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Preview: Calgary Flames vs Chicago Blackhawks 12/31/17 (39/82): Two Teams On The Outside Are Looking In

Calgary and Chicago are both on the outs in regards to the Wild Card and tonight’s 2 points are VERY important to getting back in to playoff contention.

NHL: Calgary Flames at Chicago Blackhawks David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Calgary Flames vs Chicago Blackhawks, 7 PM MT, Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary AB

Where To Watch & Listen

BroadcastSchedule
BroadcastSchedule
TV: SN360
Radio: Sportsnet 960

The Flames will ring in the New Year with a visit from the Chicago Blackhawks Sunday night. Calgary is currently on a 3 game losing skid, their 3rd of the month and an unsettling trend. The Flames don’t seem to be able to gain any traction and their lack of goal scoring is 100% to blame. The Flames top line of Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Micheal Ferland has all but disappeared this month and Calgary is struggling as they try to find the magic again. Ferland at least has 3 goals in his last 5 games, but Monahan and Gaudreau have a combined 6 points in their last 10 games, with only 1 of those points being a Johnny Gaudreau goal in a 3-2 loss to San Jose. Not. Good. Enough.

The Blackhawks aren’t lighting it up by any stretch of the imagination lately either. The Blackhawks have had two 3 game losing streaks this month, sandwiched in between a 5 game winning streak. They just snapped on of those 3 game skids by taking down the Oilers 4-3 in overtime Friday night. And much like the Flames, goal scoring was an issues for them as well. In their last 3 losses the Blackhawks were outscored 13-3 with Corey Crawford taking the loss in two of those games.

The Flames and Blackhawks are neck and neck in the West with Calgary in 11th place and the ‘Hawks in 10th. Both teams are just outside of the last WC spot and a win for either team would be huge. Dallas and Minnesota are in a dog fight for that final spot and both teams are currently on winning streaks, while Calgary and Chicago are not.

How They Match Up

Calgary Flames Stats Chicago Blackhawks
Calgary Flames Stats Chicago Blackhawks
18-16-4 Record 18-14-5
40 Points 41
4th Pacific Division 6th Central
11th West Conference 10th West
2-2-1 Last 5 2-3-0
102 Goals For 109
108 Goals Against 101
Monahan (17) Goals Kane (16)
Gaudreau (41) Points Kane (38)
Brouwer (44) PIM Hayden (38)
Rittich (.924) Save% Crawford (.929)
17.4 (20th) PP% 15.2 (29th)
77.6 (26th) PK% 82.2 (12th)
1-2-0 2016-17 VS 2-1-0
75-84-26 Overall VS 84-75-26

Starting Goalies (E=Expected, C=Confirmed)

Player Record GAA Save%
Player Record GAA Save%
Flames: Smith (E) 14-13-3 2.56 .920
Blackhawks: Glass (C) 1-0-0 2.95 .933

What’s Happening With The Opposition?

Last Time Out

Calgary Flames 1 Anaheim Ducks 2

Another trip to Anaheim, another loss as Calgary fell to the Ducks 2-1 Friday night. The Flames continued to struggle with goal scoring as Micheal Ferland (15th) was the only Flame to find the back of the net in another frustrating loss. Here’s our recap and highlights from NHL.com

Chicago Blackhawks 4 Edmonton Oilers 3 (OT)

Chicago snapped a 3 game losing streak Friday with a 4-3 win over the Oilers in overtime. Jeff Glass made his first NHL start stopping 42 of the 45 shots that came his way, getting his first career win. Second City Hockey has the recap and NHL.com provides the highlights.

Players To Watch

Calgary Flames

NHL: Montreal Canadiens at Calgary Flames Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Micheal Ferland (F). Ferland seems to be one of the few Flames putting the puck in the net as of late. He has 3 goals in his last 5 games, 3 more than his line mates Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan. In Calgary’s last 3 games they have scored only 5 goals, but Ferland has 2 of the 5.

Chicago Blackhawks

NHL: Chicago Blackhawks at Edmonton Oilers Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Glass (G). Glass will get his second career NHL start tonight after a very impressive debut against the Oilers Friday night. Glass faced a barrage of 45 shots, surrendering only 3 goals to a high powered Edmonton team to get his first NHL victory. The Flames have a bad habit of making struggling or “green” goalies look like Vezina Trophy candidates this season.