The Calgary Flames had been playing well before running into one of the NHL’s better teams.
They’ll look to bounce back with a fourth consecutive win over the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
Calgary (12-7-2) had won three straight and seven of nine before falling 4-3 to Chicago on Thursday. Sean Monahan scored his team best-tying eighth goal and Paul Byron notched two points, but the Flames had 14 giveaways to the Blackhawks’ eight.
"I don’t think anyone can complain about the effort we gave, but I think on home ice, we still have to find ways to win," Monahan told the team’s official website. "We know we can compete with these teams, so I don’t know if there’s much of a positive tonight after a loss.
"Obviously, we made a few mistakes, myself included. We know those are fixable mistakes. The effort was there but those are the little things we have to clean up."
Jonas Hiller allowed the game’s first two goals and finished with 18 saves in his worst showing of the season. Calgary has yet to suffer back-to-back losses in regulation.
"It’s not only about identifying our mistakes, it’s about making sure that we’re all very well aware of the expectations, that we don’t want to lose two games in a row," coach Bob Hartley said. "We’ve been responding very well since the start, but at the same time, it’s always a different challenge, a new challenge."
The Flames are 4-0-1 in their last five against the Devils, whose last win in Calgary came 1-0 in overtime Dec. 23, 2007.
New Jersey (9-9-2) is looking to make it two in a row after pulling out a 2-0 victory at Edmonton on Friday. Adam Henrique and Tuomo Ruutu provided all the offense while Cory Schneider stopped 29 shots, earning his second shutout in four games.
"We had lost two in a row and had to stop that (skid)," said Schneider, whose team improved to 1-1 on a four-game trek. "This is going to be a big road trip for us and to get even so far on the trip is important."
Friday marked Schneider’s 20th consecutive start to open the season, breaking Martin Brodeur’s record of 19 set in 2001-02. Brodeur owns the overall team record for consecutive starts at 44.
Schneider is 2-1-0 with a 1.01 goals-against average in his last three road games and 4-3-0 with a 1.98 GAA against the Flames.
Karri Ramo is set to make his first start for Calgary since stopping 23 shots in last Saturday’s 4-2 win over Ottawa. He is 3-2-1 with a 2.73 GAA on the season, and will face a Devils team that has totaled six goals in its last four games and has scored two or less in six of its last seven contests.
Ramo made 31 saves in a 1-0 victory at New Jersey on April 7, improving to 1-0-3 with a 2.16 GAA in four starts against the Devils.
Flames forward David Jones (upper body) and defenseman Kris Russell (lower body) are nearing a return, but it’s unclear if either will be available Saturday.
Devils forward Michael Cammalleri, who spent the previous two-plus seasons with Calgary, faces his former team for the first time. His 11 points are one behind Jaromir Jagr for the team lead despite playing in just 14 games due to injury.
Jagr, who’s been held pointless in the last four games, has also come up empty in his last four against Calgary.