Chicago (28-13-8) at Calgary (30-16-4) 9:30 p.m. EST
CALGARY, Alberta (Ticker) — The Calgary Flames have to recover
quickly from a two-game losing streak, but they have a tough
task ahead of them when they return home on Thursday.
After dropping the last two contests of a three-game road trip,
the Flames will be back on their home ice, but will have to play
host to a Chicago Blackhawks squad that has been one of their
biggest hurdles this season.
Chicago has won all three of its meetings with Calgary – and
only one was even close. They erupted for a six-goal outburst
in a November 9 showdown at the United Center to cap a four-game
winning streak, then got the best of the Flames again more than
a month later with a 3-2, overtime victory in Calgary.
Fourth-year defenseman Duncan Keith scored the game-winner in
that one – 23 seconds into the extra session. Nikolai
Khabibulin made 32 saves to earn the win, but didn’t have to
make any in overtime as Keith took care of it by himself.
In the teams’ third meeting of the 2008-09 campaign last month,
the Blackhawks posted three second-period tallies to take
control and surge to a 5-2 triumph. Keith continued his strong
play against Calgary with a pair of assists in another winning
It has been a month since the Western Conference foes last
squared off, and both clubs are still grappling for playoff
positioning. With 64 points apiece, Chicago and Calgary are
both in line for home-ice in the first round. Chicago is aiming
for its first playoff appearance since 2002.
While the Blackhawks have won their last two games overall, the
Flames have dropped two straight, falling on the road to the
Colorado Avalanche and the surging Dallas Stars.