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Kane's late goal leads Blackhawks past Flames

by Aaron Vickers

CALGARY -- Calgary Flames goaltender Reto Berra earned his first career win at the expense of the Chicago Blackhawks in early November.

Patrick Kane returned the favor for Antti Raanta on Wednesday night.

Kane scored twice, including the game-winner with 18 seconds left in regulation, and Raanta made 20 saves in his first NHL start as the Blackhawks rallied to beat the Flames 3-2 at Scotiabank Saddledome.

"I thought he played really good," Kane said of Raanta. "Both goals he didn't really have a chance on and made numerous saves that he's not really expected to make, but at the same time, he made them. They were big for us. He was our best player tonight for sure, 100 percent and nice to see a start like that out of him, especially his first NHL start. I know he was excited and it seems like he has a bright future, for sure.”

Raanta, who made his NHL debut in relief of starter Corey Crawford in a 5-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Nov. 19, was pleased to earn his first win.

"It felt pretty good all game long and I got a good couple saves in the first period and got that kind of feeling," he said. "Confidence was pretty good all the time. I don't know, of course a couple goals were to the glove side. Those kind of goals you want to catch, highlight save. We take two points and that's the main thing."

Patrick Sharp also scored for the Blackhawks, who scored three times in the third period to overcome a 2-0 deficit. The victory moved them back atop the NHL standings after the St. Louis Blues temporarily overtook the Blackhawks with a 4-1 win against the Colorado Avalanche.

Matt Stajan and Sean Monahan scored for the Flames.

A couple of bounces went Kane's way. After kick-starting the Blackhawks' offense by scoring at 9:42 of the third period, Kane capped Chicago's comeback by sailing a backhand over Berra's glove for the winner.

"We did a lot of that last year in the playoffs," Kane said. "I think it's a group that familiar with the situation of being down going into the third. We've been good at coming back and winning games or getting a point out of those games. Tonight it was another example where we didn't quit."

The winning goal came on Kane's second lucky bounce of the period.

"It was a good draw, we got it back to the point, tried to get a shot on net," Kane said. "I know it was blocked, but it kind of came right to me. I was actually going to spin and try to pass it to [Andrew] Shaw back door, but I just tried to get one on net and I didn't see the replay or anything to be honest, so I don't even know how it went in.

"I didn't really see it go in. I just saw the guys celebrate. I'm pretty happy."

Kane started and finished the come-from-behind victory. He cut a 2-0 deficit in half with his first bounce midway through the final period. Breaking into the Flames' zone, Kane tried to center a pass to Shaw, but the puck deflected off the stick of Flames defenseman Kris Russell and hopped over Berra's pad to trim Calgary's lead to 2-1.

"[Shaw] was driving the net and it ended up hitting the guy's stick and I think it bounced over the guy's pad perfect," he said. "It was a lucky one, but it was nice to get us on the board."

Fifty-six seconds later, Sharp chipped Marian Hossa's pass behind Berra and into the corner of the net to tie the game.

"We had chances in the first two periods and I think it was just a matter of time before it was coming," Kane said. "That first one was kind of lucky, but at that point and time you'll take it to get yourself back in the game at 2-1. It was a great play by Hossa and Sharp on the second goal. It's what you come to expect from those guys."

Before the late rally, it looked like the Flames would beat the Blackhawks for the second time in as many tries this month.

At 2:05 of the third and with a delayed penalty coming to Chicago, Jiri Hudler hauled the puck into the Blackhawks' zone and dropped a pass onto the stick of Monahan, who fired a shot over Raanta's glove to give Calgary a 2-0 lead.

But the Blackhawks connected under a minute apart and Kane's 15th of the season capped the comeback for the defending Stanley Cup champions.

"That was something we were trying to guard against because, No. 1, we know the firepower of that team," Flames coach Bob Hartley said. "They did basically the same trick to the Vancouver Canucks a few nights ago. You make a few mistakes and they're so skilled, they'll make you pay for it. It's too bad because we played very well and we showed up to play."

The Flames wasted no time testing Raanta's readiness.

The 24-year-old goaltender made his glove save off Lee Stempniak midway through the first period look routine, and Mike Cammalleri's backhand from below the hash marks was handled with ease by his right pad. He got the better of Cammalleri again with three minutes left in the period, getting a shoulder on a shot after Stempniak spun off a hit from behind the net and found his linemate alone in the slot. He capped his 10-save period by head-butting away a long-range shot as time expired.

At the other end, Berra made 10 saves, including a pad stop after Hossa skipped through two Calgary defenders, to keep the game scoreless heading into the first intermission.

But the Flames got to Raanta in the second period.

Jonathan Toews failed to clear the puck out of his own end and Hudler found Stajan, who one-timed a shot from the high slot past Raanta's glove at 13:32 to give Calgary a 1-0 lead.

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