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The Game Rush: Flames vs. Blackhawks

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames

CALGARY, AB -- Coming into Monday night's game against the Chicago Blackhawks, the Calgary Flames knew a win would mean the difference between sitting outside the playoff picture and earning a postseason position.

Not only did their 3-1 victory push them into a playoff spot, it put them within two points of fourth place in a tight Western Conference.

"We played well," grinned Olli Jokinen. "We had all four lines going good and were able to find a way to win."

The first period saw Calgary not only push ahead of the Blackhawks on the scoresheet but hold them to a mere three shots on net. Mikael Backlund opened the scoring at 14:43 when he sent a backhand shot past Corey Crawford. Lance Bouma and Adam Pardy assisted on Backlund's seventh of the year.

The Blackhawks managed to tie the game in the second period on just their fifth shot of the contest. At 5:56, Patrick Kane took a pass from Jonathan Toews from behind the net and the sniper rifled it into the net at close range.

The third period saw the Flames take the lead once again when Curtis Glencross was able to wire a shot perfectly over Crawford's trapper at 8:37. Jokinen and Regehr earned the helpers on the go-ahead goal.

Rene Bourque added an empty-netter, pushing him to 16 goals on the season.

The Blackhawks came into Monday's tilt with the NHL's best power play, clicking almost 25 per cent of the time, but the Flames were able shut down Chicago with the man advantage.

Not only were they defensively responsible while down a man, the Flames also created scoring opportunities while they were on the penalty kill. Glencross, David Moss and Matt Stajan all had excellent chances while short-handed.

Calgary's ability to keep the Blackhawks off the scoresheet while they were on the power play was a key reason the Flames were able to come out the game with a win.

It shouldn't be surprising the team did so well on the penalty, however. Over their eight-game point streak, the Flames have gone 26/28, amounting to a .928% success rate.

The Flames energy line had an excellent game but the pinnacle of their night came in the first period when Backlund was able to break the scoreless tilt with a beautiful goal.

Pardy kicked off the play when he carried the puck through the neutral zone, watching for any of his teammates to open up to take a pass. He saw Bouma streaking up the boards and opted to dish it off to him. The rookie blew past the Blackhawk covering him, managing to throw the puck to Backlund. The Swede, who was able to enter the zone without a single Chicago player watching him, went full steam ahead in the slot, flipping the puck to his backhand at the last second and releasing a shot. The puck flew over Crawford's glove, giving Backlund his seventh of the year and Bouma his first NHL point.

Jokinen came into the game with 599 career points and after a well-played, intelligent game, he was rewarded by not only hitting the milestone 600 but 601 as well.

The Finn assisted on Glencross's game-winning goal and then added another helper when Bourque potted an empty-netter late in the game.

Overall, Jokinen had two points, four shots on net, a +1 rating and two blocked shots in 17:39 of ice time.

Tim Jackman led all players with 6 shots on net. He had 10:43 of ice time.

Jarome Iginla needs 11 more goals to crack the NHL's top 50 goal scorers. He currently has 462 tallies in his career.

Brendan Morrison needs 4 more goals to reach 200. Rene Bourque needs 3 more to reach 100.

"It's good to get over. Before the season you look if there's any milestones coming up and it took a little bit longer than I was hoping but it's good to get that." - Jokinen on reaching his 600th NHL point

Wednesday, Feb. 9 vs. Ottawa
  7:30 PM MT (Sportsnet Calgary, FAN 960)

The Ottawa Senators make their annual stop at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Wednesday, marking the second and final time the two teams meet this season. The Flames won the opening battle in the season series, picking a 3-2 victory in Ottawa on Jan. 14.

The puck drops at 7:30 PM MT on Sportsnet Calgary and The FAN 960.
799 Career games played by Robyn Regehr. The blueliner has played every game with the Flames.
1 Career point for Lance Bouma. He's now played two games with the Flames since being recalled on Feb. 2.
600 Career points for Jokinen, who assisted on the Glencross goal.
78 Win percentage for Matt Stajan in the faceoff circle.
28:33 Ice time for Jay Bouwmeester.

1st Star
Curtis Glencross
G A P +/- Shots
1 0 1 +1 2
2nd Star
Olli Jokinen
G A P +/- Shots
0 2 2 +1 4
3rd Star
Anton Babchuk
G A P +/- Shots
0 0 0 +2 1

Corey Crawford
28 26 2 59:42 .928

Miikka Kiprusoff
23 22 1 60:00 .956

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