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Preview: Blackhawks at Flames

Chicago continues seven-game 'Circus Trip'; Chad Johnson starts third straight for Calgary

by Aaron Vickers / Correspondent

BLACKHAWKS (11-4-2) at FLAMES (7-10-1)

9 p.m. ET; SNW, CSN-CH, NHL.TV

Blackhawks team scope

The Chicago Blackhawks are looking to reset after seeing their streak of 11 consecutive games with at least a point end in a 4-0 loss at the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday to start their seven-game "Circus Trip." Chicago is 9-1-2 since Oct. 22. "We didn't start the way we would like," forward Marian Hossa said. "But we had a great stretch at home and now we want to transfer it on the road and go step by step." Corey Crawford will start in goal for the Blackhawks. He is 8-4-2 with a 2.18 goals-against average and .928 save percentage. "He's improved so much since he started with the Blackhawks," Hossa said. "Seeing him grow into a top goaltender is unbelievable. He's just big and so calm in the net. He's always in the right spot it seems like. Right now, he's playing his best hockey." Forward Vinnie Hinostroza, who left the loss against Winnipeg in the first period after taking a hit from Josh Morrissey, is cleared to return but will not play. "There's certain protocols you've got to go through to at least get it to where he can get back on the ice and get cleared to play," coach Joel Quenneville said. "He did all that. We feel with back-to-back games we'll look at tomorrow." Forward Tyler Motte, who has missed four games because of a lower-body injury, could return against the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday. "I would say a small chance," Quenneville said.


Flames team scope

The Calgary Flames have won two in a row, including a 2-1 overtime win against the Arizona Coyotes without left wing Johnny Gaudreau, who will miss six weeks after having surgery Wednesday to repair a fractured finger in his right hand. Calgary had lost six of its past seven games prior to the back-to-back wins. "It doesn't matter who's in your lineup," goaltender Chad Johnson said. "You get in the game and you play. I think that's where our mindset was. It's a big loss losing Johnny. He's our best player. But for us I don't know if we really were aware of it…we just went out and battled and competed and worried about what was at hand and who was playing." Gaudreau led the Flames with five goals and 11 points at the time of the injury. "Guys go in and out of the lineup all year," captain Mark Giordano said. "We have to rally around it. We're not going to generate his offense or his chances. We're going to do it by committee and every guy has to step up and create a little bit more and go from there." Johnson will make his third consecutive start. He made 57 saves on 58 shots in back-to-back wins against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday and Coyotes on Wednesday. "I had a good year last year and I wanted to come in and play games again and compete and help this team win more hockey games," he said. "Getting more starts is good for me, and hopefully it's good for the team too."

Blackhawks projected lineup

Richard Panik -- Jonathan Toews -- Patrick Kane

Artemi Panarin -- Artem Anisimov -- Marian Hossa

Dennis Rasmussen -- Marcus Kruger -- Ryan Hartman

Andrew Desjardins -- Nick Schmaltz -- Jordin Tootoo

Duncan Keith -- Brian Campbell

Gustav Forsling -- Niklas Hjalmarsson

Michal Kempny -- Brent Seabrook

Corey Crawford

Scott Darling

Scratched: Michal Rozsival, Vinnie Hinostroza

Injured: Trevor van Riemsdyk (upper body), Tyler Motte (lower body)


Flames projected lineup

Sam Bennett -- Sean Monahan -- Troy Brouwer

Matthew Tkachuk -- Mikael Backlund -- Michael Frolik

Matt Stajan -- Linden Vey -- Alex Chiasson

Micheal Ferland -- Freddie Hamilton -- Garnet Hathaway

Mark Giordano -- Dougie Hamilton

TJ Brodie -- Dennis Wideman

Brett Kulak -- Deryk Engelland

Chad Johnson

Brian Elliott

Scratched: Jyrki Jokipakka, Hunter Shinkaruk

Injured: Ladislav Smid (neck), Kris Versteeg (groin), Lance Bouma (upper body), Johnny Gaudreau (finger)


Status report

Hartman will play after being scratched against the Jets. … The Flames will use the same lineup that won against the Coyotes on Wednesday.

Who's hot

Hossa has four goals and six points in his past five games. Kane has four goals and nine points in his past eight games. … Frolik, who leads the Flames with six goals and 12 points, had the overtime winner and an assist against the Coyotes.

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