CHICAGO -- Marcus Kruger's fourth goal of the season put the icing on a 3-1 win for Chicago over the Calgary Flames
on Friday, sending the Blackhawks into their final regular-season game Saturday at St. Louis, while Calgary's season came to an end.
The Blackhawks, who are 9-1-1 in their last 11 games, come into Saturday's final game of the 48-game regular season at 36-6-5 (77 points). Calgary, which will miss the playoffs, finished with a 19-25-4 (42 points) record.
Kruger's unassisted goal at 7:06 of the third period added to scores earlier in the game by the Blackhawks' scoring leaders Patrick Kane
and captain Jonathan Toews
, who each scored his team-leading 23rd goal in the first period.
After spotting Chicago a 2-0 lead, Calgary finally managed to score its only goal of the game at 10:43 of the second period. Chris Butler tallied his first goal of the season while the Flames were shorthanded with Blair Jones in the penalty box for hooking at 9:55.
Calgary, which came into the game having lost its last 12 games in Chicago dating to the 2007-08 season, will be heading home to start its offseason.
Chicago got on the scoreboard at 9:34 of the first period when Kane hammered home a goal after rebound shots by Patrick Sharp and Duncan Keith failed to hit their mark. Of note on the play, it was Keith's 250th career assist in the NHL.
The 1-0 advantage quickly increased to 2-0 less than four minutes later when Toews got into the act. Assists went to Brandon Saad
and Marian Hossa.
Chicago outshot Calgary 13-5 in the first period.
The Blackhawks continue to wait to see who they play in the first round of the playoffs, likely either Detroit, Minnesota or Columbus.
By winning the President's Cup on Wednesday -- the first time since 1991 -- the Hawks assured themselves of home-ice advantage throughout the upcoming Stanley Cup playoffs.
NOTES: Chicago not only is tied for the NHL lead with seven shutouts, it also is one of only three teams that has not been shut out this season. ... Coming into the game, Chicago's penalty kill was 43 of 45 in its last 18 games. ... Attendance was 22,048. ... Calgary came into the game having won six of its last 10, although it's too little too late ... The Blackhawks announced Friday that they recalled eight players from the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League: forwards Jimmy Hayes, Jeremy Morin, Brandon Pirri and Ben Smith; defenseman Adam Clendening, Shawn Lalonde and Steve Montador, and goalie Henrik Karlsson. ... Friday was the 70th birthday for NHL Hall of Famer and longtime Blackhawks great Tony Esposito.
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- Calgary Flames
- the Blackhawks
- Jonathan Toews