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Flames This Week: Hot Jackets hit Calgary

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames
The Calgary Flames only have one more game before the All-Star break and they’ll be looking to get back to their red-hot play after two back-to-back losses over the weekend.

Mike Cammalleri

After becoming the first team this season to beat the San Jose Sharks on home ice in regulation, the Flames fell to the Phoenix Coyotes and the Colorado Avalanche on the weekend.

Former Flame David Hale had a major impact on the loss on Saturday. He scored his second goal of the season – his second career goal – and went head-to-head with Jarome Iginla in a spirited fight.

Michael Cammalleri was the offensive bright spot of both losses. He scored two against Phoenix and netted one in Denver. He now leads the Flames in scoring with 20 goals. Iginla trails him with 18 tallies.

Curtis McElhinney got the start for the third time this season in Colorado. The 25 year-old made 33 saves on 39 shots in the 6-2 loss.

Despite the two losses, the Flames still have reason to be proud. They’re inching their way into the upper echelon of the NHL with a great 18-6-3 run. They’re one of the hottest teams in the league but they’re not ready to declare themselves an elite team.

"If you go out there and prove it and you do it night in and night out and season after season, then you can do that and you earn that respect," Robyn Regehr told the Canadian Press.

"We're trying to work in that direction and we've taken some really good strides and that's the point I'm trying to get across here. We can't get too far ahead of ourselves."

The Flames will only play once more before the NHL All-Star break. They’ll take on the hot Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday and then will have a week off. Captain Jarome Iginla will be off to Montreal to compete for the Western Conference All-Star team. The All-Star game takes place on Jan. 24

Calgary vs. Columbus, Wednesday, Jan. 21, 8:00 p.m. at the Pengrowth Saddledome, Sportsnet West & The FAN 960

The Columbus Blue Jackets visit the C of Red for the first time this season with some confidence – they’re coming off a win over the Vancouver Canucks, have won four of their last five and captain Rick Nash is back in the lineup after being side-lined with lower body injury.
Rick Nash

The Blue Jackets are now only a single point outside of eighth place in the Western Conference, a major accomplishment for a team that has never made the postseason.

Rick Nash leads Columbus offensively. He has 18 goals and 42 points on the season. In his return to the lineup on Sunday, he potted a goal and had two helpers in the Blue Jackets 6-5 SO win over the Canucks.

Former Flame Kristian Huselius has been having a productive season. He has 13 goals so far this year and 31 points. He had two assists in the win over the Canucks. He hasn’t played against Calgary yet this season due to a foot injury in November.

Rookie goaltender Steve Mason has been sensational for the Blue Jackets this season. He leads the league in shutouts (6), GAA (1.91) and is second in the NHL in save percentage (.932).

The Flames have only played the Blue Jackets once this year. Calgary fell 3-1 in Columbus on Nov. 8. Iginla had the lone Flames goal.

Calgary took 11 penalties in the game but the Jackets were unable to put anything past the Flames penalty kill. Jason Chimera, Derick Brassard and Manny Malhotra scored the Blue Jackets.

Calgary will play Columbus two more times this season.

This Week’s Key Numbers
The Flames have allowed eight power play goals in 19 games.
Jarome Iginla hasn’t scored in eight games and is eight goals away from 400 career goals.
Todd Bertuzzi has missed five straight games with a hip injury.
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