Chicago (12-5-2) at Calgary (12-5-2)

Cloudy Currently: Calgary, AB
Temp: 59° F
  • Game info: 9:30 pm EST Thu Nov 19, 2009
Preview | Box Score | Recap

It’s been more than a month since the Chicago Blackhawks won a road game. They’ll get plenty of chances to end that drought in the next 10 days.

Though the Blackhawks are opening their annual circus trip having lost three straight on the road, a perfect homestand and their recent dominance of the Calgary Flames should have them confident going into Thursday night’s matchup.

Chicago went 3-2-1 on this trek last season after winning just six of 35 games from 2001-02 to 2007-08 on its annual road trip that coincides with the circus taking over the United Center for two weeks.

The Blackhawks (12-5-2) would likely be happy with a similar result on this journey considering they’ve lost all three of their road games since winning at Nashville on Oct. 15. This trip includes stops at Edmonton, Vancouver, San Jose and Anaheim before ending Nov. 28 in Los Angeles.

They enter the opener with momentum after sweeping a four-game homestand, having rallied for a 4-3 overtime victory over Western Conference-leading San Jose on Sunday night.

Patrick Kane(notes) and John Madden(notes) scored in the second period to tie the game, and Brent Seabrook(notes) registered the winning goal 41 seconds into overtime.

“We feel we can win any night, against any team,” Seabrook said. “We have a great group … and we want to prove that.”

This game should be another good test, with the Blackhawks visiting Calgary for the first time since they eliminated the Flames from the playoffs in Game 6 of the conference quarterfinals.

Calgary’s two wins in that series are the only ones it has in the last 11 meetings overall. In regular-season matchups, the Blackhawks have won five straight at the Pengrowth Saddledome and five in a row overall over the Flames, including a stunning 6-5 overtime win Oct. 12.

Chicago goaltenders Cristobal Huet(notes) and Antti Niemi(notes) combined to give up five goals in the first 11:43, but the Blackhawks rallied to tie the game with 15:28 remaining and Seabrook scored the game-winner 26 seconds into the extra period.

“It stings all the way through and we’re embarrassed,” Flames star Jarome Iginla(notes) said after that loss.

Calgary blew another lead Tuesday night, allowing the game’s final two goals in the last two minutes of the second period in a 3-2 defeat to visiting Colorado.

“That second goal was a terrible goal to give up,” coach Brent Sutter said. “You get up 2-1 and you’ve got to really clamp down and do it the right way.”

Calgary (12-5-2), which missed a chance to pass Colorado for the Northwest Division lead, had been 5-0-1 to begin the month before that loss—its third in four home games.

The Blackhawks have won all four games since Jonathan Toews’(notes) return from a concussion Nov. 9. Kris Versteeg(notes) could return Thursday after missing Sunday’s win with an upper-body injury.

Chicago could receive another boost as Marian Hossa’s(notes) first appearance is expected to come sometime during the road trip. Hossa, who scored 40 goals last season with Detroit, signed a 12-year deal worth $62.8 million July 1 but underwent shoulder surgery later that month.

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Thursday, Nov 19