Calgary has been idle since Friday, when it overcame a four-goal
performance by Eric Nystrom and rallied for a 5-4 shootout victory
over Nashville. Mikael Backlund and David Jones scored 69 seconds
apart in the latter half of the third period to erase a 4-2 deficit
before rookie Sean Monahan netted the decisive tally in the fourth
round of the bonus format. The Blackhawks and Flames split their
first two meetings, with each club posting a 3-2 triumph on the
TV: 9:30 p.m. ET, CSN (Chicago), TSN (Calgary)
ABOUT THE BLACKHAWKS (32-10-12): Chicago will not play at the United
Center again until March 4, as it follows its seven-game trek with a
contest against Pittsburgh at Soldier Field in the final installment
of the NHL Stadium Series. As one would expect, Patrick Kane has
slowed down considerably since recording at least one point in 34 of
his first 41 games. The 25-year-old United States Olympian has
registered just one goal and five assists in his last 13 contests.
Coach Joel Quenneville needs one victory to pass Dick Irvin (692)
for third place on the all-time list.
[to top of second column]
ABOUT THE FLAMES (18-27-7): Calgary expects to have Ladislav Smid in
the lineup Tuesday after the defenseman missed one game with an
undisclosed injury. "I'm just happy it didn't take that long," said
the 27-year-old, who will represent his native Czech Republic at
next month's Winter Olympics. "We actually got a few days (off)
after the game with Nashville, so I was able to do some recovery and
the trainers were able to work on me." Jones ended his 17-game
goal-scoring drought with a pair of tallies on Friday. The
29-year-old hadn't scored since Nov. 29, when he also recorded two
goals against Anaheim.
Chicago LW Patrick Sharp has scored just one goal in 10 games
since registering his second hat trick in five contests on Jan. 3.
Calgary, which won the first two contests of its three-game homestand, has yet to post three straight victories this season.
The Blackhawks recalled C Brandon Pirri from Rockford of the
American Hockey League on Monday. The 22-year-old recorded six goals
and five assists in 24 games with Chicago earlier this season.
PREDICTION: Blackhawks 5, Flames 2
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