It's either won or done

Head coach Mike Keenan knows the Flames have no margin for error in tonight's Game 6. (Sun...

Head coach Mike Keenan knows the Flames have no margin for error in tonight's Game 6. (Sun Media/Darren Makowichuk)

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:59 AM ET

No team has momentum in a seven-game series until the home team loses.

At least that's what the Calgary Flames are hoping heading into tonight's Game 6 at the Saddledome.

Going just by the last outing -- a 5-1 pounding in Chicago -- the Flames would have no hope against the surging Blackhawks.

"We'll use it for sure," said Flames winger Michael Cammalleri about how the home team hasn't lost in this series.

"I'm not sure how much we'll look into last game or how we will adjust it. You want to park it away and move on. It's the past and there's nothing we can do about it now.

"We'll use the positivity that is the Saddledome to have a great game, then we'll worry about going to Chicago and getting one there.

"It's pretty obvious we have to go win two games now. We just came off two wins, now we have to win two more."

Heading home with a deficit is nothing new for the Flames in this series.

After losing the first two games in Chicago, the Dome was nice to the Flames as they handily won Game 3 and then gutted out a close one in Game 4.

In Game 5, they not only let the host Hawks score the opening goal, the second and third ones came within two minutes.

Game over.

Now, the Flames have no margin for error. The next loss means it's golf season.

"We have be positive," said veteran centre Craig Conroy.

"We've been in these situations before. We just have to win this one and be positive. The only way to do it is to come out strong. Obviously, we came out flat last game. We need our best game of the series. We can't have the defeatist attitude or else we will be done."

When the Flames were down three goals early in Game 5, it was reminiscent of the previous outing in Calgary.

The home team picked up some momentum and piled in a trio of goals. The Hawks came back from that deficit in Game 4, quickly changing the tide.

When the Hawks opened up the lead in Game 5, the Flames folded up.

"The series has been that way for both teams," Cammalleri said. "We scored in bunches, and they scored in bunches.

"It feels like, at any point, anything can happen. Last game was the first that the team that scored first won. The feeling on the bench, even after they get a few, is here we go, anything can happen.

"But it wasn't good for us from start to finish."

The Flames have been 2-2 in every first-round playoff series since the lockout, but have never finished the deal.

Two of the past three years, they've had a 3-2 lead and lost the series. The only time they lost Game 5, it was over in six.

History is not on their side.

"We can't focus on anything else than this game," Conroy said. "They will be desperate, but it's do or die for us."


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