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Blue Jackets try to break .500 by beating Flames

by John Kreiser

FLAMES (11-13-4) at BLUE JACKETS (12-12-6)

TV: SNET-West; FS-Ohio

Last 10: Calgary 4-6-0; Columbus 7-0-3

Season series: It's the second of three meetings. The Flames won 4-3 in overtime on Feb. 7 in Columbus. The teams play again in Calgary next Friday.

Big story: The Blue Jackets and the positive side of .500 are distant strangers -- but Columbus could move over the break-even mark with a win on Friday after going 7-0-4 in their last 11 games. The Flames limp into Nationwide Arena after a 5-3 loss at Nashville on Thursday dropped them to 0-7-1 on the road since they won their last visit to Columbus.

Team Scope:

Flames: Very little is going right for Calgary these days. Not even scoring a pair of shorthanded goals in the first period helped much against Nashville, which ended its own slump by beating the Flames. Calgary's inability to take care of the puck was costly against the Predators -- especially a giveaway by defenseman Chris Butler late in the first period that allowed Nashville to escape the first 20 minutes all even at 2-2.

"We started the game, we wanted to start with jump and we wanted to get the first goal and that's exactly what we did," he said, "but, again, giveaways simply killed us."

Blue Jackets: Less than a month ago, the Blue Jackets were expected to be contending for the top pick in the NHL Draft rather than a playoff berth. But a franchise-record 11 straight games with at least a point has them thinking about the present -- making the postseason for the second time in their 12 NHL seasons -- rather than the future.

"We're the players, and we're here now, to win now," forward Vinny Prospal told the Columbus Dispatch. "We worry about what goes on in the room and what goes on out there on the ice.

"It is not for us to worry about some draft pick … with all due respect to those who do, of course."

Who's hot: Sergei Bobrovsky is 7-0-3 with a 1.37 goals-against average, .956 save percentage and two shutouts during the Blue Jackets' streak. Prospal has a team-high nine points during the 11-game points streak.

Injury report: The Flames report no injuries. … Columbus defenseman James Wisniewski (broken foot) and forward Derek Dorsett (fractured clavicle) are on IR. Defenseman Adrian Aucoin took a maintenance day on Thursday and is listed as day-to-day.

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