Game Primer: Flames hit Windy City

Flames on five-game win streak visit young, upstart Hawks

Sunday, 04.01.2009 / 7:01 AM / News
By Mike Board  - CF.com Digital Content Director
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Game Primer: Flames hit Windy City
FLAMES LEADING SCORERS

Regular Season
Player
GP
G
A
P
Iginla 38 18 27 45
Cammalleri 37 14 20 34
Langkow 38 11 18 29

Record: 23-11-4
Season Series: 0-2-0
Last Five: 4-0-1

vs.

Record:
20-8-7
Season Series: 2-0-0
Last Five: 3-2-0
HAWKS LEADING SCORERS

Regular Season
Player
GP
G
A
P
Kane 35 16 25 41
Sharp 35 19 12 31
Versteeg 34 11 20 31

Flames @ Hawks
5 p.m. MT
United Center, Chicago, Il
  TV: Sportsnet West, Radio: The Fan 960

THE MATCH-UP
 The Calgary Flames play the second leg of back-to-back games today when they visit Chicago for the second time this season. The first visit to the Windy City ended badly with the Flames losing 6-1 on November 9. The Hawks, in one of the more fast-paced games of the season at the Pengrowth Saddledome, claimed a 3-2 overtime win over the Flames on December 19.

The Flames will need to be at the top of their game -- the Hawks are an impressive 11-1- 4 at home this season. The Flames, too, are a hot team. With a 3-2 win in Nashville Saturday, the Flames have collected points in 10 straight games and have won five straight.

"They (Chicago) are a young team that has been playing well lately," said Flames winger Todd Bertuzzi, who recorded an assist and the game-winning goal Saturday in a 2-1 win in Nashville. "We have to be ready to have a good first period. We can't keep getting behind the eight ball and trying to come back."

That's what the Flames did Saturday. Trailing 2-1 with 20 minutes to play Daymond Langkow and Bertuzzi, with a goal in the final 30 seconds of the game, led the Flames to victory. On Bertuzzi's game-winner Craig Conroy collected an assist for the 500th point of his NHL career.

"Good teams get points that aren't always sitting in front of them. That's what we did," Bertuzzi said in post-game interview with Sportsnet West.

With back-to-back games look for the Flames to roll fur lines, at least to start the game. That hasn't been a problem lately as the Flames have been showing that depth matters. "We have found ways to win different styles of games," said Jarome Iginla. "Come from behind, win when the power play is not as hot or maybe the penalty kill has an off night. We feel more confident line in and line out to go out and cause some trouble and score goals."

The Hawks last game was against Detroit in the Winter Classic at Wrigley Field, a game the Hawks lost 6-4. It was the second straight loss to the Wings. The first came earlier in the week and snapped a nine-game winning streak for the Hawks.

"Compared against the best team, I think it's a good measuring stick knowing we have to improve as a team," said Hawks coach Joel Quenneville. "We accomplished a lot prior to these last two games, and I just think that looking at the top two teams in our conference, Detroit and San Jose, there's a level there that we need to make sure we're closing the gap. We can't be satisfied with what we accomplished. We should be looking to improve and knowing that that's the type of team game we need to play from start to finish. I think that's the gap that we've got to look to close, because they're as good as there is."

The Hawks could be without their leading scorer, Patrick Kane, today against the Flames. He is nursing a sore ankle. That takes some wind out of the sails of the Hawks offence as Kane has produced 41 points this season.

The Flames return home from this weekend trip to host the high-flying San Jose Sharks on Tuesday at the Pengrowth Saddledome.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

For the Flames…

Glencross

Curtis Glencross was finding his offensive game when he hurt his knee and missed six games. But, in just his second game back from the injury on Saturday in Nashville, he has plenty of jump and scored the Flames first goal.

For the Hawks...

Versteeg

Rookie Kris Versteeg has been a consistent performer for the Hawks this season. The former Lethbridge Hurricane has 31 points. A smart, hard-working player he has good speed and some nice hands. Originally a fifth round pick of Boston, he has found a home in Chicago


NOTEWORTHY
Flames forward Daymond Langkow has points in four consecutive games (2g 4a)...The Flames play in back-to-back games 14 times (28 games) during the 2008-09 season During the 2007-08 campaign the Flames played in back-to-back situations 12 times going 6-6-0-0 in the first game and 8-4-0-0 in the second game. This will be the Flames sixth back-to-back game segment of the season. They are 3-2 in the first games and 1-4 in the second game. One of their losses in the second game of a back-to-back segment was a 6-1 loss in Chicago back in November...Three Chicago Blackhawks have been voted onto the starting line-up of the all-star game. Forwards Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and defenceman Brian Campbell all made the starting line-up for the Western Conference.
 

PREVIOUS GAME:


January 3, 2009
Flames 3 Predators 2

The Flames fell behind 1-0 midway through the first period of Saturday's game against the Predators but battled back when Curtis Glencross scored late in the first to tie things up 1-1. The Predators, on a goal from Jason Arnott, took a 2-1 lead in the second. Calgary, perhaps finding their legs later in the game, got goals from Daymond Langkow and Todd Bertuzzi to pull out a 3-2 victory. The win was the fifth straight for the Flames and the 10th game in a row in which they have collected points.

FLAMES MILESTONES

Miikka Kiprusoff needs one wins to take over 2nd place on Flames win list
Rene Bourque needs 1 point for 100
Todd Bertuzzi needs 3 power play goals for 100
Jarome Iginla needs 2 games for 900
Mark Giordano needs 7 games for 100
Dustin Boyd needs 7 games for 100
Jarome Iginla needs 8 goals for 400
Mike Keenan needs 9 wins to pass Pat Quinn for 4th in all time wins
Cory Sarich needs 10 assists for 100
Matthew Lombardi needs 10 assists for 100

THE ROSTER

Calgary returned F Brett Sutter to Quad City of the AHL prior to this two-game road trip. The Flames will be without D Rhett Warrener (shoulder); D James Vandermeer (leg); F Brandon Prust (fractured jaw) and F Wayne Primeau (shoulder).