NHL Game Summary - Calgary at Chicago
(Sunday, April 4th)
Final Score: Chicago 4, Calgary 1
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Patrick Kane registered a goal and an assist, and the Chicago Blackhawks added to their first division title in 17 years with a 4-1 victory over the playoff-hopeful Calgary Flames at United Center.
Troy Brouwer, Dustin Byfuglien and Tomas Kopecky all scored for Chicago, which claimed the Central Division title when the Red Wings lost to the Flyers earlier Sunday. It is the first division championship for the team since 1992-93, when it played in the Norris Division. Also ending on Sunday was Detroit's run of eight consecutive division crowns.
Antti Niemi stopped 25-of-26 shots for Chicago, which tied the franchise record for single-season wins with 49. It also swept the season series from Calgary for the second consecutive year, winning its eighth straight regular season game against the Flames.
"This team has turned around ever since my first year, and it's just been a long time coming," Kane said of the division title. "You just look -- 17 years, I was four years old the last time they won the division. So it's been a long time coming, and obviously for Blackhawks fans. It's a good accomplishment, but it's not really the accomplishment you want; I think the one you want is the (Stanley Cup) at the end of the year."
Ian White posted the only goal for Calgary, which had a three-game win streak snapped and its playoff hopes diminished. The Flames ultimately dropped two points back of Colorado for the eighth and final spot in the West. The Avs took an overtime decision from San Jose later on Sunday.
Miikka Kiprusoff allowed all four goals on 31 shots in defeat.
"We need help more than once probably, and we have to win our last three (games)," said Calgary forward Craig Conroy. "We didn't think we had room for a loss in the last four, and they outplayed us tonight. We have to get on the horse and get some wins because they've put us in a top spot. We did it to ourselves, though."
The Blackhawks wasted no time getting on the board, taking advantage of a fortunate bounce.
Chicago's Niklas Hjalmarsson fired a slap shot from the slot that went wide to the left, but the puck bounced all the way to the front of the net on the right side, where Kopecky was able to tap it in at 2:56 of the opening period.
Brouwer doubled Chicago's lead with 54 seconds left in the frame when he beat the Calgary defensemen to a rebound out in front and backhanded the disc into the wide open net.
Both clubs traded goals in the second, with Kane's 29th putting Chicago ahead by three at 15:32 before White fired a quick wrister past Niemi at 16:34 to make it a 3-1 game heading to the third.
Niemi stopped all 11 shots he faced in the last 20 minutes to preserve the lead, and Byfuglien put the game away with a shot from the right circle with 2:46 remaining.
Calgary's Rene Bourque had his three-game goal streak snapped...Chicago also won 49 games in 1970-71 and 1990-91...The Blackhawks have outshot their opponents in 67-of-78 games, including 31-26 on Sunday. No other team has outshot its opponent more than 46 times this season...Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville was also the head coach of the last team other than the Red Wings to win the Central Division -- the 1999-2000 St. Louis Blues...The last time Chicago swept the season series from a West team for two straight seasons was also the Flames -- in 1992-93 and 1993-94...The Hawks are two points behind San Jose for the top spot in the West...The Los Angeles Kings clinched a playoff berth by virtue of Calgary's loss.
04/04 22:43:30 ET