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Reeling Jackets set to host surging Flames

by Brian Compton /
FLAMES (17-15-4) at BLUE JACKETS (9-22-4)

: SNET-W (HD), FS-O (HD)

Last 10: Calgary 6-2-2; Columbus 2-7-1.

Season Series: This is the third of four meetings between the teams. Columbus won the first two matchups, including a 4-3 shootout victory at Scotiabank Saddledome on Dec. 1.

Big Story: Tuesday's match features teams that appear to be headed in opposite directions. The Flames have played better as of late and are banging on the door in the Western Conference playoff race. Columbus, meanwhile, has lost five in a row and resides in the NHL basement.

Team Scope:

Flames: Calgary is hoping it can carry the momentum it gained just prior to the Christmas break into Tuesday night. The Flames made it three in a row with Friday night's impressive 3-1 win against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena. Leland Irving made 16 of his 29 saves in the third period and earned his first NHL victory.

"A couple saves he made in the last 2 1/2, three minutes of the game were obviously huge, but just very much under control and the guys are very confident playing in front of him," Calgary coach Brent Sutter said of his goaltender.

Blue Jackets: Five straight losses. Six in the last seven games. Things just continue to go wrong for the Blue Jackets, who saw the skid continue Monday night in a 4-1 defeat to the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center. The effort was improved, but Corey Crawford denied 37 of the 38 shots the Jackets recorded.

"I think that if you look at the game, we out-chanced them," Blue Jackets coach Scott Arniel said. "They certainly capitalized on theirs. We didn't. In that first period, it was kind of back and forth. we had some chances to get a lead and we didn't. Even at the start of the second, we had some chances to get a lead and we didn't. (Against) a team like that, that's dangerous. Sooner or later, they're going to bury one – and obviously we can't make mistakes right now."

Who's Hot: Calgary's top line of Curtis Glencross, Olli Jokinen and Jarome Iginla has been awfully good as of late. Glencross has 5 goals in his last four games and has a 5-game point streak. Jokinen has points in seven straight contests, while Iginla had a pair of assists Friday night at Vancouver and now has a goal and 5 assists in his last five games.

Injury Report: Flames forward Alex Tanguay is day-to-day with an undisclosed injury, while Brett Carson (upper body), Matt Stajan (ankle), David Moss (foot), Mark Giordano (hamstring), Henrik Karlsson (knee) and Anton Babchuk (hand) are all out. … Kristian Huselius (lower body), Mark Dekanich (groin) and Radek Martinek (concussion) are out indefinitely for Columbus.

Stat Pack: The Flames had 30 hits in Friday night's win against the Canucks. … Columbus outhit the Hawks 14-7 and outshot them 13-5 in the first period Monday, but failed to get on the scoreboard.

Puck Drop: "We couldn't take advantage and score any goals. But it's been broken record this year. A great first period, but not a full 60 minutes, so not a great game." -- Blue Jackets defenseman James Wisniewski after Monday's 4-1 loss at Chicago
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