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Preview: Calgary Flames vs Chicago Blackhawks 11/3/18 (15/82): Skids A’Plenty

Calgary looks to win their 4th in a row and send the Blackhawks to their 5th straight defeat.

NHL: Chicago Blackhawks at Calgary Flames Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

Calgary Flames vs Chicago Blackhawks, 8 PM MT, Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary AB

Where To Watch & Listen

Radio: Sportsnet 960

Calgary Flames 8-5-1 (17 points) - Chicago Blackhawks 6-5-3 (15 points)

NHL Standings

Considering how the Flames left for their last road trip the fact that they are 2nd in the Pacific and 4th overall in the West isn’t bad at all! The Flames have won 3 in a row and will look to extend that streak to 4 when the Chicago Blackhawks visit the Saddledome Saturday night.

While Calgary is running hot lately the Blackhawks are the exact opposite. Chicago has dropped 5 of their last 7, including a current 4 game losing skid and goaltending has been an issue in 4 of those 5. Chicago has surrendered 4 or more goals four times in that stretch, including 6 and 7 in losses to St. Louis and Tampa Bay. Making matters worse for Chicago is the fact that after that little run of futility they are now tops in the NHL in GA (51), yet 7th in GF (43). So a little better goaltending along the way and it’s a completely different story for Chicago.

As always teams will have to content with Patrick Kane when they deal with Chicago. Kane leads the team in goals (11) and points (18), putting him in the Top 10 in both categories. As a team offensively Chicago can put the puck in the net (7th in GF), but their special teams on offence are worse than the Flames, if you can imagine that. The Blackhawks PP is only operating at 13%, scoring only 6 times in 46 opportunities.

For the Flames to pull off a 4th straight victory they need keep the foot on the gas when it comes to their offence. The Flames have figured out how to score lately and it shows in their stats. The Flames have 4 players (Gaudreau, Monahan, Tkachuk and Giordano) in the Top 30 in scoring and they’re second overall in the league in GF (47). Where they still continue to struggle is on the PP, 15.8%, good for 22nd in the league and between the pipes....when Mike Smith starts. Smith has been nothing short of bad in his last few starts, the 6-5 win over Colorado being absolutely brutal. Calgary needs him to either step up or step aside and let David Rittich take over if they are going to anywhere. The team has found it’s offence, it would be a shame if shoddy goaltending was the thing that sank this ship.

The Flames have won 3 out their last 5 against the Blackhawks at the Saddledome.

Starting Goalies

Player Record GAA Save%
Player Record GAA Save%
Flames: Smith (E) 5-4-1 3.71 0.871
Blackhawks: Crawford (E) 3-3-0 2.72 0.909

Team Leaders

Calgary Flames

Goals: Lindholm (9) Points: Gaudreau (17) PIM: Bennett (25) Save%: Rittich (.939)

Chicago Blackhawks

Goals: Kane (11) Points: Kane (18) PIM: Seabrook (15) Save%: (.909)

What’s Happening With The Opposition?

Chicago Blackhawks Coverage: Second City Hockey

Last Time Out

Calgary Flames 6 Colordo Avalanche 5 (recap)

Chicago Blackhawks 0 Edmonton Oilers 4 (recap)

Players To Watch

Calgary Flames

NHL: Nashville Predators at Calgary Flames Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Mark Giordano (D). (2G-12A) 7 points in last 5, including a 4 point game vs Colorado

Chicago Blackhawks

NHL: New York Rangers at Chicago Blackhawks Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Kane (F). (11G-7A) 6 points in last 5, including a 3 point game vs St. Louis