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Jeff Glass back in net as Hawks face Flames

A win could help the Hawks keep pace in the wild card chase.

NHL: Chicago Blackhawks at Calgary Flames Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

A few nights after a tough loss against the Vancouver Cancuks, the Chicago Blackhawks will look for a rebound performance on the road against the Calgary Flames on Saturday night.

It’s a crucial game for both teams, each chasing the ever-elusive wild card berth into the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Calgary has 58 points and Chicago has 55 after 51 games played. The current bar for a playoff position is set at 61 points by the Minnesota Wild.

Calgary’s last game was a forgetful one. The Flames owned a 4-2 lead late in the second period, before an implosion allowed the Tampa Bay Lighting to come back for a 7-4 victory on Thursday night. Mike Smith responded in the typical Mike Smith fashion.

That loss was the sixth in a row for the Flames, following a seven-game winning streak that started on New Year’s Eve with a 4-3 win in overtime against the Hawks, and a blown Calgary lead was the central story in that game, too. The Flames built a 3-0 lead by the 14:13 mark of the second period, just to surrender three goals — including a game-tying goal from Brandon Saad with just under two minutes remaining — before Calgary got the game-winner in overtime. The main scoring threats remain the same for Calgary, in Johnny Gaudrerau (15 goals, 43 assists) and Sean Monahan (23 goals, 21 assists).

For the Hawks, a loss in their last game means the usual line-tinkering by coach Joel Quenneville is happening. Brandon Saad has been kicked down to the third line with Tommy Wingels and Lance Bouma, while Artem Anisimov moves out to left wing on the second line with Nick Schmaltz and Patrick Kane. Michal Kempny appears to be getting another night back in the press box, with Jan Rutta looking like the D partner for Connor Murphy during the morning skate. In net, Jeff Glass fills in for Anton Forsberg, although it seemed like most of the goals surrendered by Forsberg against the Canucks were the result of defensive breakdowns and not goaltender error. But Glass is the starter, anyway.

It’s difficult to make call one game a “must-win” when a team plays an 82-game schedule each season. But each loss only heightens the hurdle Chicago must climb to earn a playoff spot, and the Flames are one of the teams directly in the way. Not only do the Hawks have a points gap to close, they have to leap four teams. And with a home-and-home against the Flames over the next three days, Chicago can move ahead of one of the teams in its way with a pair of regulation victories. No time like the present to get that much-needed hot streak going.



Position Players
Position Players
F1 Alex DeBrincat - Jonathan Toews - Anthony Duclair
F2 Artem Anisimov - Nick Schmaltz - Patrick Kane
F3 Brandon Saad - Tommy Wingels - Lance Bouma
F4 Tomas Jurco - David Kampf - Vinnie Hinostroza
D1 Duncan Keith - Jordan Oesterle
D2 Erik Gustaffson - Brent Seabrook
D3 Connor Murphy - Jan Rutta
Goaltender Jeff Glass


Position Players
Position Players
F1 Rickard Rackell - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry
F2 Andrew Cogliano - Ryan Kesler - Jakob Silfverberg
F3 Nick Ritchie - Adam Henrique - Ondrej Kase
F4 Jason Chimera - Antoine Vermette - Chris Kelly
D1 Cam Fowler - Brandon Montour
D2 Hampus Lindholm - Francois Beauchemin
D3 Marcus Pettersson - Josh Manson
Goaltender John Gibson or Ryan Miller

*Lines are subject to change.

How to watch Blackhawks at Flames

Start time: 9 p.m. CT

Location: Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary

TV: NBC Sports Chicago