The Chicago Blackhawks will go for back-to-back wins when they host the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night.
Meanwhile, Calgary will attempt to make it three wins in a row after putting together a seven-game winning streak last month. This is the second time in eight days that the teams will meet after the Blackhawks skated to a 5-3 win on New Year’s Eve.
Chicago is coming off a 4-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday, which marked the club’s fourth victory in the past five games. Dylan Sikura scored his first career goal for the Blackhawks, who also received one goal apiece from Dylan Strome, Adam Boqvist and Dominik Kubalik.
Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane said he and his teammates plan to keep pressing forward despite recent injuries to teammates such as Brandon Saad (ankle), Andrew Shaw (concussion), Brent Seabrook (shoulder and hip surgeries) and Calvin de Haan (shoulder surgery). Both Seabrook and de Haan are out for the rest of the season.
“It is what it is,” Kane said to reporters. “We’ve done a good job of having some younger guys come up and play pretty well for us, and we’ve been playing better lately, too. So obviously it would be nice to have everyone, but that’s just not the reality, especially with the way the game is today. It seems like there’s more injuries (because) the game’s so fast.
“The injuries are piling up, but (it’s) another chance for another guy to step up and prove himself and for us as a team to come together a little bit more and try to hold down the fort.”
The Flames also have relied on depth while posting a 4-3 win over the New York Rangers on Thursday and a 5-4 shootout win over the Minnesota Wild on Sunday. Calgary’s latest win included goals from Milan Lucic, Travis Hamonic, Michael Stone and Mark Giordano, with Dillon Dube scoring the decisive goal in the shootout round.
Calgary goaltender David Rittich earned the victory in his 100th career game. He enters Tuesday’s game against the Blackhawks with an 18-10-5 record on the season to go along with a 2.81 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage.
In three games against Chicago, Rittich is 2-1-0 with a 3.38 GAA and an .878 save percentage.
The 27-year-old Rittich said he was proud to reach the 100-game mark.
“It’s a big milestone,” he told reporters. “Four years ago, who is going to say that, right? Obviously, I’m very happy about it, and especially that I have my dad here to see that. It’s a good time for me.
“When I did my debut in San Jose (in April 2017), it was a point for me — I told myself, ‘Hey, keep working, you can be here.’ And then everything started. The next year, I played even more games and I’m trying to play every year more games. That’s my evolution. That’s what I want to do.”
The Blackhawks likely will counter with veteran goaltender Corey Crawford, who is only 31 games shy of 500 for his career. Crawford is 7-11-2 with a 3.14 GAA and a .905 save percentage in 21 games (20 starts) on the season.
In 14 career games against Calgary, Crawford is 6-4-4 with a 2.56 GAA and .911 save percentage.
–Field Level Media