CALGARY - Andrew Ladd had a goal and two assists Thursday night to lead the Chicago Blackhawks to a 5-2 victory over Calgary, sending the Flames to their third straight regulation loss for the first time this season.
Adam Burish scored the go-ahead goal at 11:28 of the third period after a period of sustained Chicago pressure.
Ladd worked the puck to Matt Walker at the Chicago blue-line, and the defenceman's shot was deflected past Miikka Kiprusoff from a sharp angle by Burish. It was the rugged winger's fourth goal.
David Bolland, Colin Fraser, and Troy Brouwer also scored for Chicago (29-13-8). Walker had three assists after entering the night with just four assists in 37 games.
The Blackhawks improved to 4-1-0 through five stops of their eight-game road trip, which is the longest in the NHL this season.
Todd Bertuzzi and Dion Phaneuf replied for Calgary (30-17-4). The Flames lost all four of their meetings with the Blackhawks this season.
Chicago is now two points ahead of Calgary and owner of the third best record in the Western Conference, although the Flames currently third in the official standings by virtue of being the Northwest Division leader. Calgary leads the division by nine points over the Minnesota Wild and Edmonton Oilers.
Captain Jarome Iginla and GM Darryl Sutter both held closed-door meetings with players Tuesday night after Calgary's 3-1 loss in Dallas.
Calgary played a better first period against the Blackhawks on Thursday, rallying back to even the score twice. However, the game slipped away in the second when the Flames failed to capitalize on four power plays.
Chicago all-star defenceman Duncan Keith took consecutive penalties early in the period, but the Flames were outshot 2-1 by the short-handed Blackhawks over those four minutes.
Twenty seconds after Burish's goal, Calgary got another great opportunity when Patrick Kane was assessed a double-minor for high-sticking Daymond Langkow in the face.
However, Chicago's aggressive penalty killing had Calgary on its heels and they struggled to get set up in the Blackhawks zone.
Halfway through the four minute man advantage, the sell-out crowd of 19,289 resorted to booing the home side for its ineffectiveness.
Trailing 2-1, Calgary tied the game at 14:05 of the first period when Phaneuf took advantage of a turnover deep in the Blackhawks end.
Chicago had taken its second lead of the night at 6:45 of when Bolland was first to a loose puck along the end boards and sent a pass into the slot where an uncovered Ladd cruising in one-timed his ninth goal past Kiprusoff.
Calgary tied the score 1-1 when Jarome Iginla's perfect pass sprung Bertuzzi on a breakaway and the big winger faked a shot then went to his backhand to slide the puck behind Khabibulin.
Chicago jumped out to an early lead when Bolland scored 42 seconds into the game.
Notes: Khabibulin and Cristobal Huet have alternated starts in the Chicago net since Khabibulin made consecutive starts Dec. 16 and Dec. 19... Carrying no extra healthy players, Calgary has iced the identical line-up the past six games including Kiprusoff, who has started 21 of the past 22 games... Chicago has won its last six trips to the Pengrowth Saddledome... Khabibulin improved his career record against the Flames to 22-5-2. He has beaten Calgary more than any other NHL team... Chicago beats Calgary in a season series for the first time since 2001-02..