Blackhawks goalie Antti Raanta wins for NHL start
It was all going so well for the Calgary Flames, poised to pull off the upset against the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday.
Then Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp went to work late in the third period, helping the Blackhawks to a come-from-behind 3-2 win on the road against the rebuilding Flames.
Kane and Sharp scored 56 seconds apart in the third period to erase Calgary’s two-goal lead. The Blackhawks jump back in front of the St. Louis Blues for the Central Division lead by a single point.
With the two teams deadlocked late in the third period, Kane scored the winning goal with 18 seconds remaining in regulation to complete the comeback. It was his second of the night. The goal also came off an icing call to the Flames just a few seconds before that, giving the Blackhawks their choice of which line to put out.
It came back to bite the Flames, who took a 2-0 lead earlier in the period on a goal by rookie Sean Monahan.
“There’s nights like that where you work really hard for it ... You think you deserve it and, in the end, you walk out and get a kick in the butt,” Flames forward Sven Baertschi, as per Wes Gilbertson of the Calgary Sun.
The win was also the first of goalie Antti Raanta’s career - in his first start, no less. The Blackhawks 24-year-old puck stopper made 20 saves, but apparently had to deal with some nerves before the game.
Wait. Did we say nerves?
“Game day naptime was pretty awful. I was having some nightmares,” said Raanta, as per Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune.
“He made numerous saves he’s not expected to make, but he made them. He was our best player tonight for sure, 100 percent,” said Kane of Raanta, according to Tracey Myers of CSN Chicago.