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The Game Rush: Flames vs. Blackhawks

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames

CHICAGO, IL -- A burst of power play goals in the first period sunk the Calgary Flames in Chicago where the Blackhawks defeated them 4-2.

The Blackhawks opened the scoring at 4:14 of the first period. With Robyn Regehr in the box for holding, Chicago's power play unit went to work. Using the Flames defence as a screen, Bryan Bickell wired a wrist shot and beat Kiprusoff high.

Calgary's penalty killing woes continued later in the period when Ales Kotalik was dealt a delay of game penalty and then 41 seconds later, David Moss was called for high-sticking. It took Chicago just 13 seconds to connect on the two-man advantage with David Bolland scoring at 10:21.

The Flames got used their power plays to tie the game in the second half of the opening frame. First, Jarome Iginla notched his 11th of the season with a rocket from the slot. Rene Bourque and Jay Bouwmeester earned the helpers on the captain's tally at 13:06.

Anton Babchuk evened the game up at 16:28 with a blast from the point that flew over Corey Crawford. Mark Giordano pushed his point streak to four games with an assist on the goal and Brendan Morrison picked up his 12th assist of the campaign.

Moss made his second trip to penalty box late in the period, earning a double minor for a high-stick in the neutral zone, and it cost the Flames. Jonathan Toews scored the Blackhawks third of the night at 17:33.

Bolland added his second of the night with an empty-net goal at 19:45.

Late in the first stanza, the Flames had evened the game up with power play markers but a careless penalty ended up handing the game to the Blackhawks.

While battling in the neutral zone, Moss high-sticked a Blackhawk and was given 4:00 for the infraction. 44 seconds later, Chicago was ahead by a goal. During a scramble in front of Kiprusoff, Toews was left all alone and wasted no time snapping a shot in the net when he was able to get his stick on the puck.

Up by a goal to start the third period, the home team went on the attack to try and extend their lead but Miikka Kiprusoff had other ideas.

Toews managed to deke around a Flames defender at the side of the net, sending a quick shot on net. The rebound popped back out inot the slot and Kiprusoff quickly shuffled himself into the center of the net to get himself in position for the second shot. The netminder's glove came up just in time to deny Viktor Stalberg's shot and keep his club in the contest.

In his first few games as a Calgary Flame, Babchuk struggled to fit within the club's structure. Over the past few contests, however, the blueliner has looked far more comfortable and on Sunday, he had his best outing since being traded to Calgary on Nov. 17.

Babchuk earned his first point as a Flame with a a power play goal in the first period, tying the game with a rocket of a slap shot. He played 17:59, had 3 shots on net and an even rating.

Two Flames forwards celebrated their birthday on Sunday. Olli Jokinen turned 32 while his linemate and countryman Niklas Hagman turned 31.

Jokinen had 3 shots on net in 16:48 of ice time while Hagman had 1 hit in 14:44 of ice time.

"When you have to kill that many penalties in a game, your chances aren't that good ... we're bitter about it but we've got to get back to the drawing board." - Curtis Glencross on the loss (via Sportsnet)

  Tuesday, Dec. 7 vs. Tampa Bay
  7:30 PM MT (SNET West, FAN 960)

The Flames welcome a rare visitor on Tuesday when the Tampa Bay Lightning come to town. The last time the Lightning were in the Scotiabank Saddledome was Mar. 1, 2009 when the Flames fell 8-6.

The puck drops at 7:30 PM MT on Sportsnet West & The FAN 960.
1 Games this season for Ales Kotalik.
4 Points in 4 games for Mark Giordano.
23 Seconds played by sniper Patrick Kane. He was hit cleanly by Cory Sarich early and was forced to leave the contest.
6 Hits for Cory Sarich.
4 Blocked shots for Jay Bouwmeester.

1st Star
Jonathan Toews
G A P +/- Shots
1 1 1 0 7
2nd Star
Jarome Iginla
G A P +/- Shots
1 0 1 0 5
3rd Star
Dave Bolland
G A P +/- Shots
2 0 2 0 3

Corey Crawford
26 24 2 60:00 .923

Miikka Kiprusoff
32 29 3 59:48 .906

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