Blackhawks-Flames: Blackhawks Seek to Extend Winning Streak to Six

Mark MurphyContributor IDecember 18, 2008

Coming off of a 9-2 route over the Edmonton Oilers (14-14-2) on Tuesday night, the Chicago Blackhawks (16-6-7) will attempt to extinguish the Calgary Flames (18-11-3) tomorrow night.

The win in Edmonton pushed the 'Hawks winning streak to five games. This is the longest streak the team has enjoyed since the 2001-02 season.  A season that just happens to be the last time a Blackhawks team has reached the second season.

The team is off to a 6-0-1 start in the month of December.

No doubt it helped by the recent 9-2 and 7-1 wins posted by the club. The Chicago Blackhawks rank first in the NHL in goals per game with a 3.66 avg.

The Calgary Flames are ranked 22nd currently in goals against per game giving up an average of just under three at 2.97.

If the amount of goals the 'Hawks are scoring lately is any sort of clue, then this game against the Flames should not be any different.  Expect a high scoring and speedy game, with good flow.

Special teams could also prove to be vital.  Especially if the Flames send Chicago to the powerplay.  The 'Hawks come in with a fourth ranked powerplay in the league, converting 24.0 percent of the time.  The Flames however are currently ranked at fourth in the NHL on the penalty kill.

To me that spells key to the game.  How will the 'Hawks fare against a strong kill when given the opportunity?

Or vice versa depending on how you look at it.

Goaltending will also play a big role in the outcome as you would expect when Mikka Kipprusoff is between the pipes.  Although the Blackhawks goaltenders are both playing at a very high level at the moment.

Look for a big game from Kris Versteeg who hails from Lethbridge, Alberta about a two and a half hour drive south of Calgary.  He will be playing in front of a Calgary crowd for the first time in his young promising NHL Career.

Chicago Blackhawks@Calgary Flames: Tomorrow night in Calgary 8:00 p.m. Central Standard Time.