season games and 24 playoff games for the Blackhawks over three seasons and was part of their 2013 Stanley Cup championship team.

Bollig was planning on at least a few more years with the Blackhawks after signing a two-year contract extension in March. He even purchased a place in Chicago. Instead, he was dealt for a third-round draft pick to the Flames in June because the Blackhawks were looking to shed some cap space. Blackhawks forward Jeremy Morin is now living in Bollig’s home.

“I wasn’t expecting that,” Bollig said of being traded. "It was a shock. I wasn’t sure [what to expect]. I’ve never dealt with a trade. I wasn’t sure how it would go down. Once I got up there and everyone was welcoming and meeting the guys and coaches and things like that, it’s been great. Obviously I miss my time here.”

Bollig’s former teammates remembered his time with the Blackhawks fondly and looked forward to seeing him on Wednesday.

“He came a long way,” said Blackhawks forward Ben Smith, who lived with Bollig for a season while both were with the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs. “He just improved so much. He just worked really hard at it. So, it’s good to see him being rewarded, playing a lot, playing every night.

“It’ll be weird to see him in a different uniform. It’ll be fun to see him out there. I’m sure we’ll say hello, have a couple of laughs and get down to business out there on the ice.”

Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw planned to be friendly to an extent.

“I’m sure I’ll have a few words for him,” Shaw said. “He’s a good friend, good teammate when he was here. We just hope him all the best and hopefully he’s liking his new team, and it’ll be nice to see him again. But you don’t have any friends when you’re on the ice.”

Bollig wouldn’t expect anything less.

“I’m sure you guys all know who is going to chirp me the most,” Bollig said. “It’s going to be Shawzy for sure. That’s obviously the type of player he is. But like I said, I’m looking forward to getting out there and seeing what the guys are like on the ice.”

As for the fans, Bollig wasn’t sure what his reception would be at the United Center. He was liked and disliked by fans while with the Blackhawks.

“I have no idea,” Bollig said. “I’m excited to see the crowd, regardless of what my reception will be like. Hopefully it’s a decent one.”

However fans treat him Wednesday, Bollig will always think highly of his time in Chicago. He wouldn’t even discount a return to the Blackhawks later in his career.

“I couldn’t have asked for anything more,” Bollig said of playing for the Blackhawks. “Obviously winning a championship, but not only that, the relationships you make, not only with the guys, but with the coaches and people around the community is something I’ll never forget. Can only hope maybe I’ll end up back here one day.”

Blackhawks lose wild one in Calgary

January, 29, 2014
1/29/14
12:38
AM CT
By Ryan Dittrick
Special to ESPNChicago.com
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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.

(Read full post)

Rapid Reaction: Flames 5, Blackhawks 4 (F/OT)

January, 28, 2014
1/28/14
11:32
PM CT
By Ryan Dittrick
Special to ESPNChicago.com
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CALGARY, Alberta -- Here’s a quick look at the Chicago Blackhawks’ 5-4 overtime loss to the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night at Scotiabank Saddledome.

How it happened: After Antti Raanta was chased after allowing four goals on 15 shots, the Blackhawks rallied from a 4-2 deficit, sending the game to overtime. In the extra frame, Flames defenseman T.J. Brodie banked a shot in off Nick Leddy’s skate to secure the win for Calgary. Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa (2) and Ben Smith scored for Chicago. Mikael Backlund netted a pair, while Lance Bouma and Matt Stajan added singles for the home side. In relief of Raanta, Corey Crawford posted 13 saves in the overtime loss.

What it means: While Chicago's losing streak extends to four, the St. Louis Blues, who have three games in hand, were victorious on this night. As a result of their regulation win and the Hawks' overtime loss, the Blues (36-11-5) have moved into the Central Division lead, tied with Chicago (32-10-13) with 77 points.

Player of the game: Marian Hossa stirred the drink for the Blackhawks offensively. On both occasions, his tallies brought the game back on even terms at critical points in the game. No. 81 had 18:05 in ice time, recording three shots on goal, one block and a plus-2 rating.

Stat of the game: Incredibly, 11 different Blackhawks factored in the scoring, recording at least one point each in the victory: Duncan Keith, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Leddy, Jonathan Toews, Brandon Saad, Kris Versteeg, Johnny Oduya, Smith, Brandon Bollig, Hossa and Kane.

What’s next: The Blackhawks continue their string of six straight games away from the United Center with a stop in Vancouver on Wednesday night to face the Canucks. Chicago then continues its swing through the Pacific Division, stopping in San Jose, Los Angeles, Anaheim and Phoenix before the Olympic break, which begins on Feb. 8.

