Flames special teams key in win against Blackhawks


Johnny Gaudreau had a goal and two assists for the Calgary Flames in a 5-1 win against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center in Chicago on Sunday. 

Matthew Tkachuk had a goal and an assist for the Flames (17-7-6), who have won two in a row after losing their previous four. Jacob Markstrom made 30 saves

Arvid Soderblom made 37 saves in his first NHL start for the Blackhawks (11-17-4), who were coming off a 6-1 loss at the Nashville Predators on Saturday and are 0-2-2 in their past four games.

Alex DeBrincat put Chicago ahead 1-0 at 9:41 of the first period with a one-timer in the slot off a pass by Patrick Kane from behind the net. DeBrincat has scored four goals in his past five games. 

Tkachuk tied it 1-1 when he redirected Gaudreau’s centering pass by Soderblom’s blocker at 13:13. 

Elias Lindholm put Calgary in front 2-1 at 9:08 of the second period with a shot stick side from the top of the right circle on the power play.

Trevor Lewis extended the lead to 3-1 with a shorthanded goal at 17:46. His goal came 24 seconds after Soderblom made a glove save on Mikael Backlund‘s breakaway attempt.

The Flames tied a franchise record with 26 shots in the second period. They also had 26 in the first period of a 6-6 tie against the New Jersey Devils on January 22, 1986.

Soderblom kept the Blackhawks in it with two key saves in the third period. He stopped Backlund again on a breakaway with his toe at 3:16, then made a right pad save on Dillon Dube‘s penalty shot at 12:14.

However, Oliver Kylington shot into an empty net from inside his own blue line at 18:05 to make it 4-1, and Gaudreau beat Soderblom glove side on a 2-on-1 with 1:26 remaining for the 5-1 final.

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