Phaneuf sits as Flames look to stay alive against Blackhawks

The Sports Network
4/27/2009 5:37:20 PM
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(Sports Network) - The Chicago Blackhawks will get a shot at winning their first playoff series in 13 years tonight when they visit the Calgary Flames at the Saddledome for Game 6 of the best-of-seven Western Conference quarterfinals.

The game can be seen live on TSN and TSN HD starting at 9pm et/6pm pt.

The fourth-seeded Blackhawks, who are in the postseason for the first time since 2002, took a 3-2 series lead with a decisive home win on Saturday and are one win away from moving into the second round for the first time since 1996, when they swept Calgary in the conference quarterfinals.

However, the fifth-seeded Flames would seem to have the advantage in tonight's game, as a home team has yet to lose in this series. Calgary had an excellent 27-10-4 record at the Saddledome this season, while the Blackhawks were 22-15-4 as the visiting team.

If Calgary is able to extend the series tonight, the clubs will meet Wednesday evening for a decisive Game 7 in Chicago.

Chicago posted an easy win in Saturday's Game 5 matchup at the United Center, as Brent Seabrook scored his first NHL playoff goal and added two assists to lift the Blackhawks to the 5-1 victory over the Flames.

Kris Versteeg had a goal and an assist while Cam Barker, Andrew Ladd and Patrick Sharp each picked up a goal in the win.

The Blackhawks have four players tied for the team lead with six points each in this series. Barker and Sharp are among those leaders as are Jonathan Toews and Martin Havlat.

Nikolai Khabibulin faced just 20 shots for the Blackhawks and turned back 19. The Russian backstop has had an up-and-down series, posting a 2.83 goals against average and .893 save percentage in the five games.

Dustin Boyd got the lone goal for the Flames and it was also his first career playoff tally.

Miikka Kiprusoff allowed four goals on just 18 shots before getting the hook in favor of little-used Curtis McElhinney, who made nine saves the rest of the way in his first career playoff appearance. McElhinney appeared in 14 games during the regular season with a mark of 1-6-1, a 3.59 goals-against average and .889 save percentage.

Kiprusoff fell to 2-11 in his last 13 road playoff games.

Calgary defenseman Dion Phaneuf who bumped heads with Blackhawks winger Troy Brouwer in Game 5 won't play tonight.  Phaneuf has three assists and a plus-2 rating in the five games.

The Flames are trying to come back from an 0-2 deficit to win a series for the first time in franchise history. 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.

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.

Dion Phaneuf (Photo: Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)


(Photo: Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)
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