Rapid Reaction: Blackhawks 3, Flames 2

November, 28, 2013
11/28/13
12:03
AM CT
By Ryan Dittrick
Special to ESPNChicago.com
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CALGARY, Alberta -- Here’s a quick look at the Chicago Blackhawks’ 3-2 victory against the Calgary Flames on Wednesday at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

How it happened: After falling behind 2-0 early in the third period, capping a listless 42-minute performance, the Blackhawks rallied back and seized control. Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp scored less than a minute apart, bringing the game back on even terms midway through the third. Then with exactly 18 seconds to play, Kane netted his second of the night, whipping a backhand shot past Reto Berra to seal the win for the visitors.

What it means: The Blackhawks have won four straight and improve to 18-4-4 on the season. The St. Louis Blues also were victorious Wednesday, meaning the Blackhawks continue to hold a one-point edge in the Central Division. With 40 points on the year, they lead the NHL’s overall standings.

Player of the game: Antti Raanta was exceptional in his first NHL start and was the biggest reason the Blackhawks were in the game after 40 minutes. The 24-year-old netminder made 20 saves, many of the brilliant variety, all the while showing the poise of a seasoned veteran in a game that could have gotten out of control.

Stat of the game: Kane’s goal at 9:42 of the third period extended his point streak to a career long of 12 games. Kane has now registered seven goals and 10 assists in a dozen contests since Nov. 3.

What’s next: Chicago’s seven-game road trip wraps up Friday and Saturday night with a back-to-back set against the Dallas Stars and Phoenix Coyotes. The Hawks return home on Tuesday to face the Stars once again before going back on the road for a quick layover in St. Paul, Minn., to face the Wild.

Antti Raanta ready for first NHL start

November, 27, 2013
11/27/13
3:43
PM CT
By Ryan Dittrick
Special to ESPNChicago.com
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Antti RaantaDoug Pensinger/Getty ImagesAntti Raanta is set to make his first NHL start in goal for the Hawks on Wednesday against Calgary.

CALGARY, Alberta -- Finnish rookie Antti Raanta could hardly sleep last night, and understandably so.

“I got a little,” he laughed. “There’s a lot going on in my head right now, but I’ll get in a good game-day nap and settle into my normal routine.

“This is a big day for me.”

The 24-year-old will make his first NHL start Wednesday as the Chicago Blackhawks’ seven-game, 15-day road trip continues with a date against the sputtering Calgary Flames.

“I'm sure he's thrilled,” Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “This is a great opportunity for him. He works hard every day, he has some life when he's not playing and is ready to go in at any moment.”

If Raanta is at all nervous for his first NHL start, he’s certainly hiding it well. Bouncing off the walls with a mile-wide grin, casually stopping even the most difficult of shots at the morning skate, he’s carrying the vibe of seasoned pro.

He did, after all, just make his NHL debut not too long ago, stopping 14 of 16 shots in relief of Corey Crawford last week against the Colorado Avalanche.

(Read full post)

Hawks' power play comes through again

November, 3, 2013
11/03/13
10:44
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
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CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks were given their golden ticket to get back into Sunday’s game with just less than six minutes remaining in the third period against the Calgary Flames.

With the Blackhawks already on a 5-on-4 power play, the Flames’ Matt Stajan had fallen to the ice and accidentally placed his hand over the puck. His mistake was caught immediately by the officials, and he was directed to the penalty box. Chicago found itself with 1 minute, 42 seconds of a two-man advantage to erase a 2-1 deficit.

For nearly all of that time, the Blackhawks couldn’t find exactly what they were looking for on the power play. They passed the puck around. Patrick Sharp took a crack at net and was denied. Marian Hossa had a shot go wide. Duncan Keith and Patrick Kane couldn’t convert on chances.

[+] EnlargeMarian Hossa
Dennis Wierzbicki/USA TODAY SportsPatrick Sharp, left, and Marian Hossa, right, celebrate a late power-play goal that allowed Chicago to force overtime and salvage a point against the Flames.
As the power play was expiring, Kane decided the Blackhawks needed a different look. He skated with the puck to the point, and Hossa immediately went toward the right circle. Once in place, Kane delivered a pass to Hossa, and Hossa fired from the circle and provided the game-tying goal.

The Blackhawks would lose 3-2 in overtime, but it was their power play that secured them a point -- the team’s 13th in 15 games – and proved once again it is no longer an area that will hold them back.

A season ago, the Blackhawks were constantly in search of power-play consistency. They ranked 19th in the NHL with a 16.7 power-play percentage.

This season, the Blackhawks have scored power-play goals in seven of the past eight games and 11 of their first 15 games. They rank sixth with a 21.8 power-play percentage, having scored on 12 of 55 opportunities.

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville has credited that change to more player movement and more shots. Last season, he thought his team often stood around and was always looking for the perfect shot.

Even when the Blackhawks didn’t score on the power play on Sunday, Quenneville liked what his players were doing with their opportunities. They had nine shots on goals on two power plays.

