The Blackhawks scored eight goals on 28 shots for their first victory since Feb. 1 vs. Arizona.
The Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Calgary Flames 8-4 at Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday night. Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane led the way on offense with three points each, while Robin Lehner was solid in net, making 38 saves for his first win since Jan. 19 against the Winnipeg Jets.
With the win, the Blackhawks move to 26-24-8 through 58 games and remain six points back of the Coyotes for the second wild-card playoff spot.
“It’s really nice to get the win tonight. We played really well against [the] Vancouver [Canucks] but didn’t get the bounces,” Alex Nylander, who scored two goals vs. Calgary, said. “We just need to keep building off this. We play good like this and get pucks to the net and good things will happen our way. We have really big games coming up. We need to be sharp and win them.”
For the fifth time this season (tied for most in the NHL), the Blackhawks struck in the opening minute as Toews beat Flames goaltender Mike Smith glove-side on a 2-on-1 rush after Slater Koekkoek made a tremendous pass to exit the defensive zone.
That lead didn’t last for long, as Sam Bennett answered right back for the Flames at 2:07 by beating Adam Boqvist backdoor for a tap-in goal.
Seconds after Sean Monahan’s tripping penalty expired, the Hawks regained their lead at 9:17 when Toews found Dominik Kubalik alone out front for his 23rd goal of the season.
Sam Bennett responded for the Flames once again at 12:57 after Dillon Dube knocked the puck out of mid-air to create the breakaway opportunity.
Despite blowing two leads in the opening 20 minutes, the Hawks received the majority of the chances and led the Flames in shots on goal 12-8.
Brandon Saad gave the Blackhawks their third lead of the contest at 4:24 with his seventh goal in the last 10 games and 18th of the season after a nifty cross-crease pass by Kane.
Just 1:04 later, Nylander intercepted Dube’s break-out pass and made a gorgeous move to beat Smith and give the Blackhawks a 4-2 lead. Cam Talbot replaced Smith in net for the Flames after the goal.
The offensive frenzy continued as Elias Lindholm found a loose puck in the crease to cut the Hawks lead to 4-3 at 10:56. Boqvist was beat backdoor for the second time, as he and Duncan Keith struggled in the defensive zone all night long.
Alex DeBrincat recaptured the two-goal lead for the Blackhawks at 17:47 after Kirby Dach forced a turnover behind the Flames’ net, and Dylan Strome found DeBrincat wide-open in the slot for his 14th tally of the season, which had to have felt good. DeBrincat has only four goals in 17 games since Jan. 1.
“The past while, I’ve been fighting with the puck,” DeBrincat said. “I had a breakaway pass two shifts before [my goal] and fumbled it. It’s not always the pretty ones — you just go to the net and bang one in.”
Coming into Saturday, Nylander had just two goals in his previous 34 contests, but he scored his second of the game 27 seconds after DeBrincat to make it 6-3 Blackhawks.
“Finally, it’s come,” Nylander said. “We’ve had a lot of chances and [we’re] finally getting the bounces in. I’m happy, and we need to build on this as we have really important games [for] the rest of the season.”
The Blackhawks killed off Dach’s high-sticking penalty to begin the period, but they weren’t as successful following Olli Maatta’s hooking infraction a couple of minutes later. Lindholm scored his second goal of the game with a wrist shot from the slot to cut the Flames’ deficit to two.
After Lindholm’s power-play goal, the Blackhawks penalty kill has now allowed goals in each of the four games on their current road trip and is ranked 12th in the NHL with a 81.7 percent success rate.
With the Flames surging in the final 10 minutes of play, Lehner was tremendous to keep the Hawks ahead by two. The former Vezina Trophy finalist stopped 19 of the 20 shots he faced in the period.
Kane scored an empty-net goal to make it 7-4 with 3:12 remaining, and Dach added an exclamation point at 18:59 with his eighth tally of the season.
The eight-goal outpour was the most the Blackhawks have scored in a game this season. All four lines found the back of the net, and the fourth line even scored twice, thanks to Nylander.
“It’s nice to see all four lines get in on the offense tonight,” Toews said. “I think it helps everyone’s confidence. We’ll stick with playing the right way, doing the things we know we have to do and playing with energy, and we can get offense from [everyone] in our lineup.”
The Blackhawks are right back in action on Sunday to take on the Winnipeg Jets at Bell MTS Place for the second time in a week. The Jets scored the final five goals of the game to win 5-2 on Feb. 9 after the Hawks jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period. This will be the fifth and final meeting between these two teams in the regular season.
Coming into Sunday, the Jets are 29-25-5 through 59 games and sit three points ahead of the Blackhawks in the standings. Needless to say, this matchup has tremendous stakes for both sides.
The contest is slated for 7:30 p.m. CT and is scheduled to be ESPN+, NBCSCH, and TSN3.
For more Blackhawks news and updates, follow the author (@JackBushman2) on Twitter. Make sure to check out the author’s podcast, Talkin’ Hawkey, which can be found on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Twitter (@TalkinHawkey).