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Blackhawks-Flames Preview

AP - Sports

Sluggish defensive play is one reason the Chicago Blackhawks are on their longest road losing streak since setting a dubious franchise record eight years ago.

Their recent visits to Calgary don't inspire much confidence.

The Blackhawks attempt to avoid a six-game road losing streak and beat the Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome for the first time in two years Friday night.

Chicago (29-16-7) opened its season-high nine-game road trip with a 3-2 overtime loss at Vancouver on Tuesday, then fell 8-4 on Thursday at Edmonton, the last-place team in the Northwest Division.

Those losses extended the Blackhawks' road losing streak to six, their longest since a franchise-record 19-game run of futility Nov. 10, 2003-Jan. 29, 2004.

They've surrendered 27 goals during the current skid.

"We need to be better in a lot of areas and we're obviously not happy at all," right wing Patrick Sharp said after scoring two goals in the lopsided defeat to the Oilers. "We've gotten away from what makes us a good team.

"We need to play defense first and we'll get our chances from there."

Chicago defeated the Flames (23-22-6) 4-2 at home Dec. 18, but has dropped its last three visits to Calgary by a combined 15-5 margin.

Patrick Kane has 11 goals and 11 assists in 23 career meetings with the Flames, including four points in five playoff games and a goal in last month's home win. The All-Star right wing has six goals and three assists in 11 career games at Scotiabank Saddledome, but was held off the scoresheet when the Blackhawks lost 5-2 in Calgary on Nov. 18.

Kane has just one goal in his last 12 games overall, but has an assist in each of his last two.

While the Blackhawks are struggling defensively, the Flames have struggled to score during a 3-3-1 stretch. They've been held to two goals or fewer in six of those seven contests.

That trend continued in Tuesday's 3-1 home loss to Detroit, as Calgary tied its season-high three-game home skid from November. The Flames haven't dropped four straight on home ice since Oct. 28-Nov. 17, 2010.

"We've got to capitalize on our chances," left wing Alex Tanguay said. "We have to score some more goals and make sure we find a way to rack up two points."

Jarome Iginla, the team leader with 39 points, has just one goal in his last seven games and is a minus-5 in his last three. The Calgary captain also has just one assist in three meetings with Chicago this season.

Michael Cammalleri scored the Flames' lone goal in Tuesday's loss. It was his second goal since being acquired from Montreal last month, but his first in five games since finding the net in his Flames debut, a 4-1 home defeat to Los Angeles on Jan. 14.

Cammalleri's minus-5 rating in his six games with Calgary ties him with defenseman Cory Sarich for the lowest on the team in that stretch.

Cammalleri has two goals and one assist in his last three games versus Chicago, all coming with the Canadiens.

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