Inside The Game: Flames vs. Blackhawks
FLAMES DROPPED 3-1 BY HAWKS IN SEASON-ENDER
CALGARY, AB -- The Chicago Blackhawks are the blueprint.
The Calgary Flames have started their build.
Having already clinched the President's Trophy as the league's regular season champion, the Blackhawks downed the Flames 2-1 in Calgary's final game of the season at the United Center on Friday.
The Blackhawks will enter the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs with home ice advantage throughout. It's that idea that the Flames hope to build to after starting their retool at the trade deadline.
The Flames hope to add to that retool at the 2013 NHL Draft with a top pick.
The top pick in the 2007 draft opened the scoring for Chicago midway through the first period.
After an errant pass in Calgary's zone created a turnover, the puck ended up on the stick of Patrick Sharp. Though his shot was blocked, Sharp retrieved the puck and fed Kane, who buried the puck by a turned-around Joey MacDonald to make it 1-0 at 9:34.
Jonathan Toews extended that lead to two at 13:02. After MacDonald got a piece of Brandan Saad's initial shot, Toews tapped in the rebound sitting behind the Flames goaltender to extend the lead to two.
Chris Butler, set to represent Team USA at the IIHF World Championship, cut that lead to one.
Killing a penalty and forechecking in the Chicago end, Ben Street got the puck to Lee Stempniak. Stempniak fed Butler at the point, whose point shot eluded Cory Crawford and found the back of the net at 10:43. With an assist on the play, Street recorded his first career National Hockey League point.
Marcus Kruger put the game away for the Blackhawks at 7:06 of the third period, burying a snapshot over the blocker of MacDonald at 7:06 for the 3-1 final.
GOAL OF THE GAME
Butler's floater from the point through a screen provided by Street at 10:43 was Calgary's lone goal against the Blackhawks.
SAVE OF THE GAME
Just over a minute after Kruger put the Blackhawks up 3-1, MacDonald robbed Toews of his second goal of the night. After Chicago broke into the zone, Saad fed Toews in front of the Flames net. Toews spun and let go a backhand that was blocked by MacDonald, one of 35 saves on the night.
HIT OF THE GAME
In his own end, Mark Giordano drilled Blackhawks forward Viktor Stalberg with just under six minutes remaining in the second period.
Toews' goal, Chicago's second marker in the first period, was enough to pace the Blackhawks to a league-leading 36th victory.
QUOTE OF THE GAME
"I think we're going to have a good team & I'm already excited for next year."
STAT OF THE GAME
Though the Blackhawks managed 38 shots on MacDonald the team collectively blocked another 22, including six from defenseman Dennis Wideman.
Brett Carson, Tim Jackman, Curtis Glencross, Jiri Hudler, Steve Begin, Paul Byron, Anton Babchuk, Alex Tanguay, Sven Baertschi, Max Reinhart and Leland Irving were all scratched for the season finale.