(WGN-AM) - After taking a 2-0 series lead in Chicago, the best-of-seven contest will head back to the United Center for Saturday's Game Five with the Flames and Blackhawks knotted 2-2. The Flames suffocated a Blackhawks comeback with a 6-4 Game 4 victory, after the Hawks had tied the game 4-4 by charging back three goals down Wednesday night at Pengrowth Saddledome.
Flames winger Eric Nystrom scored the deciding goal with less than seven minutes to play in the third period, hitting in the puck after it bounced off Hawks goalkeeper Nikolai Khabibulin on a shot by Cory Sarich. Jarome Iginla topped off the victory with a final goal into an empty net with 11 seconds remaining.
The Hawks looked liked they gained momentum in the second period, scoring three-straight goals within eight minutes to tie the game after the Flames had claimed a 4-1 advantage midway through the period. Kris Versteeg scored the first of the second period for a 4-2 deficit and also posted assists along with Sammy Pahlsson on goals by Cam Barker and Dustin Byfuglien. Byfuglien's goal came on a power play with just 32.1 seconds left in the third period.
The Flames came out hot after a 1-1 first period tie. Olli Jokinen especially pestered Khabibulin with two goals and assisted on another by Adrian Aucoin to take the three-goal lead.
The Blackhawks got on the board first, which doesn't bode well according to the history of this series. In the previous three games, the team that scored first wound up losing. The Hawks took a 1-0 lead quickly off a goal by Patrick Kane, who returned from his bout with the flu that sidelined him during Monday's loss. But the Flames didn't take long to respond. And both teams kept their promise to keep the game physical, even after the league sent out a memo warning about trash-talking and hitting after the whistle following the teams' fight near the end of Game 3, which the Flames won 4-2.
Nobody was expecting the teams to host a tea party when they met in Game 4. During the first period, Hawks defenseman Brent Seabrook got into a tussle around the net with Iginla and Olli Jokinen, but only warnings were issued.
Game Five is Saturday night at the United Center. Our coverage begins with Blackhawk Central Pre-Game at 7:50 Saturday night on News/Talk 720, WGN and wgnradio.com.
(The Chicago Tribune contributed to this report)Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun