Blackhawks’ Playoff Hopes Slowly Slipping
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CALGARY (AP) — Curtis Glencross scored the winner in the third period and Miikka Kiprusoff turned aside 22 shots to lead the Calgary Flames to a 3-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday night.
Mikael Backlund also scored and Rene Bourque got an empty-netter for the Flames, who moved into a playoff spot in the Western Conference for the first time since Oct. 29.
After taking a feed from Olli Jokinen off the rush, Glencross took a couple strides before firing his 14th goal of the season past the glove of Corey Crawford at 8:37 of the third. Jokinen finished with two assists on the night.
After sitting outside the top eight in the West for exactly 100 days, the Flames move ahead of the idle Long Angeles Kings and into sole possession of the eighth spot.
Calgary is 7-0-1 in its last eight games and continues a four-game homestand Wednesday against the Ottawa Senators.
Patrick Kane scored for Chicago. The defending Stanley Cup champions have lost four of their last five and sit tenth in the West. The Blackhawks are 1-2-0 halfway through a six-game road trip, which continues Wednesday in Edmonton.
Calgary has won two in a row against Chicago at the Scotiabank Saddledome after entering this season having lost seven straight against the Blackhawks on home ice.
After backing up Marty Turco the past two games, Crawford was inserted back in the lineup and responded with an excellent effort. He stopped 20 of 21 shots to keep the game tied 1-1 after two periods with his best saves coming late in the frame.
Backlund took a pass from Alex Tanguay and ripped a shot from 15 feet out that Crawford got his blocker on. Minutes later on a power play, Bourque’s wrist shot deflected wildly and was going in before Crawford stuck out his leg.
Crawford also had some luck on that man advantage with Jokinen blasting a shot off the post. Earlier in the period, Jarome Iginla also hit the iron.
Chicago’s Brent Seabrook hit the post early in the third with the game still tied.
Chicago tied the game 1-1 at 5:56 of the second period on a tough shift for the Flames’ top defensive pairing.
Robyn Regehr was unable to contain Jonathan Toews along the boards and eventually he ended up with the puck behind the Calgary net. In the slot, Jay Bouwmeester got caught watching as Toews zipped a pass out to the wide open Kane, who fired his 15th goal past Kiprusoff.
Calgary grabbed the lead with just over 5 minutes left in the first thanks to a good shift from the fourth line.
After crossing the Chicago blue-line, recent AHL call-up Lance Bouma threaded a perfect pass to Backlund, who beat Crawford with a nifty deke to his backhand.
Chicago’s top-ranked power play went 0 for 4, getting blanked for the second straight game. Calgary was 1 for 4 with the extra man.
Notes: Calgary lost D Adam Pardy (upper body) to injury in the second period. … The next point for Chicago RW Marian Hossa will be his 800th. He will become the 137th player in NHL history to reach that milestone. … Bourque’s goal was his first at home since Dec. 16. … Calgary is just 2-9 in its last 11 games against the Blackhawks. … Calgary has appeared in a league-high 12 shootouts, three more than anyone else. Their seven wins also lead the league. In shootout goals scored, Tanguay (seven) and Bourque (five) are ranked first and second.