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Flames stun slumping Blackhawks in OT

by Aaron Vickers

CALGARY -- The Calgary Flames have found that winning feeling at home.

After setting an unwanted franchise record with seven consecutive losses on home ice, the Flames won their third in a row at Scotiabank Saddledome when TJ Brodie scored on a wraparound with 2:34 remaining in overtime for a 5-4 victory against the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday.

"We went through a tough stretch there and since then, we've been trying to turn it around and create more chances, score more goals," Brodie said. "So far, we've been doing that."

"The past couple games we've really played well. To get some wins, we've just been building some momentum."

On a night that saw all four goaltenders who dressed make an appearance, the Flames extended their winning streak in their own building while leaving the Blackhawks winless in four straight, their longest drought of the season.

The loss in the opener of a seven-game road trip that spans the Olympic break dropped the Blackhawks (32-10-13) into second place in the Central Division. Chicago and the St. Louis Blues each have 77 points, but the Blues have three games in hand.

"I don't know if it's good to go through this now so we can learn from it and maybe have something to look back on later in the season, but we know we have to play better," forward Patrick Kane said. "I think sometimes a good effort isn't good enough because it's tough to win in this League when you're going through stretches like this. Sometimes the best thing is just not to really think about it and just go out and play."

Corey Crawford, who took over for starter Antti Raanta in the second period, made the initial save on Sean Monahan, but Brodie scooped up the rebound, skated around the net and scored the game-winner.

"[Monahan] made a good play cutting to the middle and got a shot off," Brodie said. "Crawford sort of slid out of the net from the shot. I just tried to wrap it around back out from and it ended up going in.

The goal handed Chicago its League-high 13th post-regulation defeat, seven in shootouts and six in OT.

"In overtime, we weren't very good," coach Joel Quenneville said. "It's kind of been our M.O. this year. Overtime has been a sore spot.

"It's tough to say if it's mental, but it's not happening. We won a shootout against Boston [on Jan. 19] and felt pretty good and got nothing [since]. I think we've got enough assets. We've got to find a way to make it happen."

Karri Ramo, who came in at the start of the third period in place of Reto Berra, earned the victory by stopping nine shots in the third period.

The Flames set off an eventful first period just 1:33 after the opening faceoff.

Mark Giordano rang the post in the game's first minute and Mikael Backlund scored on Calgary's first official shot, capitalizing on a neutral-zone turnover by Niklas Hjalmarsson and shoveling a backhand between the legs of Raanta to put the Flames up 1-0.

It took all of 4:30 for the Blackhawks to answer. Kane converted Kris Versteeg's pass from behind the net for his second goal in 14 games.

Lance Bouma restored Calgary's lead at 11:34 with his third in six games. From a sharp angle, the 23-year-old fired a high shot that handcuffed Raanta before popping up and over the Blackhawks goaltender and across the goal line.

Again, Chicago answered. The outstretched pad of Berra denied Jonathan Toews' burst to the net, but Patrick Sharp propelled Marian Hossa's stick into the rebound to tie the game 2-2 at 16:35.

It didn't take long for the two teams to pick up where they left off from in the second.

Matt Stajan finished a nifty feed from David Jones on a 2-on-1 at 3:21 and Backlund added his second of the game after converting on a shorthanded 3-on-1 chance at 10:25 to chase Raanta and push Calgary's lead to 4-2.

"I don't know, I have no idea what happened," Raanta said. "I can make lots of excuses but it was four goals in 30 minutes, so I don't know."

The Blackhawks made a push of their own with Crawford between the pipes. Ben Smith scored his seventh of the season at 13:12, and Hossa tied the game at 17:33 with a shorthanded goal.

Ramo replaced Berra to start the third period, and he and Crawford calmed things down in the final 20 minutes of regulation.

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