It's hard to consider a team Stanley Cup-worthy if it loses consecutive games to one of the NHL's bottom-feeders.
The Calgary Flames consider themselves legitimate contenders for the Cup. But after the Blackhawks shut them out Thursday night and led them 3-1 after the first period Sunday, those aspirations appeared lofty.
"After the first period didn't go the way we would have liked, it was a good effort to find a way to come back and win."
After Darren McCarty scored 40 seconds into the game, the Flames watched the Hawks take over the rest of the period. Radim Vrbata and Rene Bourque scored nine seconds apart to put the Hawks ahead 2-1 just 1 minute 18 seconds into the game, and Mark Bell made it 3-1 late in the period. The Hawks pumped 15 shots at Calgary goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff.
But a combination of too many penaltiesa season-long traitand veering away from what had been successful ended up costing the Hawks, who have fallen behind Columbus to 14th in the Western Conference and 28th in the NHL.
"We abandoned what was working in the first period, and that was shooting the puck," Hawks coach Trent Yawney said. "We wanted to pass the puck into the net. In the first period we shot the puck and went to the net."
Unlike in his shutout performance Thursday, Hawks goaltender Adam Munro wasn't nearly as sharp.
Munro said he didn't consider them "bad" goals, but Yawney said, "He's got to play better than that."
Standout rookie defenseman Dion Phaneuf scored while the Flames had a five-on-three late in the second period to give Calgary the lead, and Chuck Kobasew's tip of an Andrew Ference shot provided insurance.
The last three Calgary goals came on power plays, the first time since Nov. 4 in Dallas that the Hawks had yielded three power-play goals.
"Our power play outcompeted their penalty kill," Iginla said.
The Hawks had only nine shots over the final two periods, and that included five power plays.
"Our power play had plenty of opportunities to get us back in the game, or at least create momentum with some shots," Yawney said. "I've never seen a puck passed into the net. I've always seen it shot in."
Something Yawney has seen too often is his captain going down with an injury. In just his second game back from his third groin injury of the season, defenseman Adrian Aucoin fell awkwardly on his right shoulder midway through the second period.
He immediately went to the dressing room and didn't return.