Surging Blue Jackets try to extend Flames' road woes
The surging Columbus Blue Jackets will aim for an eighth win in 10 games when they host the Calgary Flames in Friday's battle at Nationwide Arena.
Columbus has won two straight and has earned at least a point in a club-record 11 consecutive games, going 7-0-4 since losing its last regulation game to Chicago on Feb. 24.
The Blue Jackets' recent play has vaulted the team into the Western Conference playoff conversation, but Columbus is still two points out of a postseason berth. Since entering the NHL for the 2000-01 season, Columbus has made only one trip to the playoffs and that was in the spring of 2009, when the Blue Jackets were swept out of the opening round by Detroit.
Columbus is completing a five-game homestand and is 2-0-2 so far on the residency, bringing the Blue Jackets' record at Nationwide Arena this season to 9-4-5.
The Blue Jackets' most recent victory came in Tuesday's 4-3 win over Nashville. It was Columbus' first game to end in regulation after the club played in four straight shootout decisions.
Mark Letestu registered a goal and an assist to help lead Columbus past the Predators. Nikita Nikitin, Derick Brassard and Fedor Tyutin each scored once for the Blue Jackets, while Sergei Bobrovsky posted 32 saves to improve to 7-0-2 in his last nine games.
"Doing the right things breeds the winning for us," Letestu said of his team's point streak. "Now the success is coming. Now you see the confidence coming out in a lot of guys."
Tyutin's goal was his 200th career NHL point and 134th with Columbus, making him the highest scoring defenseman in club history.
The Flames won a 4-3 overtime decision at Columbus on Feb. 7, giving Calgary wins in two straight and four of its last six trips to Ohio. The Blue Jackets, however, still have won three of the last five overall meetings in this series.
Calgary is coming off consecutive regulation setbacks and was dealt a 5-3 loss Thursday night in Nashville. The Flames are just 3-8-2 as the guest this season and they'll try to salvage the finale of a three-game road trip in Columbus.
The Flames' loss on Thursday was the club's eighth consecutive road loss and the sixth straight in regulation.
Mark Giordano had a goal and an assist while Blake Comeau and Jarome Iginla also lit the lamp for the Flames. Miikka Kiprusoff was tagged for all five goals on 23 shots.
"They came with a lot of energy ... we need to tighten up defensively ... it was not a good effort," said Giordano.
The Flames will play three of their next four contests on home ice. Calgary will aim for a seventh straight win at the Saddledome when it hosts St. Louis on Sunday.