Facebook Twitter Instagram Desksite Tumblr
Blue Jackets

Game Preview

Flames-Blue Jackets Preview

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:50 AM

Associated Press

Share with your Friends

Flames-Blue Jackets Preview
Calgary Flames vs. Columbus Blue Jackets

The Calgary Flames try to avoid their longest losing streak in nearly four years when they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday.

Calgary hopes to avoid the dubious mark as it faces a Columbus club in search of its second win in eight games.

The Flames (3-7-1) managed only 15 shots in a 3-2 defeat to the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday for their third loss in a row.

They have not lost four consecutive games since Jan. 9-14, 2003, during the last season the Flames failed to qualify for the playoffs.

"It's about getting the most of what our dressing room has to offer," Flames coach Jim Playfair said. "Our defense has to be a lot better. It's about a lot more from everybody in our dressing room, from our goaltenders right out."

Calgary had the NHL's stingiest defense last season, allowing 2.35 goals per game en route to its first division crown since 1994-95, before losing a first-round playoff series to Anaheim in seven games.

That squad also had a rough first month of the season, going 4-7-2 with goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff having a 2.81 goals-against average and .898 save percentage. The team recovered to go 15-2-2 in its next 19 games, and Kiprusoff went on to win his first Vezina Trophy with a league-best 2.07 GAA and 10 shutouts.

The Flames hope they can pull off a similar turnaround this season.

They are allowing 2.91 goals per game and Kiprusoff is struggling with a 2.84 GAA and one shutout through 11 games.

The Flames could have a good chance to get on track with back-to-back games against Columbus and St. Louis, teams which combined to win only six of their first 21 contests. However, both matchups are on the road, and Calgary has suffered one-goal losses in all four of its games away from home since posting its only road win of the season - 1-0 at Ottawa on Oct. 12.

Kiprusoff went 2-1-1 with a 1.48 GAA in four meetings with Columbus last season, but is 3-2 with a 2.43 GAA in six games at Nationwide Arena.

The Blue Jackets (3-6-1) lost 5-3 to Colorado on Wednesday despite outshooting the Avalanche 44-22.

"We had probably our best offensive game of the season with scoring chances and putting a lot of shots on net," Columbus coach Gerard Gallant said. "But every time we made a mistake it ended up in the back of the net."

Pascal Leclaire made 17 saves as the Blue Jackets lost for the third time in four home games.

The 24-year-old Leclaire has a 3.65 GAA in six losses and a 1.67 GAA in three wins, including a 38-save shutout of Los Angeles on Monday. He is expected to get his first career start against the Flames.

The Blue Jackets are struggling on the power play, going 1-for-25 in the last four games.

Rick Nash has failed to score a goal in a career-high seven consecutive games. The fourth-year winger, who led Columbus with 31 goals last season, has only two goals in 10 career games against the Flames.

David Vyborny ended his eight-game goal-scoring drought with his second of the season on Wednesday.

Nash and Vyborny have combined to score just five times this season, and are tied for Columbus' all-time lead with 92 goals.

2006-2007 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Feb 08 '07 CGY 1 at CBJ 2
Feb 02 '07 CBJ 2 at CGY 6
Dec 01 '06 CBJ 1 at CGY 2
Nov 03 '06 CGY 4 at CBJ 5 - SO
Columbusbluejackets.com is the official Web site of the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Columbus Blue Jackets and columbusbluejackets.com are trademarks of The Columbus Blue Jackets Hockey Club.  NHL and the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup are registered trademarks and the NHL Shield and NHL Conference logos are trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P.  Copyright © 2015 Columbus Blue Jackets Hockey Club and the National Hockey League.  All Rights Reserved. View the Columbus Blue Jackets Privacy Policy AdChoices NHL.com Terms of Service
Please use the feedback form if you have any recommendations or comments.