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Blackhawks vs. Flames game preview: Chicago hosts stumbling Calgary

Things are coming apart for the Flames, but can the 'Hawks take advantage on the second night of a back-to-back?

Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

The winning streak may be over, but the Blackhawks won't have much time to think about that with a Sunday night matchup against the Flames. The first two games between the two teams this season were tough, with each winning one, and this is also Chicago's third game in four nights.

Given that last fact, one imagines Antti Raanta will get the nod in goal tonight instead of Scott Darling, given that the latter has played so much lately. Raanta played well in games against St. Louis and Montreal earlier this month, and a rested Raanta surely beats a Darling that faced 41 shots in Long Island last night.

The other notable news from Sunday is the trade of Jeremy Morin, which resulted in the addition of Tim Erixon and assignment of Klas Dahlbeck to Rockford. Erixon presumably won't be ready to play tonight, leaving the team a man short for the game with David Rundblad and Michal Rozsival figuring into the final two d-man spots.

It's probably not ideal, but Erixon gives them another option as Joel Quenneville searches for a reliable third pairing, and it's possible the former Blue Jacket finds his footing in a new environment. Otherwise, there's certainly no shortage of options for the blue line on the IceHogs.

Opponent Breakdown: Calgary Flames

The Flames are fourth in the Pacific Division with a 17-12-2 record. They've lost four straight games, but would still qualify for the postseason if the season ended today.

However, there is some reason to believe that Calgary's luck is simply running out after an unsustainable start to the season. The Flames are just No. 25 in overall Corsi (47.6 percent) and No. 20 in overall Fenwick (48.8), and their 101.3 PDO is one of the highest in the league.

That's precisely the combination of underlying statistics you don't want to see from a winning team, and it was the most obvious sign that the Flames probably wouldn't keep winning 63 percent of their games. Despite outshooting the opponent in each of their past four games, Calgary has allowed three-plus goals in every one.

Just because the Flames were playing somewhat over their expected level before doesn't mean they're no longer dangerous, though. Mark Giordano and T.J. Brodie are two of the most productive defensemen in the league, and only the Lightning and Maple Leafs are scoring on a higher percentage of their shots.

We just gotta hope, as that shooting percentage presumably levels out, Raanta gets a lucky bounce or two Sunday night.

Injury Report

ChicagoCorey Crawford (foot) and Trevor van Riemsdyk (knee)

Calgary: Mikael Backlund (abdominal) and Ladislav Smid (upper body)

Game Information

When: 7 p.m. CT

Where: United Center

TV: CSN, NHL Network

Radio: WGN-720

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