Saad’s goal lifts Blackhawks over Flames 2-1
CHICAGO — Brandon Saad scored with 7:03 left in the third period, and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Calgary Flames 2-1 on Sunday night for their 12th victory in the last 14 games.
After motoring past Calgary defenseman Mark Giordano, Saad took a centering pass from Jonathan Toews and lifted a shot past Jonas Hiller’s glove.
Toews also set up Patrick Sharp’s power-play goal as the surging Blackhawks dealt the Flames their fifth straight loss. Chicago had won eight in a row before Saturday night’s 3-2 loss at the New York Islanders.
Jiri Hudler had his team-leading 12th goal for Calgary, which has scored just eight times during its slide.
Sharp’s goal was his first since returning Tuesday from a knee injury that sidelined him for 14 games. Sharp, who led Chicago with 34 goals last season, has four this year — all on the power play.
Chicago’s Antti Raanta made 23 saves while subbing for Corey Crawford, who is out with a foot injury. Rookie Scott Darling had started the Blackhawks’ last four games.
Hiller finished with 26 saves.
Before the game, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said he expected Crawford to return next weekend. Raanta and Darling have filled in quite nicely since Crawford was hurt while leaving a concert two weeks ago.
Neither team had many chances in the scoreless first period.
Hiller made a sprawling pad save on Andrew Shaw’s rebound attempt 6:15 in. Calgary’s Johnny Gaudreau danced down the Chicago slot with a series of nifty moves with 7:59 left, but was stopped by Raanta.
Hudler opened the scoring at 4:27 of the second when he trailed in late on a rush and was left open. Hudler took Gaudreau’s cross-ice feed and whistled it past Raanta’s glove.
Sharp’s goal at 8:43 — just nine seconds into a power play — came off a fast passing series with Kane and Toews. From below the goal line, Toews dished across the slot to Sharp, who sprinted into the left circle and ripped in a high one-timer.
The Blackhawks came on in the up-tempo third period, dominating for chunks of time and outshooting the Flames 10-5. Hiller had to be sharp to keep it close, including making several tough saves on Kris Versteeg.
Chicago D Tim Erixon, acquired from Columbus earlier on Sunday for F Jeremy Morin, played on the left side of a defensive pair with Michal Rozsival. … Chicago also reassigned D Klas Dahlbeck to Rockford of the AHL on Sunday. … Calgary D Corey Potter, recalled from AHL Adirondack on Saturday, was a healthy scratch, as was former Blackhawks F Brandon Bollig. … With Erixon in the Chicago lineup, D David Rundblad, one of his former teammates in Sweden, sat out.
*Photo courtesy AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh