Flames strike back in Game 3
The Calgary Flames have never come back to win a playoff series in which they trailed 2-0, but they took a first step toward ending that trend Monday night.
David Moss scored twice as the Flames prevailed over the visiting Chicago Blackhawks 4-2 in Game 3 of their Western Conference quarter-final at the Pengrowth Saddledome.
Chicago had won all six previous meetings with Calgary this season, including the first two games of the opening-round playoff series.
"We certainly weren't dwelling the fact we were 0-6 versus them," Moss said. "We just had to win tonight.
"Going into Wednesday, we will have the same attitude. We just have to win one and get the series back."
The Blackhawks lead the best-of-seven 2-1 and, considering how nasty this latest installment concluded, Game 4 at Calgary on Wednesday night could be ornery.
Tempers flared in the final minute as the play grew chippy and the trash-talk intensified, resulting in several on-ice scuffles and 38 minutes in penalties.
"It will, hopefully, give us a little bit of momentum," Moss said.
"Now we know what to expect," Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said of the shift in venues. "It was a tough night playing in this building, a lot adversity.
"We just have to learn how to overcome that a little bit better. We just have to use this as fuel for the next night."
Eric Nystrom, the son of former New York Islanders playoff hero Bob Nystrom, and Rene Bourque also tallied for the fifth-seeded Flames, who were swept 4-0 by Chicago during the regular season.
"I think we got some good breaks tonight," Nystrom said.
"Contributions need to come from all four lines," Moss explained. "We had a bit more of a complete effort tonight."
Curtis Glencross contributed two assists for Calgary, and Miikka Kiprusoff kicked aside 36 of 38 shots.
By comparison, Blackhawks goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin faced 28 shots.
"Even after those couple of losses in Chicago, we thought we could beat them if we played our best game," Kiprusoff said.
"He has been pretty good versus us," Moss noted. "For us to be successful, we have got to keep putting pucks there and traffic and that is where we can solve him a little bit."
'We just made the little mistakes'
Patrick Sharp and Martin Havlat had a goal and an assist apiece, and Toews had two assists for the fourth-ranked Blackhawks, who haven't won a playoff series since sweeping the Flames 4-0 in 1996.
Historically, the Blackhawks have had a 2-0 lead in 18 series, winning 16 of them, and haven't lost such a series since the 1971 Stanley Cup final, which the Montreal Canadiens rallied to win in seven games.
"We just made the little mistakes tonight and that was the difference," Toews said.
Patrick Kane, whose 70 regular-season points for the Blackhawks trailed only Havlat's 77, was scratched from the lineup in Game 3 with an undisclosed injury.
"He is a big part of our team," Sharp said. "He finds a way to get on the scoresheet all the time and he really balances out our scoring line, so he was a big loss for us tonight."
Chicago opened the scoring 2:03 into the contest on the power play, cycling the puck around the perimeter and finding Sharp at the right post for the tap-in.
Calgary tied it on Nystrom's snap shot from the faceoff circle 6:40 into the first period, and took the lead on Bourque's tally with 2:53 left in the second.
Flames centre Olli Jokinen outmuscled Cam Barker and Toews for the puck at the end boards and fed it behind the net to Bourque, who banked it in from a sharp angle to make it 2-1.
Moss increased Calgary's margin just 78 seconds into the third period as he cruised into the slot and buried an Adam Pardy rebound for his second goal of the series.
Moss was later credited with a second goal when Glencross's low shot caromed in off his skate at the 5:24 mark, upping his output to three goals in three games and putting Calgary ahead 4-1.
Havlat struck back with his third of the series for the Blackhawks, tucking Sharp's pass in the open side on a two-man break with 4:25 remaining.
With files from The Canadian Press