Nystrom ties up series

Eric Nystrom (front) and Todd Bertuzzi (behind) celebrate Nystrom's third-period goal against the...

Eric Nystrom (front) and Todd Bertuzzi (behind) celebrate Nystrom's third-period goal against the Blackhawks on Wednesday. (Sun Media/Al Charest)

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:50 AM ET

It's a best two of three, thanks to No. 23.

Eric Nystrom fired in a rebound with 6:56 left last night as the Calgary Flames beat the Chicago Blackhawks 6-4 in Game 4 of their best-of-seven showdown.

The series shifts back to the Windy City Saturday night for Game 5, with a Game 6 now guaranteed for Monday back at the Saddledome.

The unlikely hero was a guy who scored only five goals during the regular season, but Nystrom already has two in the post-season.

"We always bug him. We call him BG: Big Goals," said captain Jarome Iginla, who scored the first and last goals, the latter into an empty net.

"He's built for playoffs. He plays so hard. He dives in front of pucks. He's quick and plays hard. It's good to see him get some big goals. He loves it.

"A lot of our success all year is finding goals from different players, and we have continued that."

The Flames will need to win a road game if they want to win the series, as the two teams have held serve.

They will also need to hold onto a lead better than they did last night, if they get one.

Nystrom, whose father Bob scored some timely goals for the New York Islanders during his NHL career, finished with a goal and two helpers. Olli Jokinen and Iginla had two goals and an assist for Calgary, and Adrian Aucoin had the other marker for the hosts.

The victory almost didn't happen for the homeside, which let the Hawks off the mat after building a 4-1 lead early in the second period.

The Flames grabbed the lead off a gift to Jokinen early in the second period in what seemed to help the big Finnish centre end his struggles.

Just a minute into the frame, Hawks defenceman Cam Barker coughed the puck on Jokinen's stick in the slot and he roofed it over the shoulder of Blackhawks goalie Nikolai Khabibulin for a 2-1 lead.

That broke a 17-game goal-less drought for the big Finn who was brought in at the trade deadline to add an offensive punch.

The floodgates then opened. A Jokinen shot that missed the net went around the boards to the stick of Aucoin, who fired a top-corner point shot for his second of the series.

Minutes later, Jokinen broke through the Hawks zone and fired a backhander on Khabibulin that trickled through for a 4-1 lead.

But the visiting Hawks were undeterred, and they would score three times in seven-plus minutes to erase the deficit.

Two of those tallies came on the powerplay, with the Hawks creating traffic in front of Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff.

Patrick Kane opened the scoring in the first period for the visitors, while Kris Versteeg, Barker and Dustin Byfuglien knotted the game by the end of the second.

"That was a little scary," Nystrom said. "We gave up a little bit for a short period of time. That team can put the puck in the net.

"We have to start bearing down a bit more. We had to get rid of those little turnovers.

"But this is huge. The home teams have won in this series, so we have to find a way to win on the road."

In Games 1 and 2 in Chicago, the Flames let leads slip away and ultimately lost, so going into Chicago after giving one away and taking it back is a good sign for Calgary.

"We came in between periods and no one was looking at each other," Iginla said.

"We thought we would still find a way to win this one. We looked forward.

"In the third, we got our legs going. Got back at it. They had a great burst. They had a great powerplay and that was huge for them. They had two powerplay goals and that's big for them.

"When we got pucks behind them, it was huge for us."

The Flames were dealt a blow before the game started as left-winger Rene Bourque was unable to play after tweaking his ankle in Game 3.

It didn't get any better during the game, as two centres, Craig Conroy and Daymond Langkow, both left the ice with injuries.


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