CALGARY, Alberta (AP) – Patrick Kane has been the NHL’s most prolific goal scorer over the last 10 years, and he closed out the decade in style.
Kane had two goals and two assists, and the Chicago Blackhawks raced out to a four-goal lead and held on to beat the Calgary Flames 5-3 on Tuesday night.
Kane finished the decade as the NHL’s top scorer with 802 points, just ahead of Sidney Crosby (788). Third was Alex Ovechkin (781).
“You’ve got to play on good teams, you’ve got to play with good players, you’ve obviously got to be healthy, got to be consistent,” Kane said about the accomplishment. “It’s been a fun 10 years. Looking forward to seeing what the next decade brings.”
Kane set up goals by Olli Maatta at 4:14 and Alex Debrincat at 5:35 and then made it 3-0 at 12:44 of the first period when he cut across the slot and beat David Rittich with a wrist shot from 30 feet out.
Kane’s 21st goal of the season was the 377th of his career, tying him with Denis Savard for fourth on the Blackhawks’ all-time list. The top three are Bobby Hull (604), Stan Makita (541) and Steve Larmer (406).
“He had an unbelievable career in Chicago,” Kane said about Savard. “Obviously he was my first coach. He’s been a great friend and mentor since the day I got here in Chicago. Unbelievable person. Obviously an unbelievable player.
“I’m sure that number would’ve been a lot higher had he spent his whole career in Chicago. Humbled and honored to be mentioned in the same sentence as Denis.”
Kane’s second of the game was an empty-netter at 19:59 of the third.
Dylan Strome also scored for Chicago (18-17-6), which has won three straight and five of six.
Sam Bennett, Michael Frolik and Sean Monahan scored for Calgary (20-17-5). The Flames are winless in their last five at home. (0-4-1).
Robin Lehner was excellent in net for the Blackhawks, winning his sixth straight start to improve to 12-6-4. Among his 41 saves was a highlight-reel stop in the first period when he dove across to make a paddle stop off Johnny Gaudreau, who was set up for what looked like a sure goal by Derek Ryan. Five minutes into the second, Lehner thwarted Andrew Mangiapane on a breakaway.
Rittich and the Flames fell behind 3-0 for the second game in a row. On Sunday night, in a 5-2 loss at home to Vancouver, Calgary was down 3-0 less than 11 minutes into the game.
Rittich was pulled that night after three goals on seven shots. This time, after three goals on 11 shots, interim head coach Geoff Ward left him in and he was solid the rest of the way, finishing with 26 saves. His record falls to 17-10-5.
Chicago made it 4-0 at 9:41 of the second when Strome strolled in uncontested and scored from 25 feet out into the top corner.
The Flames got on the scoreboard with six seconds left in the second, Bennett knocking in his first goal since Nov. 2 on a feed from Derek Ryan.
Calgary then made it close in the late-going on Frolik’s short-handed goal at 15:30, off a Duncan Keith turnover, and Monahan’s goal on a Matthew Tkachuk rebound at 16:48.
But the Blackhawks withstood the late push over the final couple minutes with Rittich pulled for an extra skater.
The great frustration in the Flames‘ dressing room was how they fell behind big once again.
“We’ve got to come out with a real aggressive mindset. I think we were a little bit passive the first few shifts and they took advantage of that,” said captain Mark Giordano. “Down three, four goals in this league, although we made a good push, it’s a tough mountain to climb.”
NOTES: Flames D TJ Brodie (illness) was unable to play, which opened up a spot for Michael Stone. … Also returning to Calgary’s line-up after being scratche last game was LW Zac Rinaldo and LW Sam Bennett. … Chicago LW Alex Nylander was a healthy scratch for Chicago.
Blackhawks: At Vancouver Canucks on Thursday.
Flames: Host New York Rangers on Thursday.
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