Blackhawks drop 4th in a row, 3-2 to Flames
CHICAGO — Sean Monahan and Elias Lindholm each had a goal and an assist as the Calgary Flames edged the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 on Sunday night and moved into first place in the Pacific Division.
Derek Ryan also scored and Johnny Gaudreau had two assists for the Flames, who won their second straight game and for the third time in four contests..
Jonathan Toews and Dylan Strome scored for struggling Chicago, which dropped its fourth straight and lost for the sixth time in seven games. The Blackhawks fell to 3-8-2 under coach Jeremy Collition, who replaced Joel Quenneville on Nov. 6.
Calgary’s Mike Smith made 22 saves. Chicago’s Corey Crawford blocked 38 shots.
Lindholm and Ryan scored power-play goals 1:26 apart in the second period to give Calgary a 3-1 lead after Chicago veteran Chris Kunitz received a major penalty and game misconduct for elbowing Travis Hamonic in the face.
The Blackhawks have led only once in their last seven games — at the end of a 5-4 overtime win at Florida on Nov. 24.
In their previous six games, the Blackhawks had been outscored 17-4 in the first period and 31-19 overall. So, escaping the opening period tied 1-1, despite being outshot 18-6 by the Flames, was something of a moral victory for Chicago.
An opponent scored first against the Blackhawks for the seventh straight time when Monahan knocked in a rebound midway through the opening period for his second goal in two games in third in four. He connected from the left side of the net after Crawford stopped Lindholm from the slot.
Toews tied it at 1-all just over three minutes later.
Following a faceoff in the Chicago zone, the puck and Toews got by Flames defensemen Noah Hanifin at the left point. Toews raced in alone, cut to the slot and beat Smith with a shot between the pads.
The 39-year-old Kunitz, a healthy scratch in six of the last seven games, elbowed Hamonic in the face along the boards at 7:08 of the second. Hamonic dropped to the ice with a bloody nose and Kunitz was sent off.
Lindholm scored 10 seconds later, connecting on a shot from the right circle after taking a cross-ice pass from Gaudreau.
Crawford was out of position to the left of the net, but managed to reach across the goalmouth and glove Lindholm’s shot. A video review, however, showed Crawford’s glove was over the goal line
Ryan made it 3-1 at 8:44, beating Crawford on the stick side from the top of the right circle.
Strome’s power-play goal with 4:15 left in the second cut it to 3-2. It was the 21-year-old forward’s second goal in four games since Chicago acquired him from Arizona.
Crawford passed the puck from the crease to Alex DeBrincat near the Calgary blue line. DeBrincat dished to Strome, who beat Smith from the slot with a backhander into the upper right corner.
Smith made several close-in saves in the scoreless third to preserve Calgary’s lead. While sprawled on his stomach, Smith stopped Artem Anisimov’s point-blank attempt with his right pad with 5:14 left.