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game recap

Rittich makes 43 saves, Flames shut out Blue Jackets

Monahan scores first goal in 14 games for Calgary; Columbus is winless in past four

by Craig Merz / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Rittich's 43-save shutout

CGY@CBJ: Rittich makes 43 saves in shutout win

David Rittich stopped all 43 shots he faced to record the 3rd shutout of his career as the Flames defeated the Blue Jackets, 3-0

  • 02:06 •

COLUMBUS -- David Rittich made 43 saves for the Calgary Flames in a 3-0 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena on Saturday.

Rittich made 18 saves in the second period and 16 in the third for his second shutout of the season and third in the NHL.

"We played well, but in the third we stepped back again," Rittich said. "We have to figure out we have to play 60 minutes." 

 

[WATCH: All Flames vs. Blue Jackets highlights]

 

Rittich was one save shy of his NHL career-high 44 against the New York Rangers on Oct. 21, 2018.

"Every night, he's in the zone whether or not we put on the performance we need to," Calgary forward Sean Monahan said. "When we're not, he steps up in a big way and responds."

Monahan, Sam Bennett and Matthew Tkachuk scored, and Elias Lindholm had two assists for the Flames (8-6-2), who are 3-1-1 in their past five games.

Video: CGY@CBJ: Monahan nets quick wrister to open scoring

Joonas Korpisalo made 26 saves for the Blue Jackets (5-6-3), who are 0-3-1 in the past four games.

"We've got to get ourselves out of it," Columbus coach John Tortorella said. "We need to get back to where we were playing. We will. That's just how the League is. There's no explanation. You lose your game.

"There's a number of guys really squeezing their sticks."

Monahan made it 1-0 at 3:44 of the first period with his first goal in 14 games dating to Oct. 5 against the Vancouver Canucks.

After Johnny Gaudreau forced a turnover, Lindholm got the puck and passed in the slot to Monahan, whose wrist shot went off Korpisalo's glove. 

The goal was a relief for Monahan.

"I've been in this league for a long time, you know you're going to go through stretches and not find the net," he said. "You've got to focus on the little things. That's what I tried to do."

Rittich made two saves in five seconds beginning at 14:22 of the first on a wrist shot by Gustav Nyquist and a shot from the right point by Vladislav Gavrikov.

"It's part of my job. I'm trying to help the guys out," Rittich said.

Coming off a 4-3 overtime loss at the St. Louis Blues on Friday, the Blue Jackets expected a better first period.

"The real tale of the game, honestly, was our start," Columbus captain Nick Foligno said. "For whatever reason, we have a difficult time in our own rink setting the tone in how we want to play. That was the difference."

Bennett scored to make it 2-0 at 8:20 of the second period. 

Video: CGY@CBJ: Bennett nets backhander off long rebound

Noah Hanifin sent Derek Ryan on a partial break, and Ryan got off a shot that was blocked. A delayed penalty was called as the puck went to Bennett, who scored on a backhand with Korpisalo out of the net.

"I was kind of shocked how much open net I had," Bennett said. "I wanted to make sure I put it in on the backhand. Sometimes with a spinning puck it's tough."

Rittich made consecutive point-blank saves on Nyquist and Oliver Bjorkstrand beginning at 16:38 of the second. The Blue Jackets went on the power play four seconds later but had one shot. 

"It's our finishes. That's all it really comes down to," Bjorkstrand said. "We had some chances to put it in the net and get on the board, but we don't put it in the net. It could be a confidence thing."

Tkachuk scored into an empty net at 17:21 of the third for the 3-0 final.

Video: CGY@CBJ: Rittich slides across to deny Nyquist

 

They said it

"Everyone's got confidence in [goalie David Rittich]. He's a real good teammate. They play hard in front of him." -- Flames coach Bill Peters

"Our start was terrible. There's no question our start was terrible. After that, we played hard. Did we make a lot of plays? No. Were there plays to be made? Yes. We just didn't execute. It's unacceptable how we started the game." -- Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella

Video: Pepsi Shutouts: Rittich, Kuemper, Varlamov, Bobrovsky

 

Need to know

Lindholm extended his point streak to six games (four goals, four assists). … Tkachuk has six points (five goals, one assist) in the past five games. … Gaudreau has five assists in a four-game point streak. … Blue Jackets forward Kole Sherwood made his season debut after being recalled from Cleveland of the American Hockey League on Saturday. He went into the NHL concussion protocol in the second period after being punched in the face by Flames forward Milan Lucic but returned later in the period. Lucic, who received a double minor for roughing, will have a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety on Sunday.

 

What's next

Flames: At the Washington Capitals on Sunday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN, NBCSWA, NHL.TV)

Blue Jackets: Host the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; FS-O, ATTSN-RM, NHL.TV)

Video: Rittich leads Flames to shutout win against Jackets

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