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Sunday, April 4th (All times eastern)

Calgary Flames (40-29-9) at Chicago Blackhawks (48-22-7), 3 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Calgary Flames will try to help their playoff chances when they shoot for a fourth straight win in today's road test at the United Center in Chicago.

The Flames enter Sunday tied with Colorado for the eighth and final postseason berth in the Western Conference. The Avalanche, who host San Jose tonight, have a game in hand over Calgary with five contests left in the regular season.

Meanwhile, the Blackhawks, who have already clinched a playoff spot, can win the Central Division by getting just one point against Calgary. Chicago could also clinch the division if Detroit suffers any kind of loss today in Philadelphia.

Chicago is also just three points behind San Jose for the top seed in the West. The Blackhawks have a game in hand over the Sharks, who are playing in Colorado tonight.

The Blackhawks have won all three meetings with the Flames this year and have taken seven straight in the series, not including Chicago's triumph over Calgary in the opening round of last spring's playoffs. The Flames have lost three in a row and six of their last 10 regular-season tests in the Windy City.

The Flames won their third game in a row on Friday, edging the Avalanche in a crucial battle at the Pepsi Center in Denver. Miikka Kiprusoff made 35 saves and Rene Bourque provided the game-winner early in the third period, lifting Calgary to the 2-1 victory and allowing the Flames to tie Colorado in the playoff race.

Still, Calgary has only four games remaining, while the Avalanche have a game in hand and currently hold all three tie-breaking scenarios, including wins (41-40), head-to-head points and goal differential. Despite Friday's disappointing setback, Colorado still took four of six from Calgary in the season series.

Nigel Dawes also tallied for the Flames on Friday, giving him four goals in his last eight games.

Calgary is 20-13-6 as the guest this year and is playing its second-to-last road game of the regular season. The Flames will host San Jose and Minnesota in its next two games before capping their schedule Saturday in Vancouver.

Chicago is coming off a close win Friday in New Jersey. Jonathan Toews scored the lone goal of the shootout as the Blackhawks rallied to take a 2-1 win over the Devils.

After Antti Niemi stopped Jamie Langenbrunner to open the shootout, Toews buried a wrister into the right corner of the net. Niemi then made stops on Zach Parise and Ilya Kovalchuk for the win.

Kris Versteeg scored with 26 seconds to play in the third period to force overtime. Niemi stopped 32 shots to help Chicago earn its second straight win on the heels of a three-game skid.

"This was a good win and hopefully we can take the momentum from this and follow it up the next game," said Toews. "It wasn't the most exciting game I've ever played, but it was a big character win."

Chicago has five games left and will alternate home and away tests for the remainder of the regular season. The Blackhawks own an impressive 27-8-3 as the host this year.

04/04 10:45:39 ET


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