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Preview: Flames vs. Blue Jackets

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

BLUE JACKETS (20-28-5) at FLAMES (22-24-3)

TV: FS-O, SNW, NHL.TV (7:00 PM MT)

Season series: The Calgary Flames defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-2 at Nationwide Arena on Jan. 21. Calgary forward Sam Bennett scored two goals, and forward Mikael Backlund and defenceman Mark Giordano each had two assists. Columbus forwards Brandon Dubinsky and Scott Hartnell each scored a goal.

Blue Jackets team scope: Columbus has won three of its past four games following a 2-1 shootout victory at the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday. Rookie Joonas Korpisalo made 37 saves through overtime, then denied all three Vancouver shooters in the tiebreaker, when Alexander Wennberg scored the lone goal. "It's easy to say now because he didn't let one in, but it just looked like he wasn't going to let one in," said coach John Tortorella, who won his first game in Vancouver since the Canucks fired him after the 2013-14 season. "That's how it felt on the bench. Just a great experience for him as far as what he is doing for the club and for him as far as his confidence." Korpisalo has started six straight games with No. 1 goalie Sergei Bobrovsky and backup Curtis McElhinney injured. Right wing Cam Atkinson had an assist on Hartnell's game-tying goal in the third period, giving him six points (four goals) in the past four games.

Flames team scope: Calgary ended a three-game losing streak by defeating the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1 on Wednesday in its first game after the All-Star break. Defenceman TJ Brodie sustained a lower-body injury blocking Hurricanes defenceman Justin Faulk's shot in the second period. Brodie attempted to continue in the game but left for good with 5:36 left in the second. He was examined by the Flames medical staff on Thursday, but an update on his status for Friday was not available. If Brodie cannot play, 28-year-old defenceman Jakub Nakladal, recalled from Stockton of the American Hockey League on Wednesday, likely would make his NHL debut. "It would be a real challenge for us. No one is going to replace TJ Brodie," center Matt Stajan told the Flames website Thursday. "We'd have guys that would have to step up, and guys are up for the challenge. It would be as a team. We just focus on the games and whoever is ready to go is going to make a game plan and go out there and apply that." Calgary is 2-7-0 without Brodie in the lineup and 20-17-3 with him. Center Sean Monahan had a career-high four points (three assists) in the win against Carolina, ending his four-game point drought.

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