After returning from their two-game road trip with a meagre one point to their names, the Flames are back at the 'Dome tonight to take on the Columbus Blue Jackets (7PM MT, Sportsnet West). The Jackets are having some trouble scoring goals this season, as only St. Louis, Minnesota, Nashville, and Los Angeles have scored fewer goals than Columbus' 74 so far this season, but at 16-11-2, still sit six points clear of the cellar-dwelling Flames.
The reason that the BJs aren't keeping Calgary company in the basement seems to be their goaltending duo of Steve Mason and Mathieu Garon. Both goalies have excellent EV SV% at .924 and .940 respectively. Garon is 7-3-0 with three shutouts so far, although he has faced 255 shots less than Mason in just six fewer games played this season, with the latter getting the start in net tonight.
26-year-old Rick Nash has been carrying his club up front as the only skater who has reached double-digits in goals through 28 games, with 16 markers and 24 points, the next closest being RJ Umberger with 8-12-20 as former Flame Kristian Huselius is on the shelf indefinitely with a "lower-body injury."
For the Flames, it looks like centre Matt Stajan will be a healthy scratch again tonight, as the forward has only one goal and 28 shots in 25 games this season after missing some time with head and shoulder injuries, and lines and pairings appear to be intact from Friday's game. After scoring in two consecutive games, Olli Jokinen will skate alongside Alex Tanguay and Jarome iginla on the first line while Brendan Morrison moves up to the second line and David Moss is demoted to the fourth unit. Should be interesting to see how long these lines last if the game doesn't go Calgary's way right out of the gate.
Lines and Pairings:
Enjoy the game everyone and covet the non-existent return for Anton Stralman in the comments. Go Flames.