"We had zone time, and you keep shooting," Quenneville said. "The guys out there with the play recognition, and [Kane] getting a little more movement and motion and Hossa hitting a nice shot. Eventually, you’re going to get a turn."

Kane was hoping for what exactly happened on the final goal, too.

"It’s a play where you can roll up and kind of see the whole ice to see what’s open -- if you have a shot, someone to the left of you, someone to the right of you," Kane said. “But Hossa is so good at that shot. I tried to draw the guy to me and slide it over to him. He made a great shot. It was a big goal to get us back into the game and get a point."

Rapid Reaction: Flames 3, Hawks 2 (OT)

November, 3, 2013
11/03/13
9:26
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
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CHICAGO -- Here’s a quick look at the Calgary Flames' 3-2 overtime win over the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center on Sunday.

How it happened: The Flames’ Kris Russell scored the game winner in overtime. The Blackhawks forced overtime by tying the game on a power-play goal with 4:19 left in the third period. The Flames’ Curtis Glencross put his team ahead 2-1 with a goal at 2:16 of the third period. Patrick Kane was a key component in the Blackhawks’ two goals. He put the Blackhawks ahead 1-0 with a goal from the left circle in the second period. He then set up Marian Hossa for the late power-play goal. Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford was making his second consecutive start in as many days. He made 27 saves on 30 shots. Flames goaltender Reto Berra made 42 saves on 44 shots in his NHL debut.

What it means: The Blackhawks had their winning streak snapped at three games. They fell to 9-2-4 on the season. The Blackhawks had plenty of chances against the Flames but couldn’t capitalize. They had 85 total shots. The Blackhawks have scored power-play goals in 11 games this season. They scored power-play goals in 19 of 48 regular-season games last season.

Player of the game: Kane had his fourth multipoint game of the season. He leads the Blackhawks with eight goals and is tied with Jonathan Toews for a team-leading 13 points.

Stat of the game: Blackhawks center Marcus Kruger has been on a tear at the dot the past two games. He won 11 of 15 faceoffs against the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday and won nine of 13 on Sunday.

What’s next: The Blackhawks have two days off before hosting the Jets on Wednesday. The Blackhawks defeated the Jets 5-1 in Winnipeg on Saturday.

Crawford staying in the moment so far

April, 26, 2013
4/26/13
11:41
PM CT
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CHICAGO -- The only time Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford allowed himself to speak about the future this year was just before the season.

[+] EnlargeCorey Crawford
Jonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesBlackhawks goalie Corey Crawford improved to 19-5-5 with Friday's win.
Coming off a 2011-12 season in which he received a bulk of the blame for the Blackhawks’ first-round playoff exit to the Phoenix Coyotes, Crawford acknowledged he was out to prove something this season.

“I feel like I need to kind of redeem myself a little bit,” Crawford said during training camp. “I’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting and finally it’s here, so I’m getting excited and ready to go.”

That was much pretty much the end of Crawford addressing his mission for the 2013 season. From the season opener against the Los Angeles Kings to the final regular-season home game on Friday, Crawford hasn’t turned his focus away from what’s just ahead of him.

And so far, Crawford’s season-long plan has worked to near perfection. With Friday’s 3-1 win over the Calgary Flames, Crawford improved to 19-5-5 on the season and lowered his goals-against average to 1.94 and save percentage to. 926. He’s tied for third in the league in goals-against average and ranks fifth in save percentage

“Just playing in the moment,” Crawford explained on Friday. “We haven’t gotten ahead of ourselves all year. Now’s not the time do that. We feel good right now. We’re just focused on what we have at the task at hand. We still have another game [Saturday.] We can’t start getting complacent or taking things lightly. We got to keep the same pace and carry into the playoffs.”

(Read full post)

Hawks meet Quenneville's standard in win

March, 26, 2013
3/26/13
11:41
PM CT
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CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville challenged his team to play a full 60 minutes prior to Tuesday’s game against the Calgary Flames.

[+] EnlargeBlackhawks/Flames
Bill Smith/Getty ImagesThe Blackhawks' Andrew Shaw battles for position with the Flames' Jay Bouwmeester.
Quenneville had expressed disappointment for the first time all season after the Blackhawks surrendered third-period leads and lost in regulation to the Anaheim Ducks and the Los Angeles Kings in their previous two games. He could have lived with going to overtime in both games, but it was unacceptable to pick up zero points amid a race for the top seed in the Western Conference.

Quenneville wasn’t going to stand for that again Tuesday, and his players responded by giving the full effort he required. Not only did the Blackhawks defeat the Flames 2-0, they made sure to attack until game’s end.

“I liked our game tonight,” Quenneville said. “We talked about it before the game, to welcome the challenge of playing at a certain standard of how we compete and how we play with a purpose. I thought we met the goal and the objectives.”

