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Flames rise to the occasion with important victory over visiting Blackhawks

by TY PILSON @typilson /

Playing their ninth game in 15 days, the Flames were battling not only the visiting Blackhawks Tuesday night, but no doubt a bit of fatigue.

Around 36 hours earlier, give or take, they had made the cross-continent flight back from Boston where they finished off a season-long seven-game Eastern road swing.

They were outshooting and outchancing Chicago but found themselves deadlocked at two in the third period when Matthew Tkachuk played the role of hero, scoring the game-winner with 5:45 to play.


Video: Brendan Parker breaks down tonight's big win


Milan Lucic and Dillon Dube scored leading up to his marker, and Trevor Lewis and Johnny Gaudreau added empty-netters in a 5-2 victory at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

The Flames improved to 12-3-5 with the win, extending their current winning streak to four games. During that run, they have outscored the opposition 19-4.

Jacob Markstrom made 19 saves for Calgary, while Marc-Andre Fleury turned aside 34 pucks.

There was a early scrap in the game after Blake Coleman laid a big hit on Alex DeBrincat in the left corner of the Flames zone.

Kirby Dach took exception and Coleman obliged him, the pair dropping the mitts for a spirited scrap.

Just 18 seconds after the pair took a seat in the penalty box, Dube made it 1-0 on the Flames first shot of the contest when he fired a wrister from the the right faceoff circle that beat Fleury glove high.

Rasmus Andersson and Noah Hanifin got the helpers.

It was the 16th time Calgary has scored first this season, putting them atop the league in that stat.


Video: CHI@CGY: Dube goes far side for opening goal


A giveaway in the Flames zone lead to the tying goal when Brandon Hagel beat Markstrom at 8:57.

Brad Richardson won a battle along the boards near the corner with Hawks defenceman Connor Murphy, then flung a lovely backhand pass to Lucic who took a few strides and snapped it home shortside at 13:06 to restore the lead for the homeside. 

It was the big man's fifth of the season.


Video: CHI@CGY: Lucic scores in 1st period


The Flames PK - one of many bright spots for the club so far this season - got the job done again with just over five minutes to play in the opening frame when Sean Monahan was sent off for cross-checking Jonathan Toews. It was the only penalty of the game.

Another misplay in the Flames zone led to the Blackhawks second tally of the night, with Reese Johnson getting the puck in prime position and putting it five-hole past Markstrom at 3:51. It was Johnson's first career goal.

Patrick Kane came close to giving his team their first lead of the game on a breakaway when he rang one off the post. 

Markstrom later committed absolute larceny on Hagel, coming across to stop his backdoor tip attempt off a perfect tape-to-tape pass from Toews on a 2-on-1. 

Fleury made a monster stop of his own early in the third, stopping a deflection by Dube who was parked right in the blue paint.

The Flames had a 34-20 edge in shots and on their 35th, Tkachuk threw the puck out front and it went off the skate of Seth Jones and past Fleury, with Andersson and Elias Lindholm getting helpers. 


Video: CHI@CGY: Tkachuk's pass goes in off defender's skate



Head coach Darryl Sutter on his team persevering:

"Wasn't much left there, was there? You could see it right from the start. There's been games where we've been physically there and not quite sharp mentally, but tonight there wasn't much. But like we've talked about, it's one of those where you know how to win.

"The bottom line is they are tired. We were gone the whole time in the eastern time zone, get home in the middle of the night and then have to play this game. It's almost not fair. Give the players credit."


Video: "Give the players credit"


Lucic on the busy schedule:

"I think I speak for everyone... Especially with that flight home, I don't think anyone was in bed until 3:30, 4 in the morning. It was probably the toughest stretch out of our schedule playing nine games in 15 days. Starting in Calgary, ending in Calgary - it felt like one, big long road trip."


Video: "People don't realize how big those goals are"



Shots: CGY 39, CHI 21

Powerplay: CGY 0-0 , CHI 0-1

Hits: CGY 15, CHI 15

Face-offs: CGY 56%, CHI 46%

*Scoring chances: CGY 34, CHI 18

*High-danger scoring chances: CGY 11, CHI 6


*According of Natural Stat Trick (5-on-5)




Tweet from @NHLFlames: 2 goals and 4 points combined from tonight's @Sportsnet 3 Stars 🌟



This is the first of three matchups this season between the Flames and Blackhawks. These two teams last played on Feb. 15, 2020 when the Blackhawks beat the Flames 8-4 at the Scotiabank Saddledome ... The Flames are 1-0-2 against the Central Division this season and 1-2-3 against Western Conference opponents ... Andrew Mangiapane is two games away from 200 and six points away from 100 ... Chris Tanev is 10 games away from 600.




Tweet from @NHLFlames: Starting us off at home ������#Flames | @Schneiders



Johnny Gaudreau - Elias Lindholm - Matthew Tkachuk

Blake Coleman - Mikael Backlund - Andrew Mangiapane

Dillon Dube - Sean Monahan - Tyler Pitlick

Milan Lucic - Brad Richardson - Trevor Lewis



Oliver Kylington - Christopher Tanev

Noah Hanifin - Rasmus Andersson

Nikita Zadorov - Erik Gudbranson



Jacob Markstrom - starter

Dan Vladar



The Flames host Mark Scheifele, Adam Lowry and the Jets at the Scotiabank Saddledome for a Hockey Night in Canada tilt Saturday at 8 p.m. Click here for tickets

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