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Inside The Game: Flames vs. Blue Jackets

by Aaron Vickers / Calgary Flames


CALGARY, AB -- The Columbus Blue Jackets exploded for four goals in the second period en route to beating the Calgary Flames 6-4 at Scotiabank Saddledome on Friday.

Tied 1-1 after Brian McGrattan knotted the game just 2:54 into the second period, both the Blue Jackets and Flames traded six goals in a span of 10 minutes.

Vinny Prospal finished a 2-on-1 after an RJ Umberger feed left him staring at a gaping cage at 8:44. On Columbus' second odd-man rush of the period, Matt Calvert opted to keep, firing a shot over the glove of Miikka Kiprusoff at 10:12.

Mikael Backlund answered the goal, slipping the puck through Blue Jackets goaltender Steve Mason to cut the lead to 3-2 at 11:09.

Four minutes later, Derick Brassard added his sixth, finishing off a 3-on-2 set up by Prospal and Mark Letestu.

That goal stood for just over a minute after Dennis Wideman's power play blast from the point beat Mason at 17:48.

At 18:55, 20-year-old Ryan Johansen went in alone on Kiprusoff, faking the Flames goaltender before lifting the puck upstairs to give Columbus a 5-3 edge that would hold up through much of the third period. The goal chased Kiprusoff, who gave way to Joey MacDonald in the third period.

But with 5:40 remaining in the game, Curtis Glencross scored his team-leading 14th goal, beating Mason over the glove to bring Calgary to within one.

With the net empty, Umberger added his seventh of the season to put the game out of reach.

Mark Letestu wasted little time welcoming the Flames to life without Iginla in the first period.

Shorthanded, Letestu picked off a pass in the Flames zone and deked a surprised Kirpusoff to open the scoring. It was the period's only goal and wasn't answered until McGrattan's first goal of the season early in the second.


With the power play, Dennis Wideman wired a slap shot over the glove of Mason, moving Calgary to within one with 2:12 remaining in the second period.


After robbing Derek MacKenzie with a diving save eight minutes into the period, MacDonald followed it by denying Prospal on a breakaway attempt.


Johansen's breakaway marker with 1:05 remaining in the second period gave the Blue Jackets a two-goal cushion Columbus needed to hold on for the win.


“I don't know what it is, but we're very charitable. At this level, guys are too good. They make you pay for any mistakes. We have at least two turnovers on their goals that are so easily avoidable that it's mind boggling.”

-Bob Hartley


McGrattan's goal early in the second period was his first since October 16, 2009.


Defensemen Derek Smith and Anton Babchuk were scratched for the Flames on Friday against Columbus. The injured Paul Byron (wrist) remains on the injured reserve list.


Calgary gets set for the Battle of Alberta home-and-home edition. The Flames will trek up to Edmonton tackle the Oilers on Monday (7:30 p.m. MT, SNET-W) before returning to Calgary to host their provincial foe on Wednesday (8 p.m. MT, SNET-W).

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