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Flames begin life without Iginla by hosting Columbus

by John Kreiser

BLUE JACKETS (13-14-7) at FLAMES (13-15-5)

TV: FS-Ohio; SNET-West

Last 10: Columbus 5-2-3; Calgary 4-6-0

Season series: It's the last of this season's three meetings, and the only one in Calgary. The Flames are sure to be looking for some revenge after being routed 5-1 at Columbus last Friday.

Big story: The Flames enter the post-Jarome Iginla era after trading their longtime captain and all-time leading scorer to Pittsburgh early Thursday. The Blue Jackets come to Calgary for the second half of a back-to-back after blowing three leads and losing 6-4 in Edmonton on Thursday.

Team Scope:

Blue Jackets: In the words of coach Todd Richards, "we let one get away" by blowing three separate leads in the loss to Edmonton. Columbus scored 10 seconds into the game and led 2-0, 3-2 and 4-3 before allowing three unanswered goals in the final period.

Columbus has dropped three in a row after an 8-0-4 run that got the Blue Jackets into playoff contention.

"It was an abnormal game for us," defenseman Jack Johnson said. "We don't usually score that many and we don't usually give up that many goals. It was frustrating to lose after so many guys worked so hard. As a team, if you give up that many goals, though, you can't expect to win."

Flames: Calgary's quest for its ninth consecutive win at Scotiabank Saddledome figures to take a back seat to the Flames' first game since dealing away the greatest player in their history.

General manager Jay Feaster doesn't want to use the "R word" -- rebuild. But with the Flames headed for their fourth straight non-playoff season, the time had come to cut the cord with Iginla, who becomes a free agent this summer. It's not impossible other veteran players could be dealt before next Wednesday's trade deadline.

"Our goal is that again we want to retool to the point that we are a competitive team that is challenging and a legitimate playoff team," Feaster said. "Like I said, it's the first step of a process. We're going to continue to look for ways to improve our hockey club."

Who's hot: Cam Atkinson had a pair of goals and an assist for the Blue Jackets in Edmonton. … Mike Cammalleri, whose importance figures to grow with Iginla gone, scored twice in the Flames' 4-3 win against Colorado on Wednesday.

Injury report: Columbus put forward Brandon Dubinsky (lower body) on injured reserve, where he joins Derek Dorsett (season-ending shoulder surgery). Nick Foligno missed the game in Edmonton with an undisclosed injury. … The Flames report no injuries.

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