Its a Best of 3 Series Now


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(Sports Network) – The Calgary Flames and Chicago Blackhawks will both be seeking an edge tonight, when the Hawks host a pivotal Game 5 in the best-of- seven Western Conference quarterfinal series at United Center.

The series is tied at two games apiece and the home team has won every game so far in the set. Chicago took Games 1 and 2 in the Windy City, but the Flames gained momentum by tying the series with a pair of victories at the Saddledome.

Chicago had a 24-9-8 record as the home team during the regular season, while the Flames struggled to a 19-20-2 road mark.

The fifth-seeded Flames are trying to come back from an 0-2 deficit to win a series for the first time in franchise history. If Calgary becomes the first road team to win a game in this set tonight, the club will get a chance to close the series Monday in Game 6 at the Saddledome.

Chicago, meanwhile, is 16-2 all-time when grabbing a two games to none lead and last lost a series after being in that situation in the 1971 Stanley Cup Finals, when Montreal beat the Blackhawks in seven games.

After posting a 4-2 win in Game 3, Calgary made it two straight with Wednesday’s 6-4 triumph. Jarome Iginla tallied twice and Eric Nystrom notched the game-winner late in the third period as the Flames wasted a three-goal before recovering for the Game 4 victory.

Nystrom added two helpers and Olli Jokinen posted his first two career postseason goals with an assist for the Flames. Miikka Kiprusoff got the win despite allowing four goals on 32 shots.

On the injury front for Calgary, Daymond Langkow (hand) and Craig Conroy (undisclosed) left Game 4 with injuries, while fellow forward Rene Bourque (ankle) sat out Wednesday’s game. Langkow is expected to play tonight, while Bourque and Conroy are questionable.

Kris Versteeg posted a goal and two assists for the fourth-seeded Blackhawks, who have not been tied by an opponent after winning the first two games of any playoff series since the 1971 Cup Finals.

Samuel Pahlsson and Cam Barker added a goal and one helper each, but Nikolai Khabibulin surrendered five goals on only 26 shots in the loss.

Chicago is in the postseason for the first time since 2002 and are trying to win a playoff series for the first time since sweeping the Flames in the opening round of the 1996 playoffs.

This is the fourth all-time playoff series between the Flames and Blackhawks and Chicago’s only win so far came in the 1996 matchup.

Chicago won all four regular-season meetings with Calgary this season.

About Greg Hounslow (558 Posts)

Greg is the founder of Red Mile Blog has been following the Flames through good times and bad since they arrived in Calgary in the early 80s. He has written hundreds of articles on the Flames since 2005 and considers himself an expert on hockey inconsistency and frustration. He shoots right and usually plays defence, but has been known to jump up in the rush. He is a 2-time CAHL men's league champion and knows the sweet taste of beer from a Cup.

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