Blackhawks rally from three-goal deficit to salvage point vs. Flames

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Calgary’s Mark Giordano, center celebrates his game-winning goal Sunday against the Blackhawks. (AP Photo)

CALGARY, Alberta — Jeff Glass always imagined himself celebrating as an NHL player in the Saddledome in his hometown of Calgary. Jumping up and down with his arms in the air while standing behind the bench probably wasn’t what he had in mind.

Brandon Saad scored the equalizer with 1:46 left in the third period with Glass pulled for an extra attacker as the Blackhawks salvaged a point Sunday night, rallying from a three-goal deficit before losing 4-3 in overtime. Mark Giordano’s goal 52 seconds into the 3-on-3 session was the game-winner.

“You don’t ever want to give up three, it was a big hole to climb out of,” said Glass, who stopped a Johnny Gaudreau breakaway less than a minute before Saad’s game-tying tally. “And we did a good job to climb out of that hole, so it felt pretty good to get back to all-square. But would have liked another point.”

Joel Quenneville called it a “great point” given the early deficit. But he certainly wasn’t pleased with how the Hawks found themselves down 3-0. For the second straight game, they forced Glass to stop 18 of 19 shots in the first period, and their inability to clear bodies out of the crease continued to be a problem. Keith Tkachuk scored a power-play goal with less than two seconds left in the first period, popping in a rebound from the corner of the goalmouth. Tkachuk added another power-play goal at 4:42 of the second, standing on the doorstep and chipping in a Gaudreau centering feed. Sean Monahan one-timed a Gaudreau pass to make it 3-0 less than a minute later.

“It seems like loose change is hanging around,” Saad said. “If not [clearing] bodies, we’ve got to get sticks and take away men, and get sticks on pucks more. Seems like too much loose change the past few games. They’ve been getting lucky bounces right on their tape, so we’ve got to do a better job down low.”

Jordan Oesterle, who scored his first NHL goal in Edmonton on Friday, sparked the comeback. First, he snapped a wrist shot from the high slot through a Ryan Hartman screen six seconds after a power play ended to make it 3-1. Fifty-six seconds later, he made a nice keep-in at the blue line and put the puck on net, where Jonathan Toews cleaned up the rebound for his 10th goal (and his first point in seven games).

The Hawks poured it on from there, but couldn’t break through Mike Smith. Richard Panik missed a nearly empty net, and Saad was just high on a 2-on-1 with Toews late in the third. Gaudreau could have ended it on his breakaway with 2:40 left, but Glass challenged him and denied him, keeping the Hawks alive long enough to let Saad score through traffic off a Toews faceoff win at 18:14 of the third.

It was particularly encouraging to see life from the Toews line, which had been dormant for a couple of weeks.

“They were really good tonight,” Quenneville said. “Jonny was excellent, Saader was really good, too. Scored a couple of big goals.”

The Hawks have gotten at least a point in 16 straight games (10-0-6) against the Flames, dating back to February of 2013, when Ray Emery made 48 saves in an overtime victory.

And Glass now has a two-game point streak, taking three of four in his first two NHL starts after 13 years of waiting for an opportunity. He said before the game he wanted to prove his win in Edmonton wasn’t a “fluke.” A 35-save effort in his hometown, including the big stop on the dynamic Gaudreau, did just that.

“Would have liked to win it, obviously,” Glass said. “But it’ll be one I’ll remember —probably not so fondly right now, but somewhere down the road, I’ll look back and appreciate it.”

Follow me on Twitter @MarkLazerus


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