Nylander nets 2, Blackhawks beat Flames 8-4 to snap skid

Nylander nets 2, Blackhawks beat Flames 8-4 to snap skid
Chicago Blackhawks left wing Alex Nylander (92) celebrates his goal against the Calgary Flames during the second period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020, in Calgary, Alberta. (Larry MacDougal/The Canadian Press via AP)

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Alex Nylander had two goals and the Chicago Blackhawks snapped a five-game losing streak with an 8-4 victory over the Calgary Flames on Saturday night.

Jonathan Toews, Dominik Kubalik, Alex DeBrincat, Brandon Saad, Patrick Kane and Kirby Dach also scored for Chicago. Robin Lehner turned aside 38 shots to improve to 16-9-5.

After entering with two goals in his previous 34 games, Nylander scored twice in the second as Chicago took advantage of several defensive miscues to outscore the Flames 4-1 in the period despite being outshot 14-7.

Sam Bennett and Elias Lindholm had two goals apiece for the Flames, who have dropped five straight home games.

Saad broke a 2-all tie at 4:24 of the second and Nylander gave the Blackhawks their first two-goal lead just more than a minute later, pouncing on a bad giveaway in front by Dillon Dube and beating David Rittich with a move to his backhand.

With goalie Cam Talbot on in relief, Nylander made it 6-3 at 18:14 with the second of two Chicago goals in 27 seconds. Another turnover by the Flames behind the net led to rookie Matthew Highmore setting up Nylander in the slot.

The Flames entered the night in the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference. While they still have other teams to pass, the Blackhawks pulled within six points of Calgary with two games in hand.

Even though Talbot was coming off a 44-save shutout Thursday at Anaheim, interim coach Geoff Ward started Rittich, who gave up a goal 30 seconds in when Toews skated down the wing and put a slap shot over his shoulder.

Bennett tied it less than two minutes later, but Chicago regained the lead at 9:17.

In what became a theme for the home side, a turnover behind the net — this one by Michael Stone — allowed Toews to set up Kubalik for a one-timer just after a power play expired.

Bennett’s breakaway goal at 12:57 tied it again, but Chicago took advantage of the Flames’ poor defensive play to pull away in the second period.

After Rittich gave up four goals on 15 shots, Talbot allowed four goals on 13 shots to fall to 8-9-1.

Calgary is minus its top two defenseman in Mark Giordano (hamstring) and Travis Hamonic (upper body), who remain out indefinitely.

NOTES: Lindholm extended his point streak to 10 games (seven goals, five assists), which tied his career best. … Kubalik leads NHL rookies with 23 goals. … Flames C Derek Ryan (flu) missed his first game of the season. … Chicago C Zack Smith (hand) did not play. He was replaced by Highmore.

UP NEXT

The Blackhawks wrap up a five-game road trip Sunday night in Winnipeg.

The Flames host Anaheim on Monday afternoon.

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