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Enhanced Box Score: Flames 5, Blackhawks 2 – November 23, 2021

Chicago Blackhawks

There’s a counter-intuitive notion in hockey that going into American Thanksgiving, you want to be one of the fat and happy teams in the league. Counter-intuitive because you want to be able to eat a ton of good food on Thanksgiving, you get what I mean.

Well, the Blackhawks had an opportunity to head into the American Thanksgiving holiday with three wins on a four-game road trip when they took the ice against the Calgary Flames, but instead, they are left with sour taste in their mouth following a 5-2 loss. With two empty-net goals in the final 90 seconds, the score makes the loss look worse than it was, but as much as a win is a win, a loss is a loss. Chicago goes 2-2-0 on the road trip and falls to 6-11-2 on the season with the loss. Going to need plenty of gravy to get that taste out of their mouths.

Things got off with a bang tonight, literally, as Kirby Dach stepped up to Blake Coleman for his first official NHL fight of his career. Standing up for your teammates is a quality you want to see in every hockey player and after Coleman laid-out Alex DeBrincat with a dangerous hit, Dach forced him to answer the bell.

Good for Kirby, but as a top pick, a future cornerstone of the franchise, and someone with wrist and head injury issues, maybe throwing hands is not the best use of Dach’s time. Following the fight, the Flames got on the board first, their eighth-straight game scoring the first goal of the contest. So not that great of a momentum swinging fight.

But the Blackhawks, who often would start to crumble after giving up a bad goal under Jeremy Colliton, responded. Mid-way through the period, Brandon Hagel netted his sixth goal of the season and his second in as many games.

On the play, Reese Johnson would record a secondary assist for his first career NHL point. Calgary would take a 2-1 lead thanks to Milan Lucic, who is in fact still in the league. After notching his first career NHL assist, it would be Johnson getting his first career NHL goal to make it a 2-2 game in the second period.

Johnson and Hagel, cousins and former teammates with the Red Deer Rebels in the WHL (90 minutes away from Calgary) would be the goal-scorers for the Blackhawks on the night. Which is just a really cool connection. Unfortunately, only having two goals tonight wasn’t enough for the Blackhawks. Late in the third period, the Flames would get the eventual game-winner from Matthew Tkachuk with an assist to Seth Jones’ skate.

That’s just a sucky way to end a game where Chicago played much better than the underlying numbers would suggest. Calgary would add two empty-net goals and there is your 5-2 final score. Marc-André Fleury, who deserved much better than the result he got tonight, made 34 saves on 37 shots faced and saw his personal winning streak in his last four starts come to an end.

Chicago is off until Friday, so enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday. The Blackhawks are back in action against the St. Louis Blues Friday afternoon, the second meeting between the rivals this season.

Find the full box score here.



Author: Mario Tirabassi

Mario Tirabassi is a writer for Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Mario_Tirabassi.