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Blackhawks tough on Canadian teams
The Blackhawks continued their semi-unexplainable mastery of all teams Canadian Thursday night with their 11th victory in 11 games this season against northern neighbors.
This time the Hawks dispatched the Calgary Flames with a 5-2 victory to extend their winning streak to three games and improve their record on this eight-game trip to 4-1-0.
The victory upped the Hawks' overall mark away from home to 15-9-3 and completed a four-game season-series sweep of Calgary. Nikolai Khabibulin made 29 saves to earn the triumph in goal, running his career record against the Flames to 22-5-2.
Andrew Ladd had a goal and two assists, Dave Bolland a goal and assist and Matt Walker three assists to help lift the Hawks.
"Maybe these Canadians are right about the water is better here, maybe that's the reason," Madison, Wis., native Adam Burish, who scored the game-winning goal in the second period, said of the Hawks' dominance over Canadian teams this season. "Just like [Tuesday night] in Edmonton, we just outworked this team. It's not like we out-skilled them or did anything special. We knew if we matched their intensity in the first 10 minutes we could outwork them.
"The way we've been playing it has been rock solid and I think we're going to continue to ride this thing."
The Hawks got off to a quick start when Bolland scored 42 seconds into the game. Martin Havlat carried the puck down the right side and flipped a backhand pass that hit Bolland and went in past Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff.
"We came out stronger and did what we were told," said Bolland, who extended his points streak to a career-high five games. "We came out, played hard and set the tone."
Later in the period, Todd Bertuzzi scored to tie it at 1-1, but the Hawks answered right back 17 seconds later when Bolland's backhand pass from behind the net found Ladd in front and the winger knocked in his first goal in 14 games.
After Calgary's Dion Phaneuf again knotted the score to cap a wide-open first period, Burish scored when he redirected Walker shot past Kiprusoff midway through the second.
Hawks penalty killers kept the momentum going for their team after Patrick Kane was sent off for four minutes for high-sticking Daymond Langkow midway through the second. The unit limited the Flames to four shots during the penalty and the Hawks held a 3-2 lead heading into the third.
"We played smart and killed big penalties when we needed them," center Jonathan Toews said. "Going into the third with a goal lead we know how dangerous they are offensively so we knew just to get the puck out of dangerous areas on our own zone at the right times. We did that and kept their big guns out of it, especially late in the game."
Colin Fraser extended the Hawks' lead to 4-2 by knocking a rebound of a Walker shot off Kiprusoff and into the net and Troy Brouwer capped the scoring with an empty-net, short-handed goal in the waning minutes.