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Flames at Blue Jackets preview

Rittich expected to start fifth in row for Calgary; Korpisalo could be in goal for Columbus

by Craig Merz / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

FLAMES (7-6-2) at BLUE JACKETS (5-5-3)

7 p.m. ET; SNW, SNP, FS-O, NHL.TV

 

The Game

The Calgary Flames seek points for the fourth time in five games when they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena on Saturday.

The Flames are 2-1-1 in their past four games, each of them a one-goal game and three of them beyond regulation; they won 6-5 in overtime at the Nashville Predators on Thursday.

Goalie David Rittich is expected to make his fifth straight start for Calgary; he has a 3.35 goals-against average and .894 save percentage in his past four starts.

The Blue Jackets look to end a three-game winless streak (0-2-1) following a 4-0-2 stretch.

Goalie Joonas Korpisalo could start for Columbus after backup Elvis Merzlikins made 23 saves in a 4-3 overtime loss at the St. Louis Blues on Friday. Korpisalo is 0-2-0 and has allowed 10 goals on 57 shots in his past two starts.

 

Players to watch

Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk, who scored on a backhand through his legs in overtime against the Predators on Thursday, has five points (four goals, one assist) in his past four games.

Blue Jackets center Pierre-Luc Dubois has six points (three goals, three assists) in a five-game point streak to match his longest in the NHL; he has done it twice previously, most recently Nov. 10-19, 2018.

 

They said it

"We're playing a well-coached team that competes hard, so we've got to start on time. Our starts haven't been as consistent as we like, that's the focus for this evening." -- Flames coach Bill Peters

"We played well but we need a win. It's a result league. These are points that are going to count at the end of the year, so we need a win." -- Blue Jackets center Pierre-Luc Dubois after the loss to the Blues

 

Flames projected lineup

Johnny Gaudreau -- Sean Monahan -- Elias Lindholm

Matthew Tkachuk -- Mikael Backlund -- Michael Frolik

Andrew Mangiapane -- Derek Ryan -- Sam Bennett

Milan Lucic -- Mark Jankowski -- Alan Quine

Mark Giordano -- TJ Brodie

Noah Hanifin -- Travis Hamonic

Oliver Kylington -- Rasmus Andersson

David Rittich

Cam Talbot

Scratched: Michael Stone, Tobias Rieder

Injured: Austin Czarnik (lower body)

 

Blue Jackets projected lineup

Gustav Nyquist -- Pierre-Luc Dubois -- Cam Atkinson

Nick Foligno -- Boone Jenner -- Josh Anderson

Sonny Milano -- Alexander Wennberg -- Oliver Bjorkstrand

Markus Hannikainen -- Riley Nash -- Emil Bemstrom

Zach Werenski -- Seth Jones

Vladislav Gavrikov -- David Savard

Scott Harrington -- Dean Kukan

Joonas Korpisalo

Elvis Merzlikins

Scratched: Markus Nutivaara, Kole Sherwood

Injured: Brandon Dubinsky (wrist), Alexandre Texier (knee), Ryan Murray (hand)

 

Status report

Talbot is expected to start at the Washington Capitals on Sunday. … Neither team held a morning skate. … Columbus assigned rookie forward Jakob Lilja to Cleveland of the American Hockey League and recalled Sherwood on Saturday.

 

Stat pack

Lindholm has six points (four goals, two assists) in a five-game point streak. … Gaudreau has four assists in a three-game point streak. … Monahan had three assists against Nashville and has five in his past four games. … Milano has four points (two goals, two assists) in his past four games. … The Blue Jackets are 5-0-0 this season when scoring first and 0-5-3 when allowing the first goal.

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