(SportsNetwork.com) - Many folks have been waiting for the Calgary Flames to fall off the pace after their impressive start to the season. Calgary hopes to quiet some of those detractors by avoiding a fifth straight loss when it visits the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday. The Flames were expected by some to challenge for the leagues worst record in 2014-15 before jumping out to a 17-8-2 start. Calgary has cooled off considerably in December, however, losing four straight in regulation after only dropping two in a row once before this season from Oct. 25-28. On Sunday, the Flames have an excellent chance to prove their mettle when they take on the Blackhawks, one of the top teams in the West and a conference finalist in last seasons playoffs. Tonights clash is the third and final regular-season meeting between these clubs. Calgary notched a 2-1 overtime win in Chicago on Oct. 15 before the Blackhawks answered with a 4-3 road win on Nov. 20. Chicago has won five of the last eight in this series overall, but the Flames have taken two in a row in the Windy City. Calgary had lost 10 in a row at United Center before claiming the past two road encounters against the Blackhawks in overtime. Calgary hopes to salvage a four-game road trip with a win tonight. The Flames played on back-to-back nights earlier this week in Buffalo and Pittsburgh, losing 4-3 to the Sabres on Thursday before falling 3-1 the next evening against the Penguins. Pittsburgh was able to defeat the Flames despite playing without captain and star centerman Sidney Crosby, who was sitting due to an illness. Blake Comeau and Kris Letang helped pick up for Crosbys absence, posting early scores to put up all the offense the Pens would need. Johnny Gaudreau notched the lone goal for the Flames, while Jonas Hiller made just 19 saves in the setback. We needed to play more in their zone, get more guys in front of the net and go to the dirty areas, Flames forward Paul Byron said. It looks like other teams are scoring those goals right in the paint and were not getting enough of those. Calgary defenseman Ladislav Smid left the game in the second period with an upper-body injury and did not return. Smid was injured when Pittsburgh defenseman Simon Despres delivered a high check that resulted in the Flames blueliner taking an elbow to the head. Smid was placed on injured reserve Saturday while defenseman Corey Potter was recalled from the Adirondack Flames of the American Hockey League. Karri Ramo could get the start in net tonight. He is 1-1-0 with a 3.70 goals against average in his career against Chicago. The Flames are next in action on Tuesday when they host the New York Rangers at the start of a two-game homestand. Calgary is 9-8-0 on the road this season compared to an 8-4-2 mark as the host. Chicago will be eager to get back in the win column tonight after having a season-high eight-game winning streak halted Saturday with a 3-2 loss against the New York Islanders. The Blackhawks grabbed a 2-1 lead with Patrick Kanes goal early in the third period on Long Island. However, Kyle Okposo and Lubomir Visnovsky tallied 51 seconds apart midway through the final stanza to grab the lead for good and cool off Chicago. Sometimes maybe you think youre a little bit better than you really are. This is definitely a wake-up call, Kane admitted. Dan Carcillo also scored for the Blackhawks, while Scott Darling took the loss despite making 38 saves. Antti Raanta could get the call in net for Chicago tonight. He has a 1-0 record and a 3.98 GAA in just two career appearances versus the Flames. Chicago owns a 9-3-1 record on home ice and is playing two straight and four of its next five at the United Center. The Blackhawks have won five in a row as the host and havent lost in the Windy City since falling to Washington on Nov. 7. Marcus Johansson Jersey
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.Gasol had 16 points and 13 rebounds, and the Bulls beat the winless Orlando Magic 98-90 on Tuesday night.Jimmy Butler led the Bulls with 21 points and Taj Gibson added 16 for Chicago, which finally pulled away in the final minutes of a game that was tied after three quarters.Dinamo Moscow, FC Salzburg and Legia Warsaw won to reach the next round of the Europa League, while defending champion Sevilla took a step closer to qualifying after beating Standard Liege 3-1 on Thursday.Forwards Kevin Gameiro and Jose Antonio Reyes pounced in the first half for Sevilla either side of a goal from midfielder Paul-Jose Mpoku, before Carlos Bacca sealed the win late on.Earlier, striker Jonathan got a hat trick — making it five goals in two games — as Austrian side Salzburg won 5-1 at Dinamo Zagreb to top Group D, with two more points than Scottish champion Celtic.Former Germany forward Kevin Kuranyi scored for the first time in 12 games in Dinamos 1-0 home win against Estoril to make it four straight wins for the Russian side.Dinamo is five points ahead of Dutch side PSV Eindhoven, which won 3-2 at Greek side Panathinaikos.Polish side Legia left it late before beating Ukrainian side Metalist Kharkiv 2-1, courtesy of an 84th-minute winner from 19-year-old Slovakian forward Ondrej Duda.Celtic, meanwhile, missed the chance to join Salzburg in the next round as Romanian side Astra Giurgiu fought back to draw 1-1.Stefan Johansen put Celtic ahead in the first half only for midfielder William to level with 10 minutes remaining.Inter Milan stayed in control of Group F but it was another unconvincing performance.Left back Dodo put Inter ahead in the 33rd before centre half Moustapha Bayal Sall equalized shortly after halftime to give Saint-Etienne its first goal of the competition following three 0-0 draws.Inter is close to qualifying, with four more points than Saint-Etienne, Ukrainian side Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk and Qarabag of Azerbaijan, who are locked together.Meanwhile, Dutch midfielder Jonathan de Guzman scored a hat trick as Napoli won 3-0 at home to Swiss side Young Boys Berne to take some pressure off coach Rafa Benitez.Sparta Prague, which beat Slovan Bratislavva 4-0 at home, tops Napoli in Group I on goal difference.ddddddddddddItalian side Fiorentina sealed qualification from Group K after drawing 1-1 with Greek side PAOK, although it needed a last-gasp free kick from left back Miguel Pasquale to move three points ahead of French side Guingamp, which beat Dinamo Minsk 2-0.Tottenham leads Besiktas of Turkey on goal difference in Group C.Promising striker Harry Kane made it 10 goals in 14 games this season as Tottenham won 2-1 away to Greek side Asteras Tripolis.Kane, who scored a hat trick in the corresponding fixture two weeks ago, headed home to make it 2-0 before halftime, after winger Andros Townsend put Spurs ahead from the penalty spot.Demba Ba got both goals as Besiktas beat Serbian side Partizan Belgrade 2-1.After drawing 0-0 away to Lille two weeks ago, Everton had little trouble winning the return fixture 3-0 with midfielder Leon Osman and centre back Phil Jagielka scoring in the first half. Steven Naismith got the third.Everton tops Group H by a point from Wolfsburg, which routed Russian side Krasnodar 5-1 at home, thanks to two goals each from midfielder Aaron Hunt and striker Nicklas Bendtner.Borussia Moenchengladbach moved to the top of Group A thanks to a 2-0 win at Cypriot side Apollon Limassol. Spanish side Villarreal was one point behind Moenchengladbach after losing 3-2 away to FC Zurich, with all of the goals coming in a frenetic opening half hour.Israel midfielder Lior Refaelov got a first-half hat trick as Belgian club Bruges won 4-0 at FC Copenhagen to move top of Group B. Italian side Torino was one point adrift following a 2-1 loss at Finnish side HJK Helsinki, which was last.Ukrainian side Dynamo Kyiv leads Group J after winning 2-0 at home against Danish club Aalborg. Romanian side Steaua Bucharest was two points behind after rallying from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at Portuguese side Rio Ave. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys
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