It's typically difficult to get up for these types of games, and by "these types of games", I mean when the Chicago Blackhawks hit the ice against the Calgary Flames. Whether it's at home or on the road, meetings between the two often represent some of the less exciting tilts of the year. That wasn't necessarily the case here. It took the Blackhawks blowing a couple of different leads, but we were treated to a rather exciting affair in Calgary.
The Hawks kicked off the Circus Trip with a win in Calgary. They first blew a 2-0 lead, and then lost their grips on a 3-2 edge as well, but scored in the third to avoid any sort of overtime or shootout shenanigans. There was certainly some sloppy play, as poor changes led to Calgary scores and multiple penalties left the Hawks shorthanded on six different occasions. Nonetheless, it's nice to grab the two points, especially after the Flames stole them (more specifically Jonas Hiller stole them) when these two teams met earlier in the year.
Onto the stars:
3. Adam Clendening
How can you not put the kid in here after scoring his first NHL goal? Trevor van Riemsdyk got the "Three Stars" treatment and his first goal didn't even count (for him at least). Clendening wasn't treated to a particularly large amount of ice time, as he logged less than 11 minutes for the night, but certainly flashed some of that upside that have had many clamoring for his call from Rockford since last year. He immediately stepped in and contributed on the power play, with a PPG to open up the scoring. He finished with a Corsi% of about 65. Small sample size, but a solid start for him.
2. Corey Crawford
Crawford didn't have his best game, from a statistical perspective, in surrendering three goals on 27 shots, but he continues to be a quiet rock for the Blackhawks to lean on. Crawford came up big with some crucial saves at the tail end of the contest, as the Flames began to put some pressure on. Crawford stood tall and helped the Hawks scratch it out. With this team's offensive woes here early in the year (yes, related primarily to an awful shooting percentage), it's hard to imagine where this team might be without Crawford. He's been outstanding.
1. Patrick Kane
What the hell got into Patrick Kane tonight? Kane was feisty throughout the night, getting into it with Dennis Wideman after a Michal Rozsival penalty. Kane promptly informed Wideman that he should have kept his mouth shut, as he turned a Jonas Hiller turnover into some sweet moves and the game-winning goal in the third. He also assisted on Brent Seabrook's goal that made it 3-2 in the second, with a slick backhand pass to the middle of the ice that Seabs was able to wrist past Hiller's right side. Oh, and he was 1-of-1 at the dot.
The Hawks will next meet with the Edmonton Oilers, for the second leg of the Circus Trip, aiming to keep the momentum going against the lowly club.
(Also, Kris Versteeg had two assists on the night. Just sayin'.)
Randy Holt is a staff writer for Second City Hockey. You can follow him on Twitter @RandallPnkFloyd.