Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Sports News

Preview: Blackhawks at Flames

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[January 28, 2014]  The Chicago Blackhawks hope some time away from home will help them get back on track. The reigning Stanley Cup champions begin a seven-game road trip  and a stretch of eight contests away from the United Center  when they take on the Calgary Flames on Tuesday in the finale of their three-game season series. Chicago squandered a third-period lead Sunday and dropped a 3-1 decision to Winnipeg for its third straight loss (0-2-1) and eighth in 12 contests (4-3-5).

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 road.

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.


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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.

OVERTIME

  1. Chicago LW Patrick Sharp has scored just one goal in 10 games since registering his second hat trick in five contests on Jan. 3.

  2. Calgary, which won the first two contests of its three-game homestand, has yet to post three straight victories this season.

  3. 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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