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Flames open up road swing with loss to Chicago

Calgary out-shot Chicago 34-22 but fell 5-1

by Aaron Vickers @AAVickers /

CHICAGO, IL -- Corey Crawford made 33 saves and Patrick Kane had a goal and two assists to help the Chicago Blackhawks to a 5-1 win against the Calgary Flames at United Center on Tuesday.
Artem Anisimov, Tyler Motte, Artemi Panarin and Niklas Hjalmarsson also scored for the Blackhawks.
Michael Frolik scored for the Flames, who have lost back-to-back games to follow a three-game winning streak.
"I thought we were more than with them in the first two periods," Calgary coach Glen Gulutzan said. "I thought we were the better team through two. They have a couple great players who made some great plays. Even in the third, until we took the penalty and they got ahead, we were in control of our game. It just didn't go our way and it exploded in the end. It wasn't a 5-1 game in my mind."

The Blackhawks scored four unanswered goals in the third period to pull away from the Flames.
The first came off a redirect by Animisov with Flames centre Sam Bennett in the penalty box. Anisimov redirected Kane's slap-pass behind goaltender Brian Elliott to put Chicago up 2-1. Motte, after initially losing the puck in his skates while driving wide on TJ Brodie, recovered in time to wrap it around the pad of Elliott to extend the lead to two at 12:34.
"It's a tough game there," Calgary forward Alex Chiasson said. "I think they capitalized on their power play. They were able to generate momentum off of that. I felt like we were behind a little bit chasing the game. Against a team like that it's tough to generate chances and create offense when they have the lead. It's for us to learn from that."
Panarin scored his fourth goal of the season into an empty net at 16:59 to put the Blackhawks up 4-1, and Hjarlmarsson added another with 1:44 remaining in the game.
"We were playing a great game," Flames captain Mark Giordano said. "We really were. We had control. We did a lot of great things and then it seemed the last 10 minutes it all falls apart.
"I think they get one there and that's a learning lesson for us. After they get that one we have to settle it down and get back on it. For the most part we did a good job tonight, but once they got the lead … there's a lead with 10 minutes left. You're forced to almost take some risks, and they have a team that will make you pay when they open up."
Kane opened the scoring with 1:02 remaining in the first period. He skated in on a 1-on-2 before snapping a shot underneath Elliott's arm to put the Blackhawks up 1-0. The goal came on Chicago's first shot in over six minutes, and 12 seconds after Crawford stopped Frolik's backhand attempt from the slot.
Elliott stopped Kane on a 2-on-1 just 1:53 into the second period, and Frolik's team-leading fifth goal, and second shorthanded goal of the season, tied the game 1-1. Mikael Backlund blocked Duncan Keith's shot and drove up ice, outwaiting a sprawled Brent Seabrook before centering a pass that Frolik tapped by Crawford at 7:06.
Elliott also denied Anisimov in close on a setup by Panarin at 17:11, and Marian Hossa's shot from the slot with 20.4 seconds remaining in the second to keep the game tied heading into the third.
Elliott finished with 17 saves.
"He was fine," Gulutzan said. "What's he going to do? What's he going to do on the penalty kill goal? There's nothing he can do. They get another great individual play going around us on the wide side. Nothing he can do there. After 3-1, we're not playing any sort of game. We're just trying to get a goal and taking chances. That's what happens against a good team."
NOTES: Elliott made his fifth consecutive start. The Flames outshot the Blackhawks 34-22, and outhit Chicago 35-21. Giordano led the game in ice time with 25:34. He also finished with a game-high four blocked shots. Defensemen Nicklas Grossmann and Brett Kulak, and forward Freddie Hamilton were scratched.
UP NEXT: The Flames will visit the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center on Thursday (8:30 p.m. MT; SN360, SN960).

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