CALGARY, Alberta — The Chicago Blackhawks had been trapped in this scenario before.
Try as they may, the defending Stanley Cup champions couldn’t solve Calgary Flames rookie goaltender Reto Berra for much of Wednesday night’s game at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
And just when it appeared Berra would hand the Hawks their first shutout in nearly two years, Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp struck quickly to turn things around midway through the third. Those goals tied the game before Kane put the finishing touches with a highlight-reel goal with 18 seconds remaining in the third to give the Hawks a 3-2 victory over the Flames. It was the Hawks’ fourth consecutive victory and it avenged an earlier season defeat to Berra and the Flames at the United Center.
Antti Raanta made his first career start for the Hawks and picked up the victory with a solid effort in a battle of rookie netminders. The Hawks improved to 4-1-0 on their seven-game road trip.
Matt Stajan had a second-period goal and Sean Monahan added one in the third before the Hawks roared back on scores by Kane and Sharp just 56 seconds apart midway through the third.
Kane started the rally with a goal from a tight angle to give the Hawks life. The score extended the winger’s points streak to a career-high 12 games.
With the crowd still buzzing, Sharp evened the scored when he redirected a pass from Marian Hossa past a startled Berra.
It appeared the game was headed to overtime before Kane wheeled and sent a backhander past Berra to give the Hawks the win.
Raanta, who had appeared in one game after relieving a pulled Corey Crawford earlier this month, said before the game that he was working to keep his nerves to a minimum.
“I’m not taking too much pressure,” Raanta said. “If I do that I will see it on the scoreboard and that’s not the plan.”
The 24-year-old Finnish netminder got the call after Crawford had appeared in 15 consecutive games.
Hossa returned to the Hawks lineup after missing two games to be with his ill wife in Chicago.