Calgary (8-6-1) at Chicago (6-3-3), 7:00 pm EDT
CHICAGO (Ticker) — Supported by a healthy home record, the
torrid Chicago Blackhawks look for their fourth consecutive
victory when they host the Calgary Flames on Sunday.
Chicago has yet to lose in regulation at the United Center and
carries a 5-0-2 record there this season. Its last defeat at
home came on October 25, when the defending Stanley Cup champion
Detroit Red Wings skated to a 6-5 shootout victory.
Two days after that, the Blackhawks fell, 3-2, in Minnesota and
then began their current win streak. Patrick Sharp has sparked
them of late, scoring seven goals in as many games and notching
11 points in that span.
Nikolai Khabibulin and Cristobal Huet have alternated the last
five games and if the pattern holds true, Huet will get the
call. A five-year veteran who signed a four-year, $22.4 million
contract as a free agent in the offseason, Huet is 2-2-1 with a
2.73 goals-against average; Khabibulin is 4-1-2 with a 2.38 GAA.
Flames coach Mike Keenan has not exercised a similar strategy in
regard to handling his goaltenders, but Curtis McElhinney logged
his first start of the season in the team’s 3-1 loss to the
Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday.
McElhinney played only five games in 2007-08, going 0-2-0 with a
2.00 GAA. Miikka Kiprusoff started 76 games last season and
every game this season until Saturday.
Kiprusoff struggled in his last contest, surrendering six goals.
However, he improved to 8-5-1 on the season in the 7-6 victory.
The 32-year-old Finn will likely return to his starting role in
this game for the Flames, who will look to avoid their fourth
loss in five games.