Patrick Kane continued his hot streak with a magnificent third period and Antti Raanta earned his first NHL victory as the Blackhawks stole a 3-2 victory from the Calgary Flames.
Kane scored twice, exactly ten minutes apart (at 9:42 and 19:42), to extend his personal point streak to 12 games. The game-winner came after the Flames iced the puck with just over 20 seconds remaining in regulation.
A mediocre effort on the Flames’ second goal led to Brandon Pirri being firmly planted in coach Joel Quenneville’s doghouse; he didn’t take a shift after that second goal.
Pirri didn’t return to the ice after the goal, but neither did the Flames’ offense. The Blackhawks allowed only one more shot on net in the final 17:55 of the game. Suffocating defense in front of the net afforded the Hawks plenty of opportunities to transition up the ice. Now, they just needed to get a puck past Reto Berra.
The Hawks struggled to complete passes and missed on a number of great scoring chances, either whiffing on shots or missing the net. Meanwhile, Berra played phenomenal hockey for 50 minutes. He made a number of key stops on the rare occasions that the Hawks put the puck on net.
Between Berra’s strong play and the Blackhawks struggles to get a clean shot on net, they needed a great performance between the pipes from their own netminder to stay close.
Before Kane got the Hawks on the board, Raanta played exceptionally well and kept his teammates in the game. He wasn’t tested much in the first ten minutes of the game, but made a handful of big saves late in the first and in the second period. He stopped 20 of 22 shots to earn his first NHL victory, and showed his emotions as the final horn sounded.
The Hawks kept the pressure on, and it finally paid off in the middle of the third. Kane’s first goal was followed by Patrick Sharp’s ninth only 56 seconds later, and the Blackhawks made another two-goal deficit disappear with incredible speed.
With 18 seconds on the clock, Kane deposited his second goal of the night.
Niklas Hjalmarsson was credited with two assists and a team-leading two blocked shots in the game. Also on the blue line, Brent Seabrook led the way with four hits and played a strong, physical game. Michal Rozsival also had a couple big hits in the game.
Marian Hossa, Duncan Keith and Brandon Saad were also credited with assists in the game. Kris Versteeg didn’t register a point in the game, but played one of his best games since returning to the Blackhawks.
Happy Thanksgiving, Blackhawks fans!