THREE STORYLINES TO WATCH
1. The Big Bounceback: One of the reasons the Flames have been considered a top team this season is their ability to end losing skids before they become long streaks. They haven't lost three consecutive games in regulation time all year, winning the third game all three previous times. They took points in overtime and a shootout in the second and third segments of their lone three-game slide in early December.
2. False starts: During both brutal losses at the United Center, the Flames were under attack early. In their first meeting, the Blackhawks were all over the Flames and won 6-1. The Flames came out hot at home in December in a 3-2 OT loss, then fell flat. In a 5-2 loss in Chicago, the Flames never seemed to recover from Martin Havlat's opener 3:26 into the game.
3. Breaking down The Wall: Nikolai Khabibulin is up in the 'Hawks' goalie rotation. Coincidence? Probably not. He's had the Flames' number throughout his career and has played in his team's last two wins over the Flames. Allowing just four goals against in those two contests, Khabibulin has a .938 save percentage against the team he stoned to capture the 2004 Cup with his former Tampa Bay Lightning.
PLAYERS TO KEEP YOUR EYE ON ...
LW Michael Cammalleri: His eight-game point streak was snapped during the loss in Denver, but Cammalleri scored his team-leading 26th goal in Dallas Tuesday. The tally was the 26-year-old's 12th in his last 10 games, and he's racked up 15 points in that span. Seven of those dozen goals have been on the powerplay, and half of his season total so far have come with the man-advantage.
C Dave Bolland: Currently the hottest Blackhawks player, Bolland has two goals and five points during a four-game streak. The 22-year-old has become a staple on the second line, producing 10 goals and 30 points in 49 games in his sophomore season. His plus-15 rating is fifth-best on the team, and his three game-winning goals is good for third spot among the Blackhawks.
The Flames have lost back-to-back road games against the Colorado Avalanche and Dallas Stars, dropping a 4-3 decision in Denver and suffering a 3-1 loss in Texas. Winning three out of four so far on a Western swing, the Blackhawks beat the Edmonton Oilers 3-1 at Rexall Place Tuesday.
Things haven't gone well for the Flames against the 'Hawks this season. Chicago has claimed all three outings by a combined score of 14-5, with the Flames snagging just one overtime point in a 3-2 loss at the 'Dome in December.
POWERPLAY -- Calgary 19.6% (45-230, 12th); Chicago 22.1% (47-213, 8th).
PENALTY KILLING -- Calgary 85.1% (5th); Chicago 82.0% (T-12).
CALGARY -- RW Brandon Prust (jaw), D Jim Vandermeer (ankle), C Wayne Primeau (foot), D Rhett Warrener (shoulder) are out.
CHICAGO -- D Brent Sopel (undisclosed) is out.