CHICAGO, IL. -- The Flames came into Chicago this afternoon full of emotion, committment, and an intense desire to win. Unfortunately, they came up short and without a single point.
The Flames came out hungry in the first period but could not find a way past the Finnish fortress goaltender Antti Niemi.
"The first period we never put enough traffic around the net, "said head coach Brent Sutter. "He saw every shot that was taken on him. We never did enough around the net to allow it to be tough on the opposing goalie."
The Blackhawks opened the scoring early in the game when Niklas Hjalmarsson wired a shot from the blue line that just missed the net. Slovakian Olympian, Tomas Kopecky picked up the rebound and banked one home past Miikka Kiprusoff
at just 2:56 into the opening frame. The Hawks kept coming and with under one minute to play in the opening period, Troy Brouwer widened the gap to 2-0 on a backhander from a Brent Seabrook shot from the blue line.
"It was an uphill battle after that one," said Brent Sutter. "Obviously when you're playing a team with the skill level and speed that they have, it was a battle all night. We couldn't seem to get over that hump."
The Flames had a fairly weak second period, managing just six shots on net. With under five minutes to play in the second, Antti Niemi assisted on the Hawks third goal of the night that appeared to seal the deal for the Hawks. Niemi handed the puck off to Brent Seabrook who passed up to Patrick Kane. Kane raced up centre ice with speed and momentum and fired a rocket top shelf under the bar on the blocker side of Kipper making it 3-0.
Just 1:02 later, Ian White answered back for the Flames, picking up his 12th of the season and the lone goal for his team. White sped down the right side of the ice, stick-handled his way around d-man Jordan Hendry and let a hard snap shot go that fools Niemi closing the Hawks gap 3-1.
In the third period, the Flames had more than enough chances but simply were not getting the bounces. They pressured for much of the final 20 minutes and managed 11 shots on net. However, with 2:46 to play in the game, Marian Hossa set up Dustin Byfuglien who fired a wrister through a screen past Kiprusoff to give the Hawks a 4-1 lead and put the game out of reach.
The Flames will head home to face the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night at the Saddledome in Calgary. Game time is 7:30 PM MST on TSN & The FAN 960.
|GAME WINNER |
|The Flames just didn't create enough traffic in front of Niemi and did not throw enough on him to get anything going. With that said, Troy Brouwer had the game winner. Brent Seabrook started the play by firing a hard slap shot from the point that was steered aside by Kipper but Brouwer was there to scoop up the rebound to find the back of the net making it 2-0 with just under a minute to play in the first period. |
|TURNING POINT |
|With under five minutes to play in the second period, Patrick Kane gets his 29th goal of the season. He raced up centre ice with speed and momentum into the offensive zone, fired a rocket top shelf under the bar on the blocker side of Kipper making it 3-0. The hole was then too big for the Flames to dig themselves out of. |
|ROSTER NOTES |
|Sitting out for Calgary was D Adam Pardy, F Brian McGrattan, F Christopher Higgins, F Curtis Glencross and F Daymond Langkow. The Blackhawks scratched D Kim Johnsson, D Nick Boynton, F Adam Burish, D Brian Campbell. |
|AFTERNOON STAT PACK |
|17 - The Hawks have clinched the Central Division title for the first time in 17 years with the Detroit loss in Philidelphia earlier today. |
16- Chicago is 16th in the league on the PP but 5th on the PK.
23-Marian Hossa leads the Hawks in +/- with 23
350- Iginla goals since 2001, 32 this season.
|"WHAT THEY SAID" |
|"We just have to forget about it. It sucks right now, it's a tough loss but you just have to forget about it. We need two points and those two points have become the biggest points of the season." - Flames Mark Giordano. |
"We kept it simple. They came out with a lot of energy. We put a lot of pucks at the net and our powerplay was doing well. We just kept it simple, came out with a good first twenty and just had to keep working from there."- Blackhawks forward Dustin Byfuglien.
"We're going to have to get help. Today it's not too hard to figure out the mathematics. We have to be able to run the table, they can only get five points out of ten."- Head Coach Brent Sutter
|HARDEST WORKING FLAMES |
| || || || |
|Ian White |
Gets the lone goal for the Flames, had three shots and three blocked shots today.
| ||Niklas Hagman |
A couple great chances, three shots and two blocked shots today.
| ||Miikka Kiprusoff |
Stopped 27 of 31 shots on net and played 4:47 SH minutes.
Author: Kristi Hennessy