Record: 27-14-4 Season Series: 0-1-0 Last Five: 3-2-0
Record: 22-20-4 Season Series: 1-0-0 Last Five: 2-3-0
BLUE JACKETS LEADING SCORERS
Blue Jackets vs. Flames 8 p.m. MT Pengrowth Saddledome TV: Sportsnet Radio: The Fan 960
The Flames are looking to avoid a three-game losing skid when they face the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday at Pengrowth Saddledome for the second time this season.
The Flames were riding a seven-game winning streak including a win over the St. Louis Blues last Tuesday at home, and then serving the San Jose Sharks their first regulation home loss since February 2008 on Thursday. The Flames then fell flat on their face with a 3-2 loss against the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday followed by another loss to the Colorado Avalanche in Denver on Sunday evening. It's the first time the team has dropped two straight in regulation since early November.
"We didn’t provide much of a game," Cammalleri said on Sunday. "It’s disappointing to lose two in a row."
The Flames may not have much to worry about as they are 27-14-4 and still riding high in first place in the Northwest with 58 points and seven points ahead of the second place Oilers.
Their overall record against Columbus is even with 13-13-0 losing their first matchup last November, 3-1. Jarome Iginla scored the lone goal for the Flames at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus. While he hasn’t scored a goal in eight games, Mike Cammalleri has stepped up to the plate and now leads the team with 20 goals. Matthew Lombardi has also been hot lately picking up six points in the last five games after moving to the first line with Cammalleri and Iginla.
The Blue Jackets have won eight of their last 12 games and are concluding a quick road trip through western Canada in Calgary. They beat the Vancouver Canucks in a 6-5 shootout win on Sunday and then lost to the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday.
Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash returned to the lineup after missing four games with a knee injury. He scored a goal and two assists during Sunday’s game. Newcomer Jason Williams already has two goals, one assist and a +2 in his first week as a Blue Jacket after getting acquired from the Atlanta Thrashers on Wednesday.
Tonight’s game should be a physical one as former Flame Kristian Huselius will be in the matchup. He missed the November game with a foot injury.
Columbus is third in the Central Division behind the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings. They are currently tenth in the Western Conference and three points behind Vancouver who are holding the eighth place spot.
Rookie goaltender Steve Mason should be fronting the net for the Blue Jackets. He has been struggling with back spasms for the past two weeks and is going to miss this weekend’s NHL Young Stars game in Montreal. The 20-year-old has posted a 17-10-1 record with 1.91 goals-against average, .932 save percentage and six shutouts in 28 games during his first NHL season. He made 22 saves against the Flames last November. Columbus picked up Wade Dubielewicz off waivers from the New York Islanders to serve as one of Mason’s backup.
Miikka Kiprusoff had a rare night off on Sunday and will most likely start tonight’s game.
The Blue Jackets and Flames will meet two more times this season with Columbus paying another visit next month.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
For the Flames…
Mike Cammalleri was just named the NHL's second star of the week after producing six points in the last four games. He recorded a pair of goals in the Blues-Flames matchup, an assist in the win over San Jose, and scored another two-goal game against the Yotes on Saturday. He finished up the weekend with notching is 20th goal against the Avs on Sunday.
For the Blue Jackets...
Rick Nash became the all-time leading scorer for the Blue Jackets after Sunday's victory over the Canucks. In his six seasons with Columbus he has tallied 318 points (172 goals and 146 assists) in 404 games surpassing former forward David Vyborny.
PREVIOUS GAME Calgary 2, Colorado 6 Sunday, January 18, 2009
The Flames dropped their second game in as many nights, and their first loss to the Avalanche this season after a 6-2 defeat on Sunday night at the Pepsi Center in Denver. Curtis McElhinney made his 3rd start of the season, and came under heavy fire early in the game making 18 saves on 20 shots in the first period alone. Michael Cammalleri scored his 20th goal of the season on the power play off a great cross ice feed by Jarome Iginla at the games half way point. Ryan Smyth netted his 300th goal to restore the Avs two goal lead, and shortly after that, Milan Hejduk added his 300th career goal - marking the second time in NHL history that two team mates each registered their 300th goal in the same game. Rene Bourque added his 16th of the season tying his career high. McElhinney made 33 saves on 39 shots in the loss. Peter Budaj earned the win with a 39 save performance.
Todd Bertuzzi needs three power play goals for 100 Both Dustin Boyd and Mark Giordano need one more game for 100 Jarome Iginla needs eight goals for 400 Matthew Lombardi needs four assists for 100 Cory Sarich needs eight assists for 100
Todd Bertuzzi is listed as day-to-day. Go here for an update. Brandon Prust (jaw) and Wayne Primeau (foot) are expected to return later this month, and Rhett Warrener (shoulder) is out indefinitely.