Inside The Game: Flames vs. Blackhawks
CALGARY, AB – The Calgary Flames threw everything at Ray Emery except the kitchen sink.
The Chicago Blackhawks goaltender might’ve stopped that too.
Emery made 45 saves and blanked all three Calgary players in the shootout to lift the Blackhawks 3-2 over the Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday.
Scoreless after two periods, the two clubs exchanged goals before Jay Bouwmeester made it 2-1 with 34.2 seconds remaining. That lead was short lived after Marian Hossa – with his sixth of the season – tied the game with just 3.1 seconds left and forced overtime.
Emery was equally stellar in overtime.
Patrick Kane, who had a goal and an assist in regulation, nabbed the shootout winner.
Despite the setback, Flames coach Bob Hartley knows his team is on the right track.
“If we play every game like we played tonight, we’re going to turn our season around, that’s for sure,” Hartley said.
“[Our players] had their heads down, but I told them that this is the kind of hockey that we want to play and the hockey gods might take a turn for us.”
SAVE OF THE GAME
After keeping the play onside at the blueline, Kane fed Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews at the side of the net. Toews one-timed the pass but Miikka Kiprusoff, in full splits, sprawled to blocker the puck away on Chicago’s first shot of the game 5:27 in.
Kiprusoff was equally impressive 47 seconds into the second period, stopping Marian Hossa’s slapshot from the hashmarks on a clear-cut breakaway to keep the game scoreless.
HIT OF THE GAME
After sending the puck into Chicago’s zone, bruiser Tim Jackman slammed Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson into the boards to the delight of the 19,289 in attendance at Scotiabank Saddledome.
GOAL OF THE GAME
Tied 1-1 in the final minute of action, Bouwmeester jumped into the play and took a pass from Jiri Hudler, burying the opportunity and giving Calgary a late 2-1 lead in the third period. The assist gives Hudler points in three consecutive games.
Kane’s shootout goal held up to be the winner.
After a one-game absence, Derek Smith returned to the lineup Saturday against the Blackhawks. Cory Sarich and Steve Begin were scratched for the game. Sven Baertschi and Anton Babchuk remain out of the lineup due to injury.
QUOTES OF THE NIGHT
“I would have loved to get our players and fans the win, but that was the only thing that was missing from tonight’s game.”
-Flames coach Bob Hartley
STAT OF THE NIGHT
Calgary fired 47 shots at Emery, including 24 in the third period alone. The Flames also had 14 shots that missed the net, while Chicago blocked another 26 attempts.
The Flames hit the skies on their first road trip of the season when they tackle the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday (5:30 p.m. MT, SNET-W). Calgary follows up that game with a date in Columbus to take on the Blue Jackets on Thursday (5 p.m. MT, SNET-W) before squaring off against the Vancouver Canucks Saturday (8 p.m. MT, CBC).