The Chicago Blackhawks have played four seasons of hockey since the last time they beat the Calgary Flames, and Sunday Chicago came up short again.
This time it took two third-period goals by Gary Suter and Joel Otto and a controversial call by referee Dan Marouelli for the Flames to rally past the Blackhawks for a 3-1 victory. Chicago now has an 0-11-2 record against Calgary dating back to Feb. 23, 1986, when the Blackhawks beat the Flames at Chicago Stadium.Chicago goaltender Ed Belfour, undefeated in four starts going into the game, tried to stop the Flames singlehandedly. Belfour stoned Calgary until the third period, playing especially well during the first half of the game when the Blackhawks were outshot 16-4.
Early in the game Doug Gilmour walked right in on Belfour and shot from point-blank range. Belfour made a brilliant save, then covered the rebound just before Joe Nieuwendyk could swoop in for the kill.
Chris Chelios gave the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead at 2:26 of the third period with a power-play goal. Jeremy Roenick carried the puck in and shoveled a backhander that goaltender Rick Wamsley blocked, but Chelios pounced on the rebound and poked it through for his second goal of the season.
That momentum shifted when Suter's first goal of the year tied the score at 4:57. Suter's goal came on a power play when he connected on a low slap shot from the blue line that Belfour apparently never saw.
Otto then put the Flames ahead at 8:59, banging in a rebound from the slot after Belfour stopped Jamie Macoun's slap shot. The goal was Otto's first this season.
Chicago's Wayne Presley appeared to tie the score with 8:26 left, but Marouelli disallowed it because the Calgary net was knocked off its moorings. A new rule would have allowed the goal if the referee ruled the defensive team knocked the net off deliberately.
Paul Ranheim of the Flames closed out the scoring with empty-net goal with a second left.
Canucks 5, Oilers 4, OT
At Vancouver, Petri Skriko snapped home a rebound from the edge of the crease at 1:32 of overtime to lift the Canucks. Dave Capuano and Dan Quinn each scored a goal and added two assists to pace the Canucks, while Esa Tikkanen had a hat trick for the Oilers.
Kings 4, Blues 1
At Inglewood, Calif., Tomas Sandstrom deflected in a power-play goal with 3:44 left in the second period to snap a tie and Luc Robitaille scored his 200th career goal. Bob Kudelski and Dave Taylor also scored for Los Angeles. Geoff Courtnall scored for St. Louis. Kings goalie Kelly Hrudey made 42 saves.