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Blue Jackets at Flames preview

Columbus looks to strengthen wild-card hold; Calgary hopes to expand leads in West, Pacific

by Aaron Vickers / Correspondent

BLUE JACKETS (40-28-4) at FLAMES (44-21-7)



The Game

The Calgary Flames can expand their Western Conference and Pacific Division leads with a win against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Scotiabank Saddledome on Tuesday.

The Flames, who are 3-1-0 in their past four games and 10-5-0 in their past 15, lead the San Jose Sharks by one point in the conference and division races. Calgary, which on Sunday became the first team from the Western Conference to clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, has played one fewer game than San Jose.

The Blue Jackets, who are 2-0-1 in their past three games and 4-2-1 in their past seven, lead the Montreal Canadiens by three points for the second wild card into the playoffs from the Eastern Conference and trail the Carolina Hurricanes by one point for the first wild card.


Players to watch

Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky is 4-1-0 with a 1.39 goals-against average, .955 save percentage and one shutout in his past five starts.

Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau has seven points (four goals, three assists) in his past three games.


They said it

"These last 10 games, especially tonight, starts tonight, we have to treat it like a playoff Game 7. Calgary already clinched. They're obviously a good team and we're fighting for our lives. These are the games you want to play as a player, for sure." -- Blue Jackets forward Cam Atkinson

"Every game is important. Home ice throughout the Western Conference would be huge and we want to have the best matchups in the playoffs going forward also. It's really important for us."  -- Flames forward Derek Ryan


Blue Jackets projected lineup

Artemi Panarin -- Pierre-Luc Dubois -- Cam Atkinson

Alexander Wennberg -- Matt Duchene -- Josh Anderson

Lukas Sedlak -- Boone Jenner -- Riley Nash

Brandon Dubinsky -- Eric Robinson -- Oliver Bjorkstrand

Zach Werenski -- Seth Jones

Markus Nutivaara -- David Savard

Scott Harrington -- Adam McQuaid

Sergei Bobrovsky

Joonas Korpisalo

Scratched: Dean Kukan, Markus Hannikainen, Nick Foligno, Keith Kinkaid

Injured: Ryan Dzingel (undisclosed), Ryan Murray (upper body)


Flames projected lineup

Johnny Gaudreau -- Derek Ryan -- Elias Lindholm

Matthew Tkachuk -- Mikael Backlund -- Michael Frolik

Andrew Mangiapane -- Mark Jankowski -- Austin Czarnik

Alan Quine -- Curtis Lazar -- Garnet Hathaway

Mark Giordano -- TJ Brodie

Noah Hanifin -- Travis Hamonic

Oscar Fantenberg -- Rasmus Andersson

David Rittich

Mike Smith

Scratched: Oliver Kylington, Dalton Prout, Michael Stone

Injured: James Neal (upper body), Sam Bennett (upper body), Sean Monahan (upper body)


Status report

Columbus did not have a morning skate. …Dzingel, who was injured in a 2-1 overtime loss at the Boston Bruins on Saturday, is questionable. …Monahan and Bennett each participated in morning skate but are doubtful. … Lazar is expected to play his first NHL game since April 7, 2018.


Stat pack

Anderson has five points (two goals, three assists) in his past three games. … Lindholm has five points (one goal, four assists) in his past three games.

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