NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, April 26th
(All times Eastern)
Calgary Flames (19-24-4) at Chicago Blackhawks (35-6-5), 8:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The only thing that remains for the Chicago Blackhawks is
the Stanley Cup.
Set to take the ice for the first time since clinching the best record in the
NHL, the Blackhawks continue to prep for their run at a title when they host
Calgary on Friday night in the Flames' regular-season finale.
The Blackhawks sit 35-6-5 through 46 games and their 75 points are enough to
claim the Presidents' Trophy for the first time since the 1990-91 season. They
locked up the league's best record with Wednesday's 4-1 victory over the
Chicago began its season with a NHL-record 24-game point streak (21-0-3) and
quickly wrapped up its first Central Division title since its championship-
winning 2009-10 season. The Blackhawks will now have home-ice advantage for as
long as they are in the upcoming playoffs.
"The guys should be commended on a good win tonight and a good season," said
Chicago head coach Joel Quenneville. "The start of our year put us in a great
spot, and the consistency has put us in this place as well. I'd like to
congratulate the guys. They deserve what they got."
Patrick Kane had a goal and two assists in the win over the Oilers, while
Jonathan Toews and Johnny Oduya added goals. Patrick Sharp scored in his
return from a five-game absence caused by a nagging shoulder injury.
Ray Emery made the start and gave up a goal on eight shots before leaving with
about six minutes to play in the first period with a lower body injury. Corey
Crawford turned aside all 14 shots he faced in relief as Chicago moved to
10-1-2 in its past 13.
The Blackhawks conclude their regular season in St. Louis on Saturday against
the playoff-bound Blues.
The Flames, meanwhile, close out their season-ending four-game swing and have
lost two straight. That includes a 4-1 setback in St. Louis on Thursday night.
Sven Baertschi scored the lone goal for Calgary, giving him three goals and
nine points over a seven-game point streak. Joey MacDonald gave up all four
goals on 20 shots in the loss.
"You can see how much it takes to be a playoff team," said Baertschi. "They
had an outstanding season and you can tell there were some mistakes that we
made that they took advantage of. They made some mistakes, but we couldn't
Calgary will miss the playoffs for a fourth straight year and sit 12th overall
in the Western Conference with 42 points.
The Flames, 6-15-2 on the road this season, will try to end the season with
their first victory in Chicago since March 16, 2008. They have lost their past
nine as the visitor in this series and have dropped their previous two
meetings with the Blackhawks this season. That includes a 2-0 loss on March 26
in Chicago, where Emery notched a 16-save shutout.
The Blackhawks have won six of nine and 14 of the last 18 meetings overall.
04/26 10:49:27 ET