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Flames break out in 5-2 win against Hawks

by Aaron Vickers
CALGARY -- The Calgary Flames broke out of their offensive funk against the best team in the NHL.

After scoring just nine goals in their previous six games, Calgary scored three times during a second-period blitz -- including goals 17 seconds apart in the opening minute -- in a 5-2 victory against the Chicago Blackhawks Friday night before a sellout crowd at Scotiabank Saddledome.

It was the first time this season that the Flames, who entered the game 29th in scoring with just 36 goals, scored five or more in a game. The drought included a 4-1 loss in Chicago last Friday.

"It's a knock on us that we don't score enough goals and it's the truth," forward Lee Stempniak said. "(Goalie Miikka Kiprusoff) gives us a chance every night and (backup) Hank (Karlsson), for the most part, when he's in has given us a chance. It's just us not doing the job, so it's nice to give them some breathing room and score enough goals tonight not to sweat it out at the end."

Just 40 seconds into the second period, a streaking Rene Bourque took a Curtis Glencross feed and fired a shot off the glove of Corey Crawford and into the net to give Calgary a 2-1 lead.

Paul Byron quickly made it 3-1. Nick Leddy's clearing attempt hit the skate of Flames forward Roman Horak and bounced onto the stick of Byron, who put it high over the blocker of Crawford.

"It's huge," Bourque said of the quick pair of goals. "We kept pushing after that. We got another goal later and had a really good second period."

After taking a timeout after Byron's goal, the Blackhawks pressed. Jonathan Toews' wraparound attempt was met with the pad of Kiprusoff. Later in the same shift, Toews' backhander was also turned aside by the Flames goaltender. But Chicago continued to control play, and with Jarome Iginla in the penalty box, Marian Hossa one-timed a feed from Duncan Keith over Kiprusoff's glove at 5:03 to cut the Flames' lead to 3-2.

However, Calgary regained its two-goal lead at 11:04 when Glencross took a feed from Jay Bouwmeester at the opposite point and one-timed it behind Crawford.

Glencross added his team-leading seventh of the season 6:46 into the third period to put the Flames up by three. He took a pass from Olli Jokinen, barreled his way through two defenders, deked Crawford and lifted the puck into the open net.
In the first period, it was the Blackhawks who had thought they opened the scoring at 4:28. Toews appeared to have poked the puck across the goal line from underneath the pad of Kiprusoff, but the goal was waved off.

Calgary broke through Crawford just over a minute later. Stempniak deked around Keith and rifled a shot over Crawford's blocker at 5:41 to give the Flames a short-lived lead.

"When I saw him leaning to cross over that way and turn that way, I was able to pull it back through him and go in and had a pretty open shot," Stempniak said.
The goal impressed Bourque, who scored his sixth of the season earlier in the night.

"That was unbelievable, especially against a Norris trophy winner like that," he said. "You don't see that happen too often. A lot of credit to him."

Victor Stalberg got the Hawks even 1:04 later. Toews got around defenseman Chris Butler and fed a cross-crease pass to a streaking Stalberg, who deposited it behind Kiprusoff to make it 1-1.

Kiprusoff, who finished with 26 saves, held his ground to close out the first, allowing Calgary's three-goal outburst to start the second en route to snapping Chicago's four-game winning streak.

"We've said it before that you're not going to play your best game every night," Toews said. "We've been flying around and everything's falling for you. You're going to run into a team that's ticked off and eager to get better like Calgary and things won't be easy for you. We made it easy for them with the turnovers and little mistakes we made."

The win gives the Flames new life heading into a four-game road trip that starts in Columbus on Monday. Calgary will try to win back-to-back games for just the second time this season against the Blue Jackets, a team that sits last overall in the standings.

"It's really important," Stempniak said. "We've been winning a game and losing a game all season long. You don't make up any ground like that. Other teams keep winning and we keep falling behind and for us, it's a good win against a really good team and we can build on that."
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