GAME: Chicago Blackhawks (12-28-7-5) at Calgary Flames (25-18-4-3).
TIME: Friday, 10 p.m. EST.
Playing back-to-back games against two of the weakest teams in the Western
Conference, the playoff-hopeful Calgary Flames begin a five-game homestand
against the hapless Chicago Blackhawks.
Seventh in the West with 57 points, the Flames have struggled to find
consistency the past month. Going through a difficult schedule featuring four
road trips, the Flames have gone 6-7-1 this month, winning consecutive games
just twice during that stretch.
Calgary ended its most recent trip with a 4-1 loss to San Jose on Wednesday.
Martin Gelinas scored the lone goal for the Flames, who have alternated wins
and losses in their last seven games.
"Our lines tonight weren't up to their challenges," Calgary captain Jarome
Iginla said. "We had a four-minute power play and couldn't make anything
happen. When they play here against us, they just own us. I don't know what it
Roman Turek made 31 saves in his seventh straight start for Calgary.
After taking on Chicago, last in the conference with 36 points, the Flames
will host Anaheim, which is last in the Pacific Division with 44 points.
The Blackhawks have dropped three straight overall and a franchise-record 19
in a row on the road, including Wednesday's 5-2 setback at Edmonton. Bryan
Berard had a goal and an assist, but also kicked a puck past his own
goaltender, as the Blackhawks fell to 1-7-0-1 in their last nine games.
The Blackhawks are 0-18-0-1 during their road drought, which began Nov. 10
in Detroit. Chicago hasn't won on the road since beating the Predators 2-1 in
Nashville on Nov. 7. The Blackhawks only have one road point since then, losing
3-2 in overtime against the Vancouver Canucks on Nov. 20.