Blackhawks-Flames Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated February 02, 2013
The Chicago Blackhawks have suffered back-to-back losses since their franchise-best start but they've continued to earn points. After struggling to get the puck in the net last time out, the Blackhawks might have better success scoring and keeping their point streak going when they visit the Calgary Flames. Chicago will try to add to Calgary's defensive woes and end a four-game losing streak at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday night. The Blackhawks (6-0-2) won their first six games for the first time in their 86 seasons but have followed with a pair of shootout defeats to open a season-high six-game trip. They were shut out for the final 53:15 of regulation in a 3-2 loss to Minnesota on Wednesday and didn't score until nearly midway through the third period Friday against rival Vancouver. After registering the tying goal, Patrick Kane and three other Chicago players failed to score in the shootout in a 2-1 defeat. "It's tough to lose in a shootout," Kane said. "I thought in the third (period) we played pretty well." The Blackhawks have a combined five goals in their last three games after scoring 20 in their first five, but they might get back on track against Calgary (1-3-1). The Flames have yielded 20 goals in their NHL-low five games and have allowed opponents to convert 6 of 18 power-play chances. They gave up their most goals on the season in Thursday's 6-3 home defeat to Colorado, surrendering three in the final 2:40. "We know we blew one and it's not going to sit well with us, and it shouldn't," captain Jarome Iginla said. "We've got to get right back at it and start climbing because now we're going to start playing every second day. We've got to finish this (three-game) homestand off properly and build it in the right direction again." Jiri Hudler had two goals and an assist against the Avalanche after recording an assist in his debut for the Flames last Saturday. Iginla, though, has yet to find the net and is experiencing his worst goal-scoring drought to start a season since a career-worst 11-game stretch to begin 1999-2000 Calgary's perennial scoring leader, who has three assists, had a goal and an assist in the most recent matchup with Chicago, a 3-1 victory Feb. 3 at the Saddledome. He also recorded a hat trick in a 7-2 rout on Nov. 19, 2010, which started the four-game home win streak over the Blackhawks. The Flames have outscored Chicago 18-6 during that run. The teams have split their eight overall meetings since 2010-11, and Jonathan Toews has a team-best nine points over that stretch (three goals, six assists). Kane, Marian Hossa and Dave Bolland have also provided three goals apiece, but Bolland's status is unknown after he left Friday's game with an apparent injury. Calgary's Curtis Glencross has a combined five points over his past two matchups with Chicago (three goals, two assists). The Blackhawks, though, have been pretty stingy lately, allowing no more than two goals in regulation or overtime in any of their last six games. They've also killed off 30 of 31 penalties so far this season, including all 21 over the last five games. Chicago's last win in Calgary was a 3-1 final on Jan. 21, 2010.
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