CHICAGO -- With a tendency to gravitate toward goaltenders when it comes to making friends with teammates, Patrick Kane needed no formal introduction to the Flames' Reto Berra on the occasion of the goaltender's his first NHL start.
The pair became close when they played for ECH Biel-Bienne of the Swiss League -- where the winger played during last season's lockout -- so Kane was not surprised by Berra's effort in the Flames' 3-2 overtime victory over the Blackhawks on Sunday night at the United Center.
"For whatever reason I've always been pretty close with the goalies I've played with and I knew him really well," Kane said. "He's one of those goalies that never really quits and is never out of the play."
Berra proved that Sunday with 42 saves to halt the Hawks' three-game winning streak in front of 21,229. Kris Russell scored 1 minute, 32 seconds into overtime, Curtis Glencross had a goal and an assist and Mike Cammalleri also scored for Calgary, but it was Berra who stole the show. The 26-year-old's big night started before the drop of the puck when he was amazed by the national anthem.
"Crazy, awesome -- I almost cried there. My hair stand up," Berra said. "The guys, they told me a little bit what to expect when you're out there. It is really unbelievable."
Berra was then pretty unbelievable himself, turning aside wave after wave of shots from a Hawks offense that had a combined 16 goals in its last three games.
"They do a good job; they bottle it up pretty tight in their own zone," Hawks defenseman Brent Seabrook said. "We got some good chances and (Berra) made some big saves. You have to give him credit."
Kane had a goal and the assist on Marian Hossa's power-play goal that pulled the Hawks into a 2-2 tie with 4:19 remaining in the third.
"In the first period (Berra) probably got a little bit of confidence from some point shots maybe he didn't see (and) he was getting pads and his body on," Kane said. "Sometimes you have to generate a little bit more, but they play a good team game and don't give you too much."
Corey Crawford suffered the loss in goal as the Hawks often appeared sluggish in the second of back-to-back games.
Russell's overtime winner came on a shot from the blue line that eluded Crawford (27 saves).
"I was really nervous, but right before the game when I was just sitting in (the dressing room), I just thought, 'Go out and play your game and have fun. You have nothing to lose,' " Berra said. "I put the excitement and nerves into a positive energy."
Said Hawks coach Joel Quenneville: "We had a little drop-off in our game, but we knew going into the game it was going to be a hard game."
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