Calgary Flames vs Chicago Blackhawks, 8:00 PM MT, Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary AB
TV: CBC, SN, SN360, CITY - Radio: Sportsnet 960
Calgary Flames 30-23-6 (66 pts) - Chicago Blackhawks 25-24-8 (58 Points)
The Flames return home Saturday to face the Chicago Blackhawks after a very successful trip through the Pacific Division. Calgary went 3-1-0 in their four game road swing and found their offence in all three wins. Calgary averaged six goals per game in beating Vancouver, San Jose and Anaheim while away from the Saddledome. It seems the road may have been the cure for the Flames ills as they haven’t exactly been tearing it up on home ice. The Flames are 3-7-2 at the Scotiabank Saddledome over their last 12 and David Rittich has had his issues in the old arena. The Flames top keeper has lost six straight at home (including one to Chicago) and has given up 23 goals over that span. The Flames haven’t exactly helped him out, scoring only 12 goals in those six losses, once being shut out 4-0 by the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Blackhawks are having their own struggles as well. Chicago has dropped five in a row after going a little run. From December 15th to January 19th the Blackhawks went 13-6-0 in an attempt to salvage their season, but despite that stretch of success Chicago is buried in the bottom of the Central Division with 58 points, 16 behind front running St. Louis. The playoffs look like a far away dream at this point unless the Blackhawks go on some sort of unthinkable streak. They’re currently in the 6th place in the WC, eight points behind Calgary and six behind Arizona who holds the last spot. Nothing is impossible, but if Chicago is going to make a run they’ll need a win tonight in Calgary.
These two last met on January 7th with the Flames besting the Blackhawks by a score of 2-1. Chicago took the previous meeting on NYE 5-3, tying up the season series at 1-1. The Flames have won the last two season series by way of a sweep, which they can’t do this season, but a win would ensure them taking the season series from Chicago for the third straight year after losing three in a row.
Flames: Rittich (Expected) 22-15-5, 2.87 GAA, .910 SV%
Blackhawks: Lehner (Expected) 15-9-5, 2.87 GAA, .921 SV%
Flames - Goals: Lindholm (25), Points: Tkachuk (47), PIM: Tkachuk (65), Save%: Talbot (.924)
Blackhawks - Goals: Kane (25), Points: Kane (69), PIM: Toews (44), Save%: Lehner (.921)
What’s Happening With The Opposition?
Chicago Blackhawks Coverage: Second City Hockey
Last Time Out
Calgary Flames 6 - Anaheim Ducks 0
Chicago Blackhawks 0 - Vancouver Canucks 3
Players To Watch
Mark Jankowski (C): 5 goals in last 7 games
Brandon Saad (F): 4 points in last 5 games