Game Preview 72: Flame Out

COLUMBUS, OH - DECEMBER 27: Goalie Miikka Kiprusoff #34 of the Calgary Flames makes the save in front of Rick Nash #61 of the Columbus Blue Jackets during their game at Nationwide Arena on December 27, 2011 in Columbus, Ohio. The Flames defeated the Blue Jackets 2-1.(Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)

Columbus Blue Jackets at Calgary Flames

March 18, 2012 - 8:00pm EDT
Scotiabank Saddledome - Calgary, Alberta
Radio - WBNS FM 97.1 - TV - Fox Sports Ohio
Opponents Blog: Matchsticks and Gasoline

Well, another oddity of this season: Columbus can finish their season series against Calgary without having lost in regulation, provided of course they don't do so tonight. The Jackets are 2-0-1 against the Flames so far this season, including a game in which they came back to win in a shoot-out after being down 3-1 with just a few minutes remaining. In fact, for a Flames team currently in 11th and just a few points out of a playoff berth, one could argue that their play against the lowly Jackets might be their reason for being on the outside looking in.

Columbus is playing out the string, but at least isn't rolling over for anyone ("You can't say we didn't play hard." --James Wisniewski, last night). After a spirited effort in Vancouver last night, they don't get much time to recuperate. However, it can be said that the worst team in the league--with 20 more regulation losses than wins--is not going quietly into the good night.

Calgary will be a desperate team tonight, coming off a loss on Friday to Edmonton and currently sitting in 11th, but just two points behind 8th-place San Jose. Calgary has reshaped their roster (there's that word again) since the last time we saw them, but injuries have made a mish-mash of their lineup. For Columbus, not much change from last night: Dane Byers is down to Springfield, and Ryan Russell should be back in.

What it all comes down to is: can the Jackets solve nemesis Miikka Kiprusoff enough to win?

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
(22-42-7, 51 Points; 5th division, 15th conference)

R.J. Umberger Derick Brassard Rick Nash
Vinny Prospal Mark Letestu Cam Atkinson
Colton Gillies Ryan Johansen Derek Dorsett
Ryan Russell Darryl Boyce Jared Boll
Jack Johnson James Wisniewski
Aaron Johnson Nikita Nikitin
John Moore Brett Lebda
Steve Mason
Curtis Sanford

Calgary Flames
(34-26-12, 80 Points; 3rd Division, 11th Conference)

Alex Tanguay Matt Stajan Jarome Iginla
Curtis Glencross Olli Jokinen David Moss
Sven Baertschi Greg Nemisz Tom Kostopoulos
Guillaume Desbiens Roman Horak Blake Comeau
Jay Bouwmeester Cory Sarich
Mark Giordano Scott Hannan
Derek Smith Anton Babchuk
Miikka Kiprusoff
Henrik Karlsson

Season Series:

11/21/11 - Calgary 1 at Columbus 4 - RECAP
12/04/11 - Columbus 4 at Calgary 3 - SO - RECAP
12/27/11 - Calgary 2 at Columbus 1 - SO -RECAP
03/18/12 - Columbus at Calgary

Head to Head

Calgary Columbus
2.47 (23) GPG 2.27 (27)
2.64 (14) GAPG 3.17 (29)
17.7% (13) PP% 15.1% (25)
83.5% (10) PK% 76.2% (30)
Jarome Iginla, 31 G leader Rick Nash, 24
Olli Jokinen, 37 A leader Vinny Prospal, 33
Jarome Iginla, 62 Pts leader Rick Nash, 47
Tim Jackman, 88 PIM leader Derek Dorsett, 192
20-10-5 Home/Road 9-23-4
3/16 @ Edmonton, L 3-1 Last Game 3/17 @ Vancouver, L 4-3
6-3-1 Last 10 4-6-0

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