NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, November 3rd (All times Eastern)
Calgary Flames (5-6-2) at Chicago Blackhawks (9-2-3), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Blackhawks take aim at their longest winning streak of the season on Sunday when they host the Calgary Flames in a battle at the United Center.
Chicago has scored five goals or more in winning each of its past three games to match another three-game run this season from Oct. 11-15. The defending Stanley Cup champions also have suffered just one regulation loss over their last 11 contests, going 8-1-2 during that stretch.
After pounding the Jets by a 5-1 score in Winnipeg on Saturday, the Blackhawks return home to face a Flames team they have dominated in recent years. Calgary has lost 10 straight in Chicago and hasn't earned a victory in the Windy City since beating the Blackhawks, 4-2, on March 16, 2008.
Chicago won all three encounters against the Flames last season and has claimed four of five and six of eight overall in this series.
The Blackhawks gave up a goal just over five minutes into Saturday's game at Winnipeg, but then scored five unanswered goals, including three in a 4:55 span early in the second period to chase Winnipeg goaltender Ondrej Pavelec.
Corey Crawford made 26 saves to get the win, riding an offensive barrage to a his third win in as many starts. Nick Leddy and Brandon Bollig each tallied once and picked up an assist for Chicago.
"We had a good start to that second period, first period we were lucky to be even there, (Crawford) kept us in the game," said Chicago coach Joel Quenneville.
Crawford is 3-2-0 with a 2.81 goals against average in five career games against the Flames. Chicago's backup goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin, who has not looked sharp in his three outings this season, is 23-13-2 with two ties and a 2.50 GAA in his career against Calgary.
The Blackhawks are playing two straight and four of their next five games on home ice. They are 5-1-2 as the host this season.
Calgary enters Sunday on a two-game slide and the club has lost six of eight since beginning the season 3-0-2.
The Flames were last in action on Friday, when they lost a 4-3 decision against the visiting Detroit Red Wings. Despite falling behind 2-0 in the first period, Calgary managed to tie the score with a pair of goals in the second. However, Joakim Andersson broke the tie for Detroit just 85 seconds into the final stanza and Justin Abdelkader followed with the game-winner.
Curtis Glencross, Sean Monahan and Chris Butler all scored for the Flames, who have dropped four of five. Joey MacDonald gave up all four goals on 22 shots in the loss.
Glencross scored with 10 seconds left in regulation to account for the one- goal margin.
"I thought that we didn't skate like the way we could," said Calgary head coach Bob Hartley. "The way that the Wings play, they kind of slow down the play and I felt that we got caught a bit especially with scoring two goals, they kind of put us back on our heels a little bit. I just felt that we didn't have our usual jump."
Calgary, which is 2-4-1 as the visiting team this season, is kicking off a four-game road trip on Sunday. The Flames also will make stops in Minnesota, St. Louis and Colorado during this trek.
11/03 10:33:14 ET