The Columbus Blue Jackets came into the Saddledome winners of their last 5 in Calgary, but the Flames had other plans in mind. Calgary owned the 1st period and they're starting to play Iike a team that needs wins. Calgary had good momentum going, but it really picked up when the Flames turned the puck over and sent William Karlsson in one on one with Karri Ramo. Ramo absolutely flashed some highlight reel leather and robbed Karlsson glove side. That save turned into a break for the Flames as Brodie passed out of the zone and Monahan fed a streaking Hudler down the right side for the goal. As hard as it is to imagine, that's only Hudler's 7th of the season. The top line of Hudler/Gaudreau/Monahan really stole the show in the first. Those 3 were the backbone of the Flames last season and it looks like 49 games into the season, they might be back. That was a great first period all around for the Flames. There wasn't one player on the ice not making a difference and while not scoring, Giordano, Smid and Backlund really shined in the first 20 minutes.
As back and forth and Calgary dominant as the first was, the second period wasn't. Calgary's top line had a few opportunities, but they were a little too cute with the puck. Just about midway through the period the Flames got caught in transition after a bad defensive zone turnover and William Karlsson snuck one through Sam Bennett and Karri Ramo for the equalizer. The definite "highlight" of that period was the Bennett/Backlund/Frolik line. Bennett was very physical and Frolik and Backlund really pressured the puck on the forecheck. Micheal Ferland had a nice period with 3 shots, but the Flames couldn't put one in the net.
The third period went by way of the second. Calgary had shots, but couldn't do a thing with any of them. Columbus's young keeper Joonis Korpisalo proved to be too much. He stopped everything the Flames sent his way and another turnover lead to William Karlsson's second of the night giving Columbus a 2-1 lead they wouldn't relinquish. As well as the Backlund, Bennett, Frolik combo played, they were on the ice for both turnovers that lead to goals. Columbus also out muscled the Flames in the hit column 29-12. Even more maddening is the fact that Calgary out shot the Blue Jackets 31-18.
Calgary next hops a quick flight over to Vancouver to play the Canucks in a pivotal Pacific Division battle tomorrow night.
Flame of the Game:
Michael Ferland. Ferland had 5 shots on net which lead the Flames, was an even 0 and threw his body around all game long. Ferland continues to be snake bitten when it comes to goals, but the effort is certainly there.
Sam Bennett, Mikael Backlund