Flames-Blue Jackets Preview
GAME: Calgary Flames (16-9-2-3) at Columbus Blue Jackets (8-15-4-3).
TIME: Friday, 7 p.m. EST.
The Calgary Flames have a recipe for success -- score first and let the
goalie do the rest.
Shooting up the Western Conference standings, the Flames will try to run
their unbeaten streak to five when they take on the Columbus Blue Jackets at
Winners of 10 of 14 (10-1-2-1) overall, the Flames are in sixth place in the
conference. They moved a season-high seven games above .500 with Thursday's 5-0
road win in Boston.
The Flames are 12-2-1-1 when they score first this season, and their
goaltending tandem of Miikka Kiprusoff and Jamie McLennan are among the
The Bruins must have figured they were getting a break Thursday when Flames
coach Darryl Sutter gave Kiprusoff, the NHL leader in goals-against average
(1.52) and save percentage (.937), the night off in place of the seldom-used
They figured wrong.
Despite sitting out Calgary's previous eight games, McLennan was sharp,
stopping 30 shots for his third shutout of the season.
"I haven't played much lately but it's been real easy not to play because
we've been playing well," McLennan said. "When you get in there you want to
contribute because you don't want the level of play to drop off."
As if the Flames don't have enough momentum right now, it appears former Art
Ross Trophy winner Jarome Iginla has found the net again.
After scoring just one goal in 12 games in November, Iginla, who had a
career-high 52 goals two seasons ago, has seven in nine games in December,
including two against Boston on Thursday.
The Blue Jackets are winless in six (0-3-1-2) and have just one victory in
their last 10 (1-5-2-2) overall.
Columbus fell to 0-11-1-2 on the road this season with Wednesday's 2-1
overtime loss at St. Louis. The Blue Jackets are 3-11-2-3 when they are
outshot, as they were Wednesday, 37-27.
Despite all the negative statistics, the Blue Jackets are staying positive.
"We're realistic about goals, and we know to make the playoffs we're going
to slide in anywhere near those last couple of spots," center Todd Marchant
said. "It's games like tonight where you scrap and claw to get yourself a
point, they're going to pay off down the stretch."