SNAPSHOTS: Calgary Flames rides P2 shooting gallery to win in Chicago

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One day, when Arvid Soderblom is asked about his welcome-to-the-NHL moment, he will surely remember the shard of rubber he encountered in the middle stanza of Sunday at United Center.

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The Calgary Flames peppered the rookie goaltender – in its first start for the Chicago Blackhawks and second career call at the major league level – with 26 shots on net between gaps, setting a franchise record for most pellets in a single period and finally notching a few special teams count en route to a 5-1 victory in Windy City.

As head coach Darryl Sutter put it after the game, “The second period told the story.”

Indeed, it did.

For Soderblom, it was an encouraging introduction. Sure, the puck-stopping call can’t be attributed to this achievement, especially after he was embroiled in relief the previous afternoon.

For the Flames, it was an impressive start to their last road trip. They have now won two in a row since returning from a long firing forced by a COVID-19 epidemic.

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Sutter’s team scored almost every way you can think of on Sunday – on equal strength (Matthew Tkachuk / Johnny Gaudreau), in power play (Elias Lindholm), while with short hands (Trevor Lewis) and in a low net (Oliver Kylington)).

Dillon Dube had a chance to add penalty shot to his list, but he was stopped by Soderblom after receiving a free-kick from center-back.

“The first period was slow on our part, and we talked between the periods about how we had to get better and get our game in order and play as we are used to,” Lindholm said after the Flames improved to 17 -7-6. “And I think the second period just showed that and how we can play when we play good hockey and have a lot of shots and a lot of chances. Of course it was a fun period to be a part of. We want to be a part of that. more to see. ”

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You do not see this type of shooting gallery very often.

With 26 shots in the middle period of Sunday, the Flames bound a franchise brand that was originally set up by Al MacInnis, Lanny McDonald & Co.

After Alex DeBrincat and Tkachuk exchanged early markers, the visitors were no less than dominant in the second at United Center.

In fact, the 22-year-old Soderblom deserves kudos for limiting the damage to two. Sean Monahan teemed Lindholm with a dandy dish on the man-advantage for the forward goal, and Lewis later snatched a shortie. (Credit to Blake Coleman, who did the dirty work in the corner and found his penalty-killing pal for a backhand finish.)

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“You could definitely feel the momentum changing there,” Lewis said of that rise from the second period. “It’s fun to play like that.”

Kylington sealed the win when he shot in a low net with two minutes left, then welcomed Gaudreau Soderblom back to the blue paint with a sizzler from top board.

The Flames came up with a total of 41 shots during Sunday’s affair, with only two players – fourth-line forward Brad Richardson and third-pair defender Erik Gudbranson – failing to test the infamous two-man.

Calgary starter Jacob Markstrom made 30 saves at the opposite end.

Chicago Blackhawks striker Philipp Kurashev clashes with Calgary Flames goalkeeper Jacob Markstrom after crashing into United Center in the second period.  Jon Durr / USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Blackhawks striker Philipp Kurashev clashes with Calgary Flames goalkeeper Jacob Markstrom after crashing into United Center in the second period. Jon Durr / USA TODAY Sports Photo by Jon Durr /USA TODAY Sports

ZADOROV WEIGHS IN

Flames rearguard Nikita Zadorov spent last season with the Blackhawks, and although he had good things to say about his stint in Chicago, he admitted that without fans in the building, “I probably did not enjoy it as much as I could have.”

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The atmosphere at United Center is of course known for delivering guzzlers before the match itself is underway.

“The national anthem is electric,” Zadorov grinned after Sunday morning’s skate. “I’m envious of today to hear it again – for the first time in two years.”

Zadorov also hopes to hear his own anthem at the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Asked about his reaction to the news that NHLers would not join Beijing, the 26-year-old – not a lock for a spot on Russia’s blue line, but certainly on the radar – first suggested that he be on the tongue should bite to prevent a spot. well and then made it clear that he had missed the opportunity.

“I see it in both sides,” he said. “Of course the NHL is a business, right? They want to make money. And we’re the employees. So when the boss tells you you can not go, you do not go, right? That’s the one part. Another part is that they we were told, they promised us we would go. “

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Zadorov was critical of COVID-19 security measures, calling it “so stupid” that asymptomatic cases were given a 10-day quarantine during the Flames epidemic – the requirement in Alberta has since been reduced to five days – and said so while understanding the virus can be dangerous for some, he believes there should be various restrictions for young and healthy individuals.

“And then we would go to the Olympics and nothing would happen and we would play normally,” said Zadorov, who has already represented Russia at world juniors and world championships. “Obviously there was a lot of talk about the Chinese government, how we had no answers and all that. But if you get that chance, I think that puts everything on the second plate. You just do not think about that.

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“If you get a chance to go, you go anyway. That’s how I was raised in my country, and that’s how I see it.”

AROUND THE BOARDS

Gaudreau, who returned from the break with three-point outings in a row, hit the scoreboard in 10 consecutive games in enemy ice rinks. Thanks to a handy setup on Tkachuk’s re-direct, he moved to a draw for top spots in the NHL with 18 primary assists … Mikael Backlund had a few glorious chances to snap out of what is now a 10-game drought , but he was denied by Soderblom on two breakaways … Three weeks ago, the Flames flight to Chicago was grounded due to its COVID-19 epidemic. They were already on board, but have delayed their departure to await further test results. They eventually stayed home, as the December 13 clash against the Blackhawks was the first of seven targeted that was postponed. This time, the take-off was not the problem. “The weird part was that there was a bit of nervousness about our ability to land here because of the snowstorm that was going on around the area,” Flames assistant coach Ryan Huska reported after morning skating. “Otherwise it was a normal trip.” That helps explain a slow start, with the Flames only collecting one shot on the net in the first seven plus minutes. “Our first menstruation last night, we had to get our legs under us,” Sutter said. “We had a long travel day. We boarded a bus yesterday at 10.30am and arrived here at 7.00pm, so it was basically just our legs. There was nothing wrong with our first period – it was just to go that way. It’s been a milestone night for Calgary’s Chris Tanev The solid defender has now recorded 600 appearances at the highest level.

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FAN OF GLASS

Next up for the Flames is Tuesday’s tilt with the Florida Panthers (5pm MT, Sportsnet West / Sportsnet 960 The Fan), but their old mate Sam Bennett will not be in the home lineup. Bennett’s first matchup against his former team will have to wait after he was sidelined with a three-match suspension for a hit-to-the-head on Montreal’s Cedric Paquette …, the Flames roster is now completely healthy … We have barely started the new year and the Flames’ farm clubs still have to lose games against each other this season. Puck-stopping prospect Dustin Wolf returned to the minors Sunday with a 33-save show, and the Stockton Heat improved to 19-3-3 with a victory over the San Jose Barracuda … Flames draftee Rory Kerins had two goals and an assist in Sunday’s first-star performance for the Soo Greyhounds, and became just the fourth skater in the Ontario Hockey League to reach the 50-point plateau in the 2021-22 campaign. The 19-year-old center has placed this sizzling stat line – 18-33-51 – in 29 outings so far.

wgilbertson@postmedia.com

http://www.twitter.com/WesGilbertson

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