Blackhawks hope for more success at home against Flames - The Hockey News on Sports Illustrated

Blackhawks hope for more success at home against Flames

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Calgary (8-6-1) at Chicago (6-3-3), 7:00 pm EDT

CHICAGO (Ticker) -- Supported by a healthy home record, the

torrid Chicago Blackhawks look for their fourth consecutive

victory when they host the Calgary Flames on Sunday.

Chicago has yet to lose in regulation at the United Center and

carries a 5-0-2 record there this season. Its last defeat at

home came on October 25, when the defending Stanley Cup champion

Detroit Red Wings skated to a 6-5 shootout victory.

Two days after that, the Blackhawks fell, 3-2, in Minnesota and

then began their current win streak. Patrick Sharp has sparked

them of late, scoring seven goals in as many games and notching

11 points in that span.

Nikolai Khabibulin and Cristobal Huet have alternated the last

five games and if the pattern holds true, Huet will get the

call. A five-year veteran who signed a four-year, $22.4 million

contract as a free agent in the offseason, Huet is 2-2-1 with a

2.73 goals-against average; Khabibulin is 4-1-2 with a 2.38 GAA.

Flames coach Mike Keenan has not exercised a similar strategy in

regard to handling his goaltenders, but Curtis McElhinney logged

his first start of the season in the team's 3-1 loss to the

Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday.

McElhinney played only five games in 2007-08, going 0-2-0 with a

2.00 GAA. Miikka Kiprusoff started 76 games last season and

every game this season until Saturday.

Kiprusoff struggled in his last contest, surrendering six goals.

However, he improved to 8-5-1 on the season in the 7-6 victory.

The 32-year-old Finn will likely return to his starting role in

this game for the Flames, who will look to avoid their fourth

loss in five games.

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