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Blackhawks defeat Flames 4-1 for 3rd straight win

CHICAGO (AP) — Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist, and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Calgary Flames 4-1 on Sunday, moments after clinching their first division title since winning the Norris Division in 1992-93.

The Blackhawks, winners of three straight, were handed the Central Division minutes before the puck was dropped when the Detroit Red Wings lost 4-3 at Philadelphia.

Antti Niemi made 25 saves for Chicago, and Tomas Kopecky, Troy Brouwer and Dustin Byfuglien had the other goals. Brent Seabrook also had a pair of assists.

The Blackhawks won their 49th game to tie the team record set in 1970-71 and matched in 1990-91. It was their eighth straight regular-season victory over the Flames, and they improved to 105 points while closing within one of first-place San Jose in the Western Conference.

Ian White scored for the Flames, whose three-game winning streak ended. Their playoff hopes also took a blow, because they have just three games remaining and are tied with the Colorado Avalanche for eighth place in the Western Conference.

The Avalanche have five games left, beginning with San Jose on Sunday night.

Niemi was solid in his fifth straight start and ninth in Chicago's last 11 games, while Calgary's Miikka Kiprusoff blocked 27 shots.

The Blackhawks jumped ahead 2-0 in the first period when Niklas Hjalmarsson's shot narrowly missed the left side of the net, bounded off the back boards and to Kopecky, who tucked in a backhand shot from the right edge of the crease.

Brouwer cut across the crease and backhanded a rebound of Seabrook's shot with 54 seconds left in the period to make it 2-0.

Kane extended Chicago's lead to 3-0 with 4:28 left in the second when he beat Kiprusoff high on the stick side on a 30-foot shot from the slot, and after White replied 62 seconds later, Byfuglien completed the scoring with 2:46 left in the third with a goal from the slot.

Notes: The Blackhawks' Central Division championship is their first title since moving into the United Center in 1994-95. ... Kane has 84 points, the most for a Blackhawk player since Tony Amonte in 1999-2000. ... Chicago D Kim Johnsson missed his 11th game with concussion-like symptoms. RW Adam Burish and D Nick Boynton were healthy scratches. ...Calgary's Christopher Higgins missed his 11th game and LW Curtis Glencross missed his ninth with lower body injuries. Flames C Daymond Langkow missed his seventh game and RW Brian McGrattan missed his third with upper body injuries.