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Rapid Reaction: Flames 3, Hawks 1

2/3/2012

CALGARY, Alberta – A quick look at the Chicago Blackhawks' 3-1 loss to the Calgary Flames on Friday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

How it happened: A tight game turned in the Flames’ favor when Michael Frolik took a late second-period high-sticking infraction, sending him to the penalty box for four minutes. Jay Bouwmeester scored off a rebound on the ensuing power play and Calgary never relinquished that lead. Jarome Iginla put the exclamation mark on the victory for Calgary with a mini breakaway in the third, undressing Ray Emery after getting behind Duncan Keith. The Hawks got a first-period goal from Brent Seabrook, but the visitors didn’t manage a dangerous attack, opting for a more defensive style after getting beat for eight goals the night before in Edmonton. Olli Jokinen opened the game’s scoring for the Flames. The Hawks had a few chances in the third period, but nothing materialized and their seventh-straight road loss became reality.

What it means: It was a bit better of a defensive effort for sure, but at what cost? It slowed down the Hawks offense considerably, as the right balance continues to elude them. Marcus Kruger returned to the second-line center position while Brendan Morrison was dropped, but that line produced little in the way of dangerous scoring chances. The Hawks defense continues to confound. They are unable to clear pucks or men in the slot and for Keith to allow the great Iginla behind him was unacceptable. The Hawks finished the first portion of their road trip 0-2-1.

What’s next: The Hawks head back to Chicago for a couple of days before heading back out on the second leg of their nine-game road trip. Next up are games in Colorado (Tuesday), San Jose (Friday) and Phoenix (Saturday).