Fourteen seconds into the second period, the Flames tied the game 1-1 on a power play tally from Olli Jokinen. Troy Brouwer and Duncan Keith both collapsed on Jarome Iginla who found Jokinen wide open in the slot. With only Cristobal Huet standing in front of him, Jokinen picked out a corner to knot up the score.
Shortly after, Ham Sandwich destroyed Rene Bourque along the boards. Nigel Dawes foolishly went after Sandwich, wildly swinging at him, and drawing a roughing penalty in the process.
On the ensuing power play, Patrick Kane settled the puck in the corner. He fed Cam Barker who went across to his partner Brent Seabrook. Seabrook’s point shot was neatly deflected by Kris Versteeg past Mikka Kiprusoff and the Hawks were back on top.
Nursing a one goal lead, new-found bruiser Colin Fraser decided he wanted to scrap with Eric Nystorm. Unfortunately, this was after he elbowed him in the head.
With an extra two minutes tacked on, the Flames went back on the power play.
After an easy entry into the Hawks zone, Jay Bouwmeester found the puck on his stick in the high slot with Huet leaning the opposite way. Huet desperately dove back to his right side and caught a piece of the shot with his blocker.
The Hawks killed off the rest of the power play and then used the rest of the period to kill off any chance the Flames had of coming back.
Dustin Byfuglien added on to the Hawks lead with a great individual effort. Byfuglien created his opportunity off a nice back-check. He poked the loose puck to center ice; carried it into the Flames zone, and then snapped a shot past Kiprusoff.
Four minutes later and just moments after Patrick Kane was denied by the crossbar, the Flames got caught in a bad change. An alert Duncan Keith sprung Andrew Ladd on a breakaway. Ladd made a subtle toe-drag move and beat Kiprusoff to the far side to give the Hawks a 4-1 lead.
With just three minutes left in the period, the Flames took two bad penalties. First, they were called for too many men on the ice. Then, a minute and a half later, Dion Phaneuf decided to pick a fight with Brent Seabrook for an arbitrary reason. For his decision, he got an extra two minutes attached to his fighting major.
While 5-on-3 power plays have been an Achilles heel for the Hawks thus far, it wasn’t tonight.
Patrick Kane banged home a loose puck to make it 5-1. Then nearly 45 seconds later, he made a terrific cross-ice pass to a wide-open Kris Versteeg who one-timed the puck into the net to essentially put the game away.
Troy Brouwer put the Hawks on the board in the first period with a power play tally. Brouwer was standing in front of the net and when a Duncan Keith point shot settled in front of the crease, he had three whacks at the puck. His third attempt went in.
To close out the scoring for the night, Ben Eager notched his first goal of the season.
All in all, it was a beautiful way to start a fairly important road trip.
–Scoring on four out of five power play opportunities will certainly make teams think twice before taking stupid penalties against the Hawks. Nigel Dawes and Dion Phaneuf were both foolishly out of line with their penalties in the second period and it was nice to see the Hawks make them pay where it counts.
–Since allowing Calgary to score 5 goals in the first ten minutes of their first meeting, the Hawks have outscored the Flames 13-1 since.
–Another three assists for Duncan Keith tonight. He certainly is having (arguably) the best start of any Blackhawk this season. However, like I stated in his player preview, this shouldn’t come as a shock to anybody. At the beginning of the season, teams are not executing the tightly-checked games you’ll see in April and May. Where Keith had his hiccups last year was when teams took away his time and space. Enjoy it now, but it’s something to keep an eye for later.
–Hard to believe Kris Versteeg’s two goals was the first multi-goal game by a Hawk this year. As good as the Hawks have been, they still haven’t scored nearly as many goals as they’re capable of. Pretty scary to think about.
–I’ll be shocked if Bryan Bickell gets re-assigned to Rockford tomorrow. Making him travel back and forth through two different time zones in three days and expecting him to play at a high level is bat-shit crazy. For the game, Bickell mostly skated with Kane and Toews. His best shifts were in the first period where he had two golden chances to find twine. His first shot trickled through Kiprusoff’s legs and went wide. His second chance, Kane found him in the high slot and Bickell’s shot sailed over the net.