Flames try to solve woes in Chicago

The Blackhawks hope that their struggling power play got on game slide.

The Flames would love a similar breakout from their special teams unit tonight.

Calgary also looks to get an offensive boost from a returning Mikael Backlund on Friday as it visits Chicago hoping to snap a six-game slide at the United Center.

Following a 2-1 road trip, the Flames returned home on Tuesday to battle the Wild and failed to get on the scoreboard in a disappointing loss. Despite 23 saves from Miikka Kiprusoff, Calgary was blanked 3-0 and held to a pair of goals or fewer for the fourth time in five games.

The Flames had a host of opportunities on the power play, including a five- minute major when Minnesota's Nick Johnson was penalized for head butting Jarome Iginla during a fight. However, Calgary finished 0-for-7 on the man advantage.

"We have to do a better job at it. Bottom line. I'm embarrassed to talk about our power play tonight," said Flames head coach Brent Sutter.

Sutter hopes to add some energy to the offense with the return of the 22-year- old Backlund, who will make his season debut after suffering a broken finger in October that led to a pair of surgeries. The center had 10 goals and 25 points in 73 games this year and could jump right on to the top line between Iginla and Alex Tanguay.

"It's a big opportunity for me," said Backlund. "It's two great players that have been top players in this league for a long time and experienced players, so it will be fun to play with those guys if that's the case."

Backlund would be wise to look Iginla's way in this game. Calgary's captain had five goals and three assists in the four meetings with Chicago last year, helping his club earn a split of the series.

The Blackhawks, though, had won the previous eight encounters before that and took both games played in Chicago in 2010-11 to extend their series home winning streak.

Chicago is coming off a season high for goals scored having bested Columbus by a 6-3 margin last night. Jonathan Toews have a pair of goals and an assist for his first three-point game of the campaign.

Andrew Brunette, Steve Montador, Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa also scored for the Blackhawks, who got 27 saves from Corey Crawford to halt their losing streak.

"We wanted to stop sliding like we were," said Montador. "I think we realized that our success comes from what we put into the game."

Chicago came into the game having scored just five goals on 57 power-play chances, but went 2-for-3 last night.

"It's always good [to score on the power play]," said Toews, who notched his first multi-goal game of the season. "It doesn't matter who scores the goals, or how. Just the fact that one of your units can go out there and make a couple of plays and make something happen, that's what you're looking for."

Kane's goal gave him eight points over his last five games and he owns seven goals and nine assists in 15 career games versus the Flames.

Chicago's recent three-game slide included the club's first regulation home loss at home this season (5-1-2).