Flames playing poor Hawkey

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:12 AM ET

Life on the road is taking its toll on the Calgary Flames.

One of the most proficient NHL squads when eating home cooking, the Flames can't find the recipe away from the Saddledome.

Having lost two straight road clashes and five of six -- one of those in overtime -- the Flames are mired in the middle of the pack of the NHL when it comes to road success.

"We look at our road record and compare it to our home record, and our home record looks an awful lot better," said captain Jarome Iginla after last night's 2-0 loss in Chicago to the struggling Blackhawks. "In order to be a top team, you have to find a way to be an above-.500 road team.

The Flames, with two more clashes on this current road swing, have an 11-12-3 mark on the road. They are 18-4-2 at home.

One cause could be the condensed schedule. Combined with the team's lengthy road trips, they've had two four-game swings. And this is the club's second five-game trek, making for some tired players.

But Iginla would have none of that theory.

"Everybody plays a tough road schedule so, from our point of view, we need to be better," he said. "We need to find ways to win more. We've been in a lot of one-goal road games and not won them. That's upon us."

Which is where special teams comes into play. Among the worst in the league with a 77.9% kill rate going into last night's clash, the Flames were victimized again when the one goal allowed, on the seventh chance, turned out to be the game winner.

"Special teams let us down again," said defenceman Rhett Warrener. "They scored a powerplay goal and a shorthanded goal and we didn't score on our powerplays."

And now, there's a team full of players looking to find the answer to turn the ship around.

Warrener said the answer is getting back to the gameplan.

"Our success comes from outworking other teams and I don't think we did that tonight," he said.


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