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Flames suffer devastating loss to Blackhawks

Chicago 3 Calgary 2 SO

CALGARY — Patrick Kane scored once in regulation then had the shootout winner Saturday night as the Chicago Blackhawks, backed by 45 saves from Ray Emery, won 3-2 over the Calgary Flames in a wild game.

Scoreless after two periods, Calgary outshot Chicago 24-6 in the third period and looked like they were going to hand the Blackhawks their first regulation defeat when Jay Bouwmeester scored with 35 seconds remaining to put the Flames ahead 2-1.

However, Chicago pulled Emery for an extra skater and, in a furious scramble around the Flames net in the final seconds, Marian Hossa pounced on the puck and fired it over a fallen Miikka Kiprusoff with 2.3 seconds left.

After overtime solved nothing, it went to a shootout and Kane’s goal on a backhand deke — after misses from Calgary’s Alex Tanguay and Jiri Hudler — put the game in the hands of Emery, who denied rookie Roman Cervenka to win it for the Blackhawks in thrilling fashion.

The Blackhawks (7-0-2) have gone to a shootout in each of their first three games of a season-high six-game road trip, but Saturday night was the first time they ended up on top.

Dennis Wideman and Jay Bouwmeester scored for Calgary (1-3-2). The Flames now depart on a three-game road trip beginning Tuesday in Detroit.

Desperate for a victory, Calgary turned in its best period of the season in the third period outshooting Chicago 24-6. Curtis Glencross was right in the middle of the Flames’ offence, with five shots in the final period as well as several other great chances that didn’t result in shots.

First, in the opening minutes of the third, he rang a shot off the goal post on a breakaway. Later in the period, a Lee Stempniak rebound popped out to him at the side of the net and Glencross, staring down an empty net, shovelled the puck off the side of the net. Then on the other side of the net, he was stopped three times in a row as he couldn’t get the puck over Emery’s outstretched pad.

Chicago finally opened the scoring at 4:08. Patrick Sharp wheeled out of the corner and put a shot off the goal post behind Kiprusoff, but the rebound kicked into the slot where it was fired in by Kane who just squeezed it under the Flames goaltender as he sprawled across.

Calgary tied it on Wideman’s power-play goal at 13:23.

Chicago entered the night as one of only three teams without a regulation loss. New Jersey Devils and San Jose Sharks were the other two.

Trying to kick start the team after a 6-3 loss to Colorado on Thursday night, Flames coach Bob Hartley tinkered with his top two lines, moving Mike Cammalleri onto the top unit with Jarome Iginla and Tanguay and dropping Glencross onto the line with Mikael Backlund and Stempniak.

Cammalleri and Iginla both entered the night without a goal but, while Iginla had 22 shots, Cammalleri had just five. The move had an impact as Cammalleri had one of his better periods of the season in the first period, ringing a shot off the goal post in the early going.

Kiprusoff made his sixth straight start after the 36-year-old Finn gave up an uncharacteristic 19 goals in his first five, which left him with a gaudy 3.76 goals-against average and .854 save percentage.

Meanwhile, Emery got his second start for Chicago after giving up four goals on 25 shots in his first outing.

Each team had breakaways in the second period and with the right guy with the puck on his stick but neither Iginla or Hossa could take advantage.

Hossa’s chance came in the second minute of the period when his slapshot was partially stopped by Kiprusoff who was backed up by Wideman, who was on the goal-line to tuck the puck back under the Flames goaltender as it trickled towards the goal.

Later in the second, Hossa was the culprit of getting too fancy with the puck in the neutral zone and losing it to Bouwmeester, whose pass sent Iginla in alone only to be denied by Emery.

Notes: Tanguay had his 500th career assist. ... Dating back to last season, Iginla has gone nine games without a goal and has just one in his last 17 games ... Chicago C Dave Bolland (lower body) did not play after getting hurt Friday in Vancouver. ... Calgary D Cory Sarich was a healthy scratch for the first time. ... The game’s only fight featured Tim Jackman and Brandon Bollig in the first period. It was significant in that the Flames entered the night as the only NHL team without a fight.



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