CALGARY, Alberta (AP) The Calgary Flames will have a raucous home crowd backing them as they fight for their playoff lives Monday night. Having Jarome Iginla reappear would be a help, too.
The Flames captain called his own performance “terrible” in Game 5, which Calgary lost 5-1 in Chicago on Saturday night.
“The team should be prepared to respond to any situation that arises,” Flames coach Mike Keenan said. “Be prepared to play to their level of ability and the expectations we have of them and more importantly what they have of themselves.”
Calgary can draw confidence from two previous wins at home this series and a regular-season record of 27-10-4 at the Pengrowth Saddledome.
“We found out how tough it is in Calgary,” Chicago head coach Joel Quenneville said. “That building will be alive again. We know the challenges of going in there.”
The injury-riddled Flames will need every advantage home ice gives them to avoid a first-round ousting for the fourth straight season.
Dion Phaneuf is the latest to join Calgary’s long injury list. With about eight minutes remaining Saturday, Chicago’s Troy Brouwer leveled Phaneuf after the Flames defenseman unloaded a shot on net. Phaneuf wobbled to the bench and did not return to the game.
Phaneuf didn’t speak to reporters Sunday and Keenan’s assessment of him was “day to day,” which has been the coach’s standard postseason response.
It’s been a rough series. The Flames didn’t skate Sunday on their return from Chicago. The Blackhawks canceled their scheduled practice and headed to Calgary.
Calgary managed just 20 shots on Nikolai Khabibulin in Game 5, partly because of the Flames’ injuries up front.
“We do have depth and we do have more depth than we’ve had in a long time and now is the time for it,” Iginla said. “There’s no time for excuses. Hopefully Dion is back and feeling great for next game, but if not, we still need to find a way to win.”
The Blackhawks are trying to win their first playoff series since 1996, which was a four-game sweep of Calgary. The Flames are trying to win a series after falling behind 0-2 for the first time in franchise history.
“We need to come out with the same kind of fire they came out with against us,” forward Craig Conroy said.