CALGARY, Alberta -- Jitters over making his first NHL start caused Blackhawks rookie goaltender Antti Raanta some restlessness in the hours before puck drop.
“Game-day naptime was pretty awful -- I was having some nightmares,” Raanta said after backstopping the Hawks to a stunning 3-2 come-from-behind victory over the Flames on Wednesday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
Raanta said one nightmare included being down to the Stars 3-0 in the first period. The Finnish netminder's situation while awake wasn’t a whole lot better against the Flames when the goalie and the Hawks trailed 2-0 midway through the third before Patrick Kane ignited the offense with a fluke goal. Following a score by Patrick Sharp just 56 seconds later, Kane finished things off with a highlight-reel tally with :18 remaining that gave the Hawks their fourth consecutive win.
“We were having chances all game but (then) we had three goals in 10 minutes and it was pretty good,” an alert Raanta said in the victorious Hawks dressing room. “We know we can score goals and we have forwards with magic hands. We can score every game, two or three goals and that’s usually enough for the win.”
In addition to Kane’s two goals and Sharp’s score, Niklas Hjalmarsson chipped in with two assists as the Hawks handed Flames rookie goalie Reto Berra a difficult defeat.
“It’s a group that’s familiar with the situation of being down going into the third,” said Kane, who attempted a pass into the slot in the third that hit off Calgary defenseman Kris Russell’s stick and bounded over Berra and into the net to get the Hawks going.
“We’ve been good at coming back and winning games or getting a point out of those games. (Wednesday) was another example of that where we didn’t quit. We knew we had it in the locker room to come back and try to get us a few goals and get us a point and we ended up getting two so it was a good day.”
After Kane’s goal, which extended his points streak to a career-high 12 games, put the Flames on their heels, Sharp redirected a pass from Marian Hossa past Berra (27 saves) to tie it. With overtime looming, Kane flipped a backhanded shot that sailed past Berra and kept the Hawks rolling during their seven-game road trip.
“We know we didn’t play our best,” Hossa said. “They played extremely well but the good thing is we found a way to score the first one which got us going and then all of a sudden we got two quick ones.
“(Berra) was really good,” Hossa added. “He was all over the place. He had a great game but once again we found a way.”
The Hawks were lucky to leave the Saddledome with their winning streak intact as the Flames’ Sven Baertschi narrowly missed putting the game away in the third but hit the post with the net wide open.
“We got a break on that (Kane) goal and we seemed to get energized by it,” Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “We caught a big break in the third when (Baertschi) had the great opportunity. We might have been fortunate to win but I still didn’t mind the way we played and I’m happy for Antti getting his first win.”
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