CHICAGO (AP) — Johnny Gaudreau had a goal and two assists, Matthew Tkachuk scored for a third straight game and the Calgary Flames beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-1 on Sunday night.
Elias Lindholm and Trevor Lewis also scored for Calgary, Oliver Kylington added a long empty-netter and Jacob Markstrom blocked 30 shots in the Flames’ second straight win. Calgary is coming off a COVID-19 outbreak that shut the team down from Dec. 11 until Dec. 30, when they topped the Kraken in Seattle.
Alex DeBrincat scored his team-leading 18th goal, but Chicago dropped its fourth straight.
Arvid Soderblom made his first NHL start with 37 saves, including one on Dillon Dube’s third-period penalty shot. Soderblom made his NHL debut Saturday, playing the second and third period of Chicago’s 6-1 loss at Nashville.
Marc-Andre Fleury, the Blackhawks’ top goalie, returned from COVID-19 protocol Sunday and was on the bench the as the backup.
Sunday’s game was Chicago’s second in two days after a 13-day layoff when four of its contests were postponed because of COVID-19. The Blackhawks played their first home game since Dec. 17 in an uncharacteristically quiet United Center, where there were plenty of empty seats.
DeBrincat opened the scoring 9:41 into the game, ripping in a one-timer from the slot after taking Patrick Kane’s pinpoint pass through traffic from behind the net.
Tkachuk tied it with a slick, on-the-fly deflection with 6:47 left in the first. Cutting through the crease, Tkachuk redirected Gaudreau’s feed past Soderblom low on the stick side for his 14th goal.
Lindholm’s power-play goal midway through the second put Calgary ahead 2-1. His low one-timer from edge of the right circle slipped through Soderblom as Tkachuk screened at the edge of the crease.
Moments after stopping Mikael Backlund on a breakaway, Soderblom gave up a short-handed goal to Lewis with 2:14 left in the period that made it 3-1. Lewis skated unchecked from the left corner, then lofted in a backhander on the short side.
The Flames outshot Chicago 26-9 in the second period and took a 3-1 lead.
Following an empty-netter from Kylington with 1:55 left, Gaudreau completed the scoring from the left circle 29 seconds later.
Kevin Lankinen, Chicago’s usual backup goalie, remained in COVID-19 protocol. … Tkachuk also has two assists in the last three games along with his three goals. … Chicago F Josiah Slavin was activated from the taxi squad and F MacKenzie Entwistle was assigned. … Soderblom, a 22-year-old Swede, was never drafted. He signed with Chicago last summer, then was 4-5-0 with a .915 save percentage at Rockford. … Chicago F Ryan Carpenter and D Riley Stillman were scratched.
Flames: At Florida on Tuesday.
Blackhawks: Host Colorado on Tuesday.