In what was a wild finish Wednesday night in Calgary, the Blackhawks squeaked out a 3-2 win to hang on to first place in the Western Conference. The game featured a battle of rookie goaltenders, as Antti Raanta made his first NHL start, opposing Calgary rookie netminder Reto Berra.
It didn’t seem as if the Blackhawks were on their way to another victory on their season-long seven game road trip. But the Hawks woke up in the third period and with two goals in 56 seconds, the Hawks looked to at least grab one point against the Flames.
Then with 18 seconds left in the game, Hawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson threw a point shot towards rookie goaltender Berra. That is when the puck somehow found Patrick Kane and with Berra down and out, Kane lifted the puck in to put the Hawks ahead for good.
The Hawks looked like they were going to be stopped by the Flames for the second time this season as the Hawks looked a bit tired through the first two periods.
Flame Matt Stajan started the scoring for the game as he shot a hard wrist-shot past the Hawks’ rookie goaltender Raanta to put the Flames up 1-0 after one period.
The Flames continued to push against the Hawks and their young goaltender as Flames’ Sean Monahan made it 2-0. The Hawks faced that 2-0 deficit as they entered the locker room following the second period.
As the Blackhawks entered the third period, forward Patrick Kane’s 11-game point streak was in jeopardy and so was Raanta’s first career NHL victory. But, with 9:42 left in the third, Kane threw the puck towards the goal at on awkward angle and the puck hit Berra in the back and went in to extend his point streak to 12 games.
56 seconds later, the other Patrick on the Blackhawks took a sweet pass from Marian Hossa and chipped the puck in the back of the net to the game at 2. Sharp’s goal forced a Calgary timeout and the momentum was clearly in the Hawks’ favor.
Moments later, Kane’s goal with exactly 18 seconds lifted the Blackhawks and helped extend not only his own point streak, but the Hawks’ win streak as well.
The victory in Calgary was the first time the Hawks have won in Calgary, Winnipeg, Edmonton and Vancouver for the time since 1994-1995.
The Hawks get right back at it on Friday as they head to Dallas to play against the Dallas Stars. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. (Central) and can be seen on NHLN-US and CSN-Chicago.
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