Blue Jackets-Flames Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated March 29, 2013
There's an odd feeling surrounding the Calgary Flames as they move on without Jarome Iginla. The Columbus Blue Jackets, meanwhile, are having a familiar feeling as they conclude a winless four-game road trip. The Flames can record their first nine-game win streak at home in six seasons Friday night against the Blue Jackets in this matchup of floundering Western Conference teams. Calgary (13-15-4) dealt Iginla to Pittsburgh late Wednesday night around the same time it held on for a 4-3 victory over Colorado. Iginla was scratched from the lineup before the game with rumors of a trade imminent. Now the Flames know they must move on for good without the franchise's all-time leading scorer, a six-time All-Star who led the club to the Stanley Cup finals in 2004. "It's weird, it's definitely weird," center Michael Cammalleri said. "There's no downplaying the significance and the presence that he has been in this room and on this organization and in this city." General manager Jay Feaster did not want to use the word "rebuild," but it's clear what his intentions are for a franchise that has not reached the playoffs since 2009. "Our goal is that again we want to retool to the point that we are a competitive team that is challenging and a legitimate playoff team," Feaster said. "Like I said, it's the first step of a process. We're going to continue to look for ways to improve our hockey club." Feaster's team is 14th in the Western Conference with 30 points. That's six points out of a playoff spot and three fewer than Columbus (13-14-7), which is in 13th place after going 0-2-1 to start this trip. The Blue Jackets are 3-10-2 overall on the road, where they are averaging a league-low 1.73 goals with a power play that is an NHL-worst 8.0 percent away from home. Scoring wasn't a problem Thursday for Columbus, which held leads in all three periods of a 6-4 defeat to Edmonton. The Blue Jackets led 2-0 in the first, 3-2 in the second and 4-3 in the third. "To me, it's a game that got away from us," coach Todd Richards said. "A 2-0 lead in the first period, first eight or ten minutes, I thought we were doing the things that we needed." Sergei Bobrovsky surrendered five goals on 24 shots after posting a 1.23 goals-against average over his previous 12 appearances this month. The line of Matt Calvert, Cam Atkinson and Artem Anisimov combined for eight points for Columbus, which must regroup in search of its first three-game win streak at the Scotiabank Saddledome. That won't be easy since the Flames can record their longest run at home since a 10-game streak Nov. 7-Dec. 12, 2006. Calgary's last 17 games have all been won by the home team. This is the third meeting between these clubs this season, with the first two in Columbus. Calgary won 4-3 on Alex Tanguay's goal in overtime Feb. 7 and Nick Foligno scored twice in the Blue Jackets' 5-2 victory last Friday - the most recent win for Columbus.
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