After a season-long five-game road trip, the Flames return home to kick off a big five-game homestand as they welcome the Columbus Blue Jackets to the Scotiabank Saddledome.
The Flames are riding high after a 3-0 win over the Florida Panthers Sunday afternoon to end the road swing, finishing the journey with a 3-1-1 mark. Johnny Gaudreau, Milan Lucic and T.J. Brodie provided the markers, while Cam Talbot was phenomenal making 38 saves to record his second shutout of the season, and 22nd of his career.
Outshot 38-28, the Flames needed Talbot to stand tall and the netminder didn't disappoint making saves at key times while the offence took advantage of their opporutnites. It had all the makings of a must-win game and they buckled down,
Seven points out of 10 on the trip was huge, and now the focus shifts to keeping the momentum rolling and translating it back onto home ice.
With 75 points through 67 games played, the Flames currently sit third in the Pacific Division
The Blue Jackets also last hit the ice Sunday, as they rallied from a 3-1 second -eriod defecit to score four unanswered goals in the final 20 minutes to beat the Vancouver Canucks 5-3.
Kevin Stenlund, Riley Nash, Zach Werenski, Emil Bemstrom and Gustav Nyquist all provided the markers, while Joonas Korpisalo got into rhythm to make 36 saves to record his 19th win of the season.
It was a massive win for the Blue Jackets as they remain right in the thick of things in the Eastern Conference playoff race with 78 points, three points ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes for the final wild-card spot.
"I think we can build on this and gain some momentum," Blue Jackets defender Zach Werenski told Jeff Svoboda of NHL.com. "We can learn from this, learn how we have to play to be successful.
"It's been a tough stretch for us, but we're still right there in the thick of things and this was a big win for us tonight."
Sunday's victory over the Canucks was only the second win in their last 12 games (2-5-3-2) as they have been on the wrong side of a handful of overtime and shootout results.
To make matters worse for the Blue Jackets, GM Jarmo Kekalainen announced that top-goal scorer Oliver Bjorkstrand will be out for approximately eight-to-10 weeks to repair a sprain and hairline fratcure on his ankle the forward suffered back on Feb. 20 vs. Philadelphia. The news comes just a day after forward Josh Anderson underwent successful surgery to repair a posterior labral tear of his left shoulder to end his season.
3. US VS. THEM
It's the second and final meeting of the season between the clubs as the Flames skated away with a 3-0 win on Nov. 2 at Nationwide Arena.
David Rittich backstopped the Flames with a 43-save shutout performance, while the Flames would score once each period with markers by Sean Monahan, Sam Bennett and Tkachuk.
The Flames will look to complete the season series sweep similar to the 2018-19 campaign when they outscored the Blue Jackets 13-8 in the pair of games, highlighted by a crazy 9-6 victory on Dec. 4, 2018.
In their last 10 meeting, the Flames are 5-3-2 and hold an all-time record of 28-24-4-4 against Columbus, including a 15-8-2-2 mark on home ice.
THIS: The Flames have a record of 15-9-2 against Eastern Conference opponents, and are 5-5-1 against the Metropolitan Division this season... THAT: Derek Ryan is set to play in his 300th career game tonight. Ryan has played 146 games for the Flames and 153 for the Carolina Hurricanes. Ryan has tallied 51 career goals and 136 points. ..... THE OTHER: Gaudreau has notched 13 points (3G, 10A) in his last 11 games. The 27-year-old has collected five points in his last five games and is now up to 17 goals and 39 assists for 56 points on the season.
5. PLAYERS TO WATCH
Flames - Elias Lindholm
The skilled forward has continued his strong play, collecting four points (1G, 3A) in his last five contests while notching his 200th career assist Sunday afternoon in Florida.
Lindholm is now up to a career-high 28 goals this season and 25 assists for 53 points in 67 games.
Blue Jackets - Zach Werenski
The 22-year-old tallied his 20th goal of the season in the win over Vancouver, leading all NHL defenceman in that category and the first Blue Jackets defenceman to reach 20 goals in a single campaign.
In 60 games played Werenski has collected 40 points, just seven back from matching his career-high of 47 set in his rookie year druing the 2016-17 season.