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Hawks still only focused on next game

February, 23, 2013
2/23/13
12:13
AM CT
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CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks will enjoy Friday night the fact they set a new NHL record by registering a point in their first 17 games of the season.

They might even savor it some on Saturday because they have the day off.

But come Sunday when they play their next game, the Blackhawks plan to cease their celebration and return to the mentality that was key to them building their current 14-0-3 record.

“We’re taking one game at a time,” Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson said following Friday’s 2-1 win over the San Jose Sharks. “I know it’s a boring cliché, but it’s actually how it is. It’s fun to break a record and be in the history books, but the big thing is the two points. As long as we can get points in the games here, we’re going to set ourselves up for the playoffs.

“I don’t think we’re in the playoffs yet. We got to keep winning games. I don’t think anyone is satisfied in here. We just got to keep playing as we are and keep believing in ourselves.”

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Blackhawks' point streak breakdown

February, 22, 2013
2/22/13
10:08
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
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Nick Leddy Rob Grabowski/USA TODAY SportsNick Leddy and the Blackhawks set a season-starting record Friday, earning a point in their 17th straight game.


CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks set a new NHL record for the longest points streak to start a season as they extended their streak to 17 games with a 2-1 win over the San Jose Sharks on Friday.

Here’s a breakdown of how they reached the mark:

No. 1: 5-2 win vs. Los Angeles Kings, Jan. 19: The Blackhawks set the tone for the season in the opener and ruined the Kings’ Stanley Cup banner-raising ceremony by jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the first period. Marian Hossa scored two goals and dished out an assist in his first game back since suffering a head injury in the previous season’s playoffs.

No. 2: 6-4 win vs. the Phoenix Coyotes, Jan. 20: This is the only game this season in which the Blackhawks allowed more than three goals. The Blackhawks offense made up for the team’s defensive and goaltending struggles. The Blackhawks scored three times in the second period, and twice more in the third period for the victory. Hossa and Dave Bolland each scored twice.

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Hawks saved by Emery's special night

February, 3, 2013
2/03/13
12:29
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
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There were plenty of reasons why Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Ray Emery may have been expected to be off his game against the Calgary Flames on Saturday.

For starters, Emery had played just once this season prior to Saturday’s game. He started against the Phoenix Coyotes on Jan. 20, so he had nearly two weeks between games. He also didn’t look exactly sharp against the Coyotes, allowing four goals in a 6-4 win.

Despite all those reasons for him to fail Saturday, Emery came through with the performance of a lifetime. He made a career-high 45 saves, stopped all three shootout attempts he faced and led the Blackhawks to a 3-2 shootout win on the road.

“He was awesome, fun to watch” said Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane, who scored in the third period and in the shootout. “We obviously got outplayed, shouldn’t have won the game. He was the only reason we did. It’s good to see, especially for a backup goaltender like that. We have confidence in him. He really showed us tonight. They had almost 50 shots, and he played unbelievable. Two points go to him.”

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Rapid Reaction: Hawks 3, Flames 2 (SO)

February, 3, 2013
2/03/13
12:27
AM CT
By ESPNChicago.com
ESPNChicago.com


Here’s a quick look at the Chicago Blackhawks’ 3-2 win over the Calgary Flames in a shootout at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Alberta on Saturday.

How it happened: Blackhawks goaltender Ray Emery was nearly unbeatable on Saturday night. He made 45 saves, including all three shootout shots he faced. Forward Patrick Kane scored a goal in the third period and the lone shootout goal to provide the Blackhawks their first shootout victory in three opportunities this season to avoid a third consecutive loss. The final minute of the third period was frantic and featured the bulk of the game’s drama. The Flames went ahead 2-1 with 34.2 seconds left in the period on a goal by Jay Bouwmeester. The Blackhawks removed their goalie in desperation in the final seconds, then Marian Hossa came through in the clutch with a goal with just 2.1 seconds remaining. The Flames outshot the Blackhawks 47-19, including 24-6 in the third period.

Player of the game: Emery hadn’t played since Jan. 20, but he looked as fresh as could be. He made a career-high 45 saves and was perfect in the shootout. He improved to 2-0 on the season.

What it means: The Blackhawks looked sloppy most of the evening. But thanks to Emery and a few timely goals, they came through for the victory. They also continued their points streak with the win. They have earned at least one point in every game this season and now have 16 points through nine games. The Blackhawks’ penalty kill once again showed why it’s the best in the NHL right now. The Hawks have allowed just two power-play goals in 36 opportunities this season.

What’s next: The Hawks are halfway through their six-game road trip. They travel to face the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday in a matchup of the two of the NHL’s hottest teams.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Patrick Kane
PTS GOALS AST +/-
64 27 37 10
OTHER LEADERS
GoalsP. Kane 27
AssistsP. Kane 37
+/-J. Toews 26
GAAC. Crawford 2.22