Calgary
Flames
46-30-6
Columbus
Blue Jackets
41-31-10

23 SOG
28 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
CGY
CBJ
game preview

Flames-Blue Jackets Preview

Saturday, 11.08.2008 / 7:00 PM

Associated Press

The Columbus Blue Jackets might be starting to learn how to win the close games.

The surging Blue Jackets look to win three in a row for the first time this season when they host the Calgary Flames on Saturday night.

Despite blowing a late lead, Columbus (6-6-2) won 4-3 in a shootout over Montreal on Friday to improve to 3-0-2 since losing three straight in regulation from Oct. 24-27.

R.J. Umberger scored his fifth goal, Rick Nash had two assists and Kristian Huselius and Derick Brassard each scored in the shootout for the Blue Jackets, who won 5-4 over Edmonton on Wednesday.

Columbus scored twice in 34 seconds during the third period against the Canadiens to take a 3-2 lead, but allowed the game-tying score with 40.9 seconds to play.

"We've been able to do that all year, bounce back in the third period to keep the wind in our sails," said Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock, whose team has 19 goals in its last five games. "That's why we're getting points every night now."

Umberger, who has scored all his goals in the last four contests, is tied with Huselius, Brassard and Nash for the team lead. Nash has five assists in his last four games, and had a goal with two assists in Columbus' 3-0 home win over Calgary on March 18 in the most recent meeting between the teams.

Rookie Steve Mason made 34 saves for his second win in his second straight career start, and could be back in net as Fredrik Norrena continues to deal with a groin injury. Norrena is 1-3-2 with a 3.16 goals-against average this season, and 3-0-0 with a 1.32 GAA versus Calgary.

This contest also marks the first for Huselius since leaving his former team to sign as a free agent with Columbus in July. Huselius recorded 74 goals and 108 assists in 216 games in over two seasons with the Flames, and posted career highs with 34 goals and 43 assists in 2006-07.

Though Calgary has won two of the last three meetings with Columbus, the Blue Jackets are 10-3-1 versus the Flames at Nationwide Arena, where they have won four of the last five in the series.

Calgary (8-5-1) enters this contest after avoiding its third consecutive loss by holding on for a 7-6 home win over Nashville on Thursday. Jarome Iginla had two goals and two assists, Craig Conroy added two goals with an assist and Todd Bertuzzi recorded three assists.

Despite leading 5-0 early in the second period, the Flames overcame three unanswered goals later in the frame and again in the third.

"For most of the game, it was a pretty good game until the final few minutes when we actually had the power-plays and we lost momentum there, they went bang-bang, a couple nice goals on a couple breakdowns by us," said Iginla, who has eight goals and 10 assists this season.

He also has 15 goals with 14 assists in 28 games against the Blue Jackets.

Miikka Kiprusoff made 23 saves against the Predators, but could be rested for the first time this season in this game or Sunday at Chicago. Kiprusoff is 8-5-1 with a 3.14 GAA this season, but 8-4-2 with one tie and a 2.23 GAA versus Columbus.

Backup Curtis McElhinney has never faced the Blue Jackets.

2008-2009 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 26 '09CGY 0 at CBJ 5M. Malhotra
Feb 24 '09CBJ 1 at CGY 4D. Phaneuf
Jan 21 '09CBJ 4 at CGY 5 - SOT. Bertuzzi
Nov 08 '08CGY 1 at CBJ 3D. Brassard
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
J. Iginla1591019-31851
M. Cammalleri1541014-2621
T. Bertuzzi157613-91451
D. Langkow154711+1811
D. Phaneuf152911-21920
R. Bourque15369+22900
C. Conroy15358+11600
D. Moss15246+1200
D. Boyd14325-5611
C. Glencross15235+21001
M. Giordano15055+21100
A. Aucoin15224-3810
W. Primeau14044-21200
C. Sarich15112-31700
B. Prust13112-34901
E. Nystrom9112-11200
M. Lombardi7112-1201
J. Vandermeer15022-33100
R. Regehr13022-21000
A. Roy3101+11700
A. Pardy2000-2000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
M. Kiprusoff148-5-1444183.14.895
C. McElhinney10-1-03283.00.893
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
D. Brassard146713+6411
J. Chimera155611+31710
R. Nash155611+31012
K. Huselius145510-4630
J. Voracek153710+31400
R. Umberger15538-4620
M. Commodore15077+22400
F. Modin9246-6600
F. Tyutin15156-3800
M. Methot10325+21000
A. Murray15224-4401
J. Hejda15134+5800
C. Backman14134+01010
J. Novotny13134+4200
M. Peca10044+02400
M. Malhotra10213+4201
R. Klesla11123+0800
D. Dorsett10112-15601
R. Torres5022+2200
N. Filatov4101+1000
J. Boll9011-34000
K. Russell5011-1000
O. Tollefsen6000+31200
A. Picard6000-12200
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
P. Leclaire73-3-0211833.41.885
S. Mason33-0-08862.61.907
F. Norrena81-3-2171333.16.872
D. Lacosta10-0-02193.43.895
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