SUN Hockey Pool

Shame ol' story in Chicago

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:56 AM ET

CHICAGO -- Fitting the Calgary Flames would have a turkey on Thanksgiving.

Oh sure, they were all poised for a huge victory in an unlikely location, but the Flames promptly blew a five-goal lead and had egg all over their face after a 6-5 overtime loss last night.

"That one stings all the way through," captain Jarome Iginla said.

"We all know, and we're embarrassed of the result. We know we had a stranglehold on it, and there was no reason to have what happened happen."

Embarrassed was the key word of the night. After staking themselves to a five-goal lead in less than 12 minutes and on the verge of gaining some redemption for last year's playoff ousting at the hands of the Blackhawks, the Flames watched the high-flying, hard-charging Blackhawks claw their way back.

Brent Seabrook played the hero with his goal 34 seconds into overtime at the United Center and continue the team's stronghold on the Flames at home.

Calgary lost all five meetings in the Windy City last season, including the three during the first-round playoff series. It's the largest comeback in Blackhawks history.

"When you're up in a game like that, you've got to be able to close the door," said head coach Brent Sutter, who was surprisingly calm.

"We never pushed back. We had one guy push back and that was the captain (Iginla). After that, no one else really did.

"It's a huge lack of mental toughness within the group. It says more and more about how much work needs to be done with this group. It's not just about structure or anything like that. It's about stuff between their ears. The game is 90% mental, and they're a group that still is trying to figure out where they're at.

"The adversity things is what concerns me, and that comes down to mental toughness.

"When you're a group that has a hard time dealing with adversity -- and they've been thrown some this year, handled some the right way and some they haven't. (Last night) it wasn't handled very well."

The Blackhawks are the team known for scoring in bunches, but it was the Flames who went crazy in the early going to the chagrin of the raucous crowd of 20,074.

Dustin Boyd, Eric Nystrom and Iginla all scored in a 53-second span that chased Chicago starter Cristobal Huet from the net.

Antti Niemi didn't exactly fare any better when he took the pipes, and surrendered goals to Rene Bourque and Olli Jokinen within a minute of each other.

But the Blackhawks roared back, led by Patrick Kane, who collected a goal and two assists.

"We got away from our gameplan," said Flames defenceman Cory Sarich.

"We were doing a great job of getting out of our zone, getting pucks deep and working hard. Then we got away from the hard work, got away from moving our legs and got away from playing smart."

John Madden, Dustin Byfuglien, David Bolland and Patrick Sharp also scored for Chicago (3-1-1).

Calgary (4-1-1) plays tonight in Columbus against the Blue Jackets.

RANDY.SPORTAK@SUNMEDIA.CA

THREE STARS

AS CHOSEN BY SUN MEDIA

PATRICK KANE, HAWKS

One goal and two assists in the second period alone.

DUSTIN BOYD, FLAMES

First goal of the season and an assist.

DUSTIN BYFUGLIEN, HAWKS

The power forward was doing everything he needs to.


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