The Chicago Blackhawks saw their winning streak come to a screeching halt against the New York Islanders on Saturday night, but they will be looking to begin a new one on Sunday when they take on the Calgary Flames at the United Center.
This will already be the third meeting of the season between the two teams, with the Hawks and Flames each winning on the road in the series. The Hawks racked up 50 shots on goal in the first meeting of the year, but the Flames still escaped the United Center with a 2-1 victory. The Blackhawks got revenge on the circus trip in late November, grabbing a 4-3 win that snapped a three-game winning streak for the Flames.
Calgary has hit rough times as of late, losing their last four games and only scoring seven goals over that stretch. Three of those losses have come on the road, as stops in Toronto, Buffalo and Pittsburgh were all able to knock off Calgary on their home ice.
As for the Blackhawks, they’ve had plenty of success in recent weeks, winning 13 of their last 16 games and scoring an average of 3.5 goals per game over that stretch. Their power play has been lacking in effectiveness in recent weeks, with only one goal in their last 25 attempts on the man-advantage.
That power play struggle is surprising for a team with the Blackhawks’ blend of talented forwards and puck-moving defensemen, but it’s been something that’s occurred regularly over the past few seasons. Before they finished in 10th in the league last season, they were 19th in the NHL with a 16.7 percent success rate in the 2012-13 season. The year before that they were even worse, finishing 26th in the league with a 15.6 percent success rate.
With that being said, the Blackhawks should try their best to work on their power play despite the success they have had without it. They are a great team at even strength, and adding an effective power play to the mix would be a great way to get back on the winning track against the Flames on Sunday night.
News and Notes:
-Corey Crawford will remain out of the lineup for the Blackhawks Sunday night, but Joel Quenneville said that it's possible that hte goaltender will return to the crease next weekend. The Blackhawks play the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night.
-Antti Raanta will get the start for the Blackhawks against the Flames after Scott Darling faced 41 shots in Saturday's loss to the Islanders.