Monahan scores twice as Flames rally to beat Blackhawks

The Calgary Flames scored four times in a row to storm back and beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-3.

CALGARY — The Calgary Flames stuck to an unconventional winning formula on Saturday night.

For the fifth time this season, Calgary won a game when trailing after two periods as the surging Flames rallied for a 5-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks.

Of the other 30 NHL teams, only Anaheim (two) has won more than once when trailing after the second intermission.

Sean Monahan led the Flames with two goals.

Matthew Tkachuk, Michael Frolik, with the game-winner, and Mikael Backlund, into an empty net, also scored for the Flames (9-5-1), who have won four straight. Calgary plays next on Wednesday when it begins a three-game California road trip in Anaheim.

Jonathan Toews, with career goal No. 300, Jan Rutta and Brandon Saad scored for the Blackhawks (6-6-3), who lost all three games on their Western Canada road trip. They’re not in action again until Thursday when they play host to Carolina.

Frolik’s decisive goal came at 15:05 of the the third period. His centring pass from below the goal line deflected off a player and got past Chicago goalie Corey Crawford.

It was the seventh goal for Frolik, who scored only 10 times last year.

After pressing all period, Monahan finally tied it at 13:59 of the third, when he neatly converted a cross-ice pass off the rush from Johnny Gaudreau. Monahan extended his point streak to six games (four goals, six assists).

Tkachuk got the Flames within one at 18:26 of the second.

Flames goalie David Rittich got the victory to improve to 4-1-0. He was tested only 15 times.

Crawford, who was peppered with 40 shots, including 18 in the third, took the loss. He fell to 3-4-0.

Chicago surged in front 3-1 when Saad split the Flames defence and while being harassed from behind by Mark Giordano, had his shot squeak through the pads of Rittich.

The Blackhawks took their first lead with 27 seconds left in the first period. Rutta faked a slapshot to elude the sliding Garnet Hathaway, then put a wrist shot through a crowd and past Rittich high on his blocker side.

Chicago tied it at 13:57 of the first. Travis Hamonic’s holding penalty put the Blackhawks on a 1:10 two-man power play and they took advantage on Toews’ eighth goal.

Calgary opened the scoring at 4:46 on the power play when a lightning-quick passing sequence was finished off by Monahan in the slot.

The Flames got an early five-minute man advantage when Duncan Keith was given a boarding major and game misconduct just over two minutes in, when his hit from behind on Dillon Dube sent the rookie head first into the boards.

Dube left the ice on his own, but very slowly. He did not return.

The five-minute advantage then grew by another 1:47 on a mistake by the Blackhawks. Chicago had nobody in the penalty box to serve the penalty so when it expired, the Blackhawks had to continue to play a man short. But Calgary could not take advantage.

NOTES: It was Chicago’s first regulation loss (5-1-4) in its last 10 visits to the Scotiabank Saddledome.

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