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Game Rush: Flames vs. Blue Jackets

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames


CALGARY, AB -- After a tough road loss to Minnesota, the Flames hoped to get back on track with over the struggling Columbus Blue Jackets. Unfortunately, the plan didn't go the way they wanted it to.

The Blue Jackets were able to leave Alberta with a 3-2 win over the Flames, capitalizing on three mistakes made by the Flames.

"For the first period, for the most part, I think we were taking it to them," said a frustrated Mark Giordano. "We had a lot of good scoring chances ... yeah, just a couple mistakes that cost us goals was the difference."

After the game, every player in the locker agreed that the team can play a whole lot better than they did on Friday night.

"This was not a very good game tonight," Eric Nystrom said. "We've got to get pissed off and get back at it. We get chances to move ahead in the standings and we come up short. We've got to step it up."

Columbus opened the scoring early when Raffi Torres was able to slid the puck past McElhinney stick side. The goal came just seconds after the former Oiler had drawn a hooking penalty on Robyn Regehr.

Giordano got the Flames on the board after an a key heads up play in the neutral zone. The defenseman knifed the puck ahead, thwarting the Blue Jackets attempt to bring the puck into the Flames zone, to an awaiting Curtis Glencross. The shifty forward skated through a few players before passing it back to Giordano who had jumped up into the play. Giordano skated across the blue paint and backhanded over Mathieu Garon's glove, making himself look like a natural-born goal scorer.

"Sometimes, it's a little bit of luck," Giordano said of his tally before emphasizing that the team needs more offense. "We've got to put more pucks to the net and try to get a lucky one.

"We've got to put more pucks to the net and we've got to find ways to score and generate more goals."

The Blue Jackets kept it coming in the second and third periods, with Jan Hedja and Antoine Vermette beating McElhinney, but the Flames weren't done yet.

Rene Bourque put Calgary within a single goal when he tapped home an Adam Pardy pass. The Flames kept pressing until the dying seconds but it wasn't enough to get another puck past Garon.

"Not enough effort," Nystrom said with a sigh. "Just a brutal loss."

The Flames won't have a chance to catch their breath as they left for Vancouver right after Friday's game. They'll take on the Canucks on Saturday at 8:00 p.m. MST on CBC and The FAN 960.

After a solid first period, the Flames backed off and made too many mistakes in their own zone. All three Columbus goals came as a result of the Flames making mental errors in their own end, something that made Brent Sutter none too pleased ... just watch the post-game video of the coaches scrum. The Flames also lacked their usual physical presence that has made them successful all season. They were tenative with their checks throughout the game, in all three zones.

D Staffan Kronwall, D Aaron Johnson and F Brian McGrattan were healthy scratches ... Jamie Lundmark was recalled on Friday to make up for the absence of Craig Conroy (lower body). Prior to Friday, he played in six games with the Flames, scoring a goal and two assists ... this was the third of five games the Flames will play in seven nights ... Curtis McElhinney made his 6th start of the season.

Columbus scored just 1:25 into the game ... Jarome Iginla needs just 3 more assists to tie Theoren Fleury for 2nd place on Flames all-time assists leaders list (466) ... Fredrik Sjostrom is 1 game away from 400 ... Giordano now has 5 goals on the season, putting him just 2 goals shy of his career-high 7 ... Bourque has 15 goals this season ... Giordano played 25:04, toppping all players in ice time ... Glencross had 4 shots on net ... shots were even 22-22 through 60 minutes ... the Flames only had 9 hits ... Lundmark played 16:24 in his first game back from the Abbotsford Heat.

"We gave up some goals that we shouldn't have. We made a couple mental mistakes and that cost us. We're really disappointed tonight. We have to eliminate those mental mistakes." - Giordano on the loss.

"All three goals were bad mistakes that can't be made at this level ... I do not play. I do not put on skates and play. It's always easy to blame the coach. At some point, when are the players going to take responsibility and say 'Hey, it's my fault. I better get my ass in gear.' That includes everybody. It's too casual. We need more from everyone. From the goaltender out." - Sutter on the team's effort against the Blue Jackets.

"Every game isn't going to be a tic-tac-toe type of game, you know. Guys were falling down, pucks were bouncing but that stuff happens. But that's no excuse. We just didn't play good. I didn't play good." -  Nystrom on the choppy play and his team's effort.




Curtis Glencross
Another spirited night for the gritty winger, 4 shots on net
Mark Giordano
Continuing on his offensive hot streak with a goal
Rene Bourque
A constant scoring threat, the only player with a + rating

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