|5:30 PM PT6:30 PM MT7:30 PM CT8:30 PM ET1:30 GMT9:30 6:30 PM MST8:30 PM EST5:30 UAE (+1)20:30 ETNaN:� BRT, January 7, 2019
United Center, Chicago, Illinois Attendance: 21,036
The Calgary Flames are fine with making memories, as long as they are the right kind. Going into a game Monday against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center, they figure they could make it two memorable dates in a row.
Calgary (26-13-4) has won three of its past four games and is tied for the top spot in the Western Conference with 56 points. Saturday's 3-2 overtime win at Philadelphia was not only the 700th road win in franchise history, but it also stood out for the gritty way the Flames earned two points. Matthew Tkachuk scored a tying goal in the third period, then set up T.J. Brodie's overtime winner.
"I think we came out a little slow and we got going and each period we got better," Brodie told the Flames' website. "We found a way to win, that's the main thing. Not every game is going to be pretty. These are the games that make a difference at the end of the year."
It was not an overly memorable return from injury for Flames goaltender David Rittich, who misplayed the puck in the third period on a goal that gave the Flyers a 2-1 lead.
"I made a mistake that almost cost the game for us," said Rittich, who missed the previous two games because of a lower-body injury. "I was so happy we got that second one."
Whether it was because Calgary has confidence in Rittich or because things ended with a memorable win, the team quickly dismissed the gaffe moving forward.
"We want him playing that puck and doing that stuff," Tkachuk said. "He's more than capable of doing that. It was just a bad break."
"(Rittich) has been unbelievable for us all year," defenseman Noah Hanifin added. "He's saved us quite a few times throughout this season, so we definitely owe him."
Johnny Gaudreau also scored Saturday, giving him five goals and 11 points in his last four games.
The game in Chicago ends a four-game road trip for the Flames, who had a day off Sunday.
The Blackhawks (16-21-7) are coming off a character win, too. They erased an early two-goal deficit and a later one-goal hole Sunday for a 5-3 road win that snapped Pittsburgh's eight-game winning streak. It broke Chicago's two-game losing streak.
"One thing we've established is we're not going to quit. We're going to play to the end," said Chicago coach Jeremy Colliton, whose team has a way to go to reach the playoff cutoff.
The Blackhawks got two goals, including the one that stood up as the winner by Dylan Strome in the third period, just after Chicago power plays expired. Both of those goals were set up by leading scorer Patrick Kane. So what was officially 1 for 3 with a man-advantage was essentially 3 for 3, and that came after an eight-game stretch in which the Blackhawks were 8 of 25.
"They're great players, and they're making a ton of plays," Colliton said of his power-play personnel. "I think it's just they have confidence that when they step over the boards they can win the game for us. That point can't be underestimated.
"Certainly, they've been able to play together for a stretch of time here and have some success, so they have that confidence. They know their options, and they're executing."
The Blackhawks also got a goal from Alex DeBrincat, giving him eight points in eight games.
Chicago has dropped both meetings against Calgary so far this season.
Updated January 6, 2019