Tkachuk scores in 3rd straight game, Flames top Hawks 5-1

Blackhawks

Chicago Blackhawks center Philipp Kurashev (23) shoots against Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom (25) during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)

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.

NOTES

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.

UP NEXT

Flames: At Florida on Tuesday.

Blackhawks: Host Colorado on Tuesday.

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