NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, December 19th (All times eastern)
Chicago Blackhawks (16-6-7) at Calgary Flames (18-11-3), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Blackhawks are on their longest winning run in nearly seven years. Chicago will try to extend that run tonight when they visit the Calgary Flames at Pengrowth Saddledome.
Chicago has posted a victory in five straight games for the first time since a six-game winning streak from December 26, 2001-January 6, 2002. The Blackhawks have a point in seven straight contests (6-0-1) and trail the Detroit Red Wings by seven points for first place in the Central Division.
The Blackhawks are lighting the lamp at a rapid pace this year, as they lead the NHL in goals per game at 3.66. That number was inflated on Tuesday in a 9-2 victory over Edmonton.
Troy Brouwer scored two of Chicago's five second-period goals, with Brian Campbell, Kris Versteeg and Ben Eager also notching a goal each in the frame. Patrick Kane and Colin Fraser both had a goal and two assists in the win, with Andrew Ladd and James Wisniewski, playing in his first game of the season after undergoing offseason knee surgery, notching three assists each.
Kane, tied for fifth in the NHL in points with 37, has found the scoresheet in 22 of his 29 games played this season. The reigning Calder Trophy winner as the top rookie has seven goals and 11 assists over his last 14 games.
Nikolai Khabibulin was sharp with 31 saves, as the Blackhawks have outscored their opponents by a 25-7 margin over the five-game winning streak. They won the opener of a three-game road trip through western Canada that ends in Vancouver on Saturday. Chicago is 6-5-3 on the road this year.
The Blackhawks have scored at least five goals in a game nine times this year, including once versus Calgary on November 9 in the first of four meetings with the club. Kane and Martin Havlat had a goal and two assists each in the win.
The home victory was Chicago's third in its last five games versus Calgary, which has lost its last three versus the Blackhawks as the host.
The Flames have won two straight and are tied with Vancouver for first place in the Northwest Division with 39 points. They are coming off a 3-2 overtime victory against Minnesota.
Todd Bertuzzi halted a 19-game goal-scoring drought when he scored with 1:12 left in OT on a backhander. It was his first goal since November 2.
Daymond Langkow and Craig Conroy tallied in regulation for the Flames, while Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 25 shots for his 18th win of the season.
Calgary is 9-4-2 as the host this year and begins a five-game road trip tonight. The Flames visit Anaheim on Tuesday.
12/19 10:39:25 ET