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FLAMES (4-1-1) at BLUE JACKETS (3-1-0)
Season series: This is the first of four meetings between these teams. They split four games in 2008-09, each winning twice at home. Jarome Iginla of the Flames scored a series-high 7 points (4 goals, 3 assists). Mike Cammalleri added 3 goals and 2 assists, and Dion Phaneuf and David Moss added goals. Goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff went 2-1-0 with a 3.25 GAA, and backup Curtis McElhinney posted a 0-1-0 mark with a 3.10 GAA. For the Blue Jackets, Rick Nash scored a team-high 5 points (1 goal, 4 assists), R.J. Umberger scored 4 goals, and Manny Malhotra and Jason Williams added 2 goals apiece. Netminder Steve Mason went 2-1-1 with a 1.97 GAA.
Big story: How will Calgary react after an epic loss before a national television audience on Monday? The Flames jumped out to a 5-0 lead in Chicago before the game was even 12 minutes old, but the Blackhawks came all the way back to win 6-5 in overtime.
The all-time series has been quite evenly matched. Calgary holds a 15-14-0-3 record against Columbus, but the Blue Jackets have a 82-78 advantage in goals scored.
Flames: Calgary is playing on back-to-back nights for the second time this season. On the first occasion it defeated Edmonton in a shootout on the road, but lost at home to Dallas 5-2 24-hours later.
"(The Blue Jackets are) off to a good start, and they've got some good players," winger Eric Nystrom told Calgary's Web site. "Rick Nash is one of the top guys in the League and (Kristian) Huselius always wants to show up against his former team… we’re looking forward to playing these teams because the West is always tight and these are big games for us and big points, and you've got to beat the best teams to sit at the top of the standings.
"You want to make sure you're continuing to improve through Game 82 and through the playoffs. To win in this League you've got to keep getting better and making sure you're challenging yourself everyday in order to be the best team."
Blue Jackets: Columbus is returning home for its second home game of the season after a successful 2-1-0 Western road trip with wins against Phoenix and Vancouver sandwiched around a loss at San Jose.
"It's a great road trip," defenseman Rostislav Klesla told the Columbus Dispatch. "It's a good sign we can play under pressure. The home team should have the jump, but we've done a good job taking the jump away from them early in the game."
Phoenix assistant coach Dave King was the original head coach of the Blue Jackets and stayed with the team until 2002-03.
"That's really a heck of a hockey club now, a heck of a franchise. You can see the Ken Hitchcock stamp on a lot of those young players," King told the Columbus Dispatch during Saturday's 2-0 win by the Blue Jackets in Phoenix.
Who's hot: Blue Jackets backup goaltender Mathieu Garon stopped 36 shots in a 2-0 win at Phoenix on Saturday. Nash has a three-game point streak and a team-leading 6 points (2 goals, 4 assists). Klesla has recorded at least one point in three of four games. For the Flames, left wing Rene Bourque has goals in four of six games and points in five of six contests to lead Calgary with 8 points (4 goals, 4 assists). Defenseman Dion Phaneuf has at least one point in all six games.
Injury report: For Columbus, left wing Fredrik Modin has yet to play with a right knee injury, and defenseman Mike Commodore is day-to-day with a groin injury. Calgary is without winger David Moss, who is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
Stat pack: The Flames are the only team in the NHL that has at least one point from everyone in their active lineup, not including goaltenders.
Puck drop: Both teams have at least two productive scoring lines and top-flight goaltenders. It could be the grinders and muckers and enforcers that settle the score in this contest.-- Rocky Bonanno, NHL.com