Flames game notes

STEVE MACFARLANE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:19 PM ET

QMI Agency three stars

Patrick Kane, Blackhawks

Creative and dangerous, the Hawks sniper showed he has one of the best wrist shots in the league on his goal in the second period.

Duncan Keith, Blackhawks

One of the most underrated defencemen in the game was a force in his own end, blocking six shots through the first 40 minutes alone.

Antti Niemi, Blackhawks

Looks like the Hawks have found their playoff goaltender. Niemi is no Kiprusoff, but he was solid earning the victory.

Flames report card

Overall: C-

Offence: C

Defence: C-

Goaltending: B

Powerplay: F

Penalty kill: B+

Why Flames lost

Because they can't find a way to beat the Blackhawks. For the eighth time in two years of regular-season action, the Flames were outmatched against their nemesis. Falling behind early means having to open up in order to catch up, which just plays into the Hawks style.

Goal of the game

In terms of timing, it seemed pretty important. Ian White's individual effort in the second frame gets top grades for visuals, too. The Flames defenceman rushes through the neutral zone and pokes the puck between Hawks D Jordan Hendry's legs before spotting some room on the far side. He nails the top shelf to make it 3-1 Flames 62 seconds after the Blackhawks open up a three-goal lead.

Save of the game

After a Hawks powerplay expires, Mark Giordano feeds Niklas Hagman in the slot on an odd-man rush, but goaltender Antti Niemi closes the five-hole and bats down the puck to keep the gap at two goals.

Scratches

CALGARY — C Daymond Langkow (neck), LW Christopher Higgins (leg), LW Curtis Glencross (knee), D Adam Pardy, RW Brian McGrattan (undisclosed).

CHICAGO — D Nick Boynton, RW Adam Burish, D Brian Campbell (clavicle/rib), D Kim Johnsson (concussion).

What this game means

Essentially, the Avalanche — who played later Sunday — were given an extra game in hand. At best, the Flames can now reach 95 points on the season and their playoff hopes take another hit with their fate in the hands of the Avs.

Up next

Tuesday: San Jose Sharks at Calgary Flames, 7:30 p.m., TSN, FAN 960


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