Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Calgary Flames

Preview: Flames vs. Blackhawks

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

With their power play finally coming around, the Chicago Blackhawks have been piling up goals in winning their last four games.

Last week in Chicago, the Calgary Flames managed to hold the Blackhawks to their lowest goal total of their streak but still found themselves on the wrong end of a lopsided score.

Chicago looks to continue its surge and recent dominance over the Flames on Friday night.

Despite being led by proven goal scorers Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp, the Blackhawks' power-play unit ranked last in the league Nov. 8, converting at 8.8 percent (5 for 57).

Since then, Chicago (12-4-3) has gone 6 for 14 with the extra man (42.9 percent) and has scored 21 goals in winning all four games.

"The last three or four games it's crawling, it's slowly coming back," left wing Andrew Brunette said after Chicago went 2 for 3 on the power play in Wednesday's 5-1 win over Vancouver.

Brunette and Kane had power-play goals against the Canucks, while Toews, Sharp and Steve Montador also scored for the Blackhawks, who were without defenseman Brent Seabrook due to a lower-body injury.

Toews has been leading the way during the winning streak, tallying five goals and three assists.

"We've been scoring a lot of goals lately, which is good, and hopefully we can keep it up," said Kane, who will turn 23 on Saturday.

Kane, tied with Hossa for the team lead with 21 points, had an empty-net goal in last Friday's 4-1 win over the Flames (7-9-1).

Calgary held the Blackhawks to 1 for 4 on their power play and three goals until four seconds remained, a minor victory considering what Chicago's offense has accomplished lately.

The Blackhawks improved to 15-4-0 against the Flames since 2008-09, which includes a first-round playoff series in 2009. Toews has again been instrumental to Chicago's success, with three goals and three assists in his last four games in the series.

Although the Blackhawks have routinely given the Flames trouble, they were outscored 10-3 in losing their two games in Calgary last season.

The Flames, however, haven't been enjoying much success at the Saddledome lately. They've been outscored 11-2 in losing their last three games there and are 2-4-1 in their last seven in Calgary.

One of the biggest reasons for those struggles is the Flames' home power play, which is a league-worst 2 for 40 (5.0 percent). In Tuesday's 3-1 home loss to Ottawa, Calgary went 0 for 6 with the man advantage.

"Your power play is normally your best players, and the best players got to produce on the power play," coach Brent Sutter said.

That obviously hasn't been the case, as captain Jarome Iginla has yet to score a power-play goal in nine home games.

Calgary's defense has also been a little shaky lately, yielding at least three goals in each of the last four games.

That doesn't bode well for facing the red-hot Blackhawks, who are 10-0-2 when scoring at least three goals.

Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 27 shots in Chicago last week and has posted a 3.84 goals-against average in losing his three starts in Calgary this month. He is 2-8-2 with a 4.02 GAA in regular-season games against the Blackhawks since 2008-09.

Chicago's Ray Emery got the start against the Flames last week and made 24 saves, improving to 3-1-1 with a 1.19 GAA lifetime versus Calgary.

Starter Corey Crawford, who has a 2.34 GAA in winning his last three starts, is 2-1-0 with a 2.68 GAA against Calgary in his career.

View More