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Without Iginla, Flames face Blue Jackets

by Aaron Vickers

CALGARY -- The Columbus Blue Jackets will play the adversary as the Calgary Flames usher in the post-Jarome Iginla era on Friday.

Taking to the ice for the first time since trading their captain and franchise face, coach Bob Hartley and the Flames are ready to tackle life without Iginla.

"With the departure of Jarome, we're starting a new cycle," Hartley said. "That's the unfortunate thing or the fortunate thing of pro sports. You look at football, baseball, hockey, basketball, there comes a time when a great athlete leaves an organization, leaves a city and the next day it's still business. You have to roll up your sleeve and say 'What's next?'"

What's next for the Flames is chasing down the eighth spot in the Western Conference. With Calgary 14th in the West, forward Blake Comeau admits there's still work to do.

"We string some wins together, we can easily get back within two, three points by the end of this week," he said. "That's something that we're focused on. Our goal in this room is to make the playoffs. Nothing's changed. It's something that we're focused on."

With a veteran core remaining, filling the leadership lost by Iginla shouldn't be an issue.

"Definitely, you have a guy that's been the face of the franchise for a lot of years," Matt Stajan said. "It's a little different, but we have a lot of veteran guys in here and we're dealing with it. We move on. We're a positive group and have been good in this rink in the last month, so we're going to keep that going tonight."

Calgary will turn to another face of the franchise to keep their eight-game winning streak at Scotiabank Saddledome alive. Goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff will get the start after resting Wednesday.

Here are the projected lines for Friday's game between the Flames and Blue Jackets:


Curtis Glencross - Matt Stajan - Lee Stempniak

Alex Tanguay - Mike Cammalleri - Blake Comeau

Jiri Hudler - Mikael Backlund - Roman Cervenka

Brian McGrattan - Steve Begin - Tim Jackman

Jay Bouwmeester - TJ Brodie

Dennis Wideman - Mark Giordano

Cory Sarich - Chris Butler

Miikka Kiprusoff

Joey MacDonald

Scratched: Anton Babchuk, Derek Smith

Injured: Paul Byron (wrist)


Mark Letestu - Derick Brassard - Vinny Prospal

Matt Calvert - Artem Anisimov - Cam Atkinson

RJ Umberger - Ryan Johansen - Sean Collins

Colton Gillies - Derek MacKenzie - Jared Boll

Jack Johnson - Adrian Aucoin

Fedor Tyutin - James Wisniewski

Dalton Prout - Nikita Nikitin

Sergei Bobrovsky

Steve Mason

Scratched: Tim Erixon, John Moore

Injured: Nick Foligno (upper body), Brandon Dubinsky (knee), Derek Dorsett (collarbone)

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