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Flames visit Blue Jackets on heels of 5-goal collapse

The Sports Network
10/13/2009 4:44:21 PM
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(Sports Network) - The Calgary Flames will try to rebound from a monumental collapse when they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets for tonight's showdown at Nationwide Arena.

The Flames were dealt just their second loss in six games this season on Monday night, despite the fact that Calgary scored the first five goals of its test in Chicago. The Blackhawks eventually won the contest, 6-5, in overtime when Brent Seabrook scored just 26 seconds into the extra session.

Calgary had a total of 10 shots after the first period, while Chicago compiled 23 over the same time span and tied the largest comeback in NHL history. The Blackhawks also recorded the biggest comeback in the team's annals.

"It was a huge lack of mental toughness within the group," said Flames coach Brent Sutter. "It just says more and more about how much work needs to be done with this group. It's not just about structure, it's about stuff between their ears. The game is 90 percent mental and the group is still is trying to figure out where they're at. The adversity thing concerns me."

The game was a rematch of last year's Western Conference quarterfinal series, which Chicago won in six games.

Jarome Iginla, Dustin Boyd, Rene Bourque, Olli Jokinen and Eric Nystrom accounted for the Calgary scores. Dion Phaneuf added an assist in the loss and the defenseman has recorded a point in all six games for the Flames this season.

Miikka Kiprusoff made 33 stops, but the Flames lost their second in a row after starting the season with four straight wins. It was also the fifth consecutive regular season defeat to the Blackhawks.

The Flames are capping a brief two-game road trip tonight and will then return to Calgary to end the month on a five-game homestand. The residency begins Friday against Northwest Division rival Vancouver.

Calgary winger David Moss did not travel with the Flames after being a late scratch Friday against Dallas due to an upper-body injury. He is not expected to play on Calgary's two-game road trip.

The Blue Jackets have jumped out to a strong start to the 2009-10 campaign, winning three of their first four games. A win tonight would give Columbus the best start in team history, eclipsing the 3-1-0 start that was also turned in by the 2003-04 Blue Jackets.

Columbus, which is coming off its first-ever postseason appearance in 2009, earned its most recent victory Saturday in Phoenix, spoiling the Coyotes' home opener.

Rick Nash scored, while Mathieu Garon stopped all 36 shots for the shutout, as the Blue Jackets took a 2-0 win over Phoenix at Jobing.com Arena.

Garon's shutout is his first of the season and 15th of his career, but first since 2007-08, when he was with Edmonton. R.J. Umberger picked up an empty-net tally for Columbus.

"You come in and you open three teams' buildings on the road to start the year and win two of them -- that's a good start," Columbus head coach Ken Hitchcock said. "I just thought today throughout our lineup we were way more competitive."

Tonight marks the first of two straight at home for the Blue Jackets, who posted a win over Minnesota in their only game as the host this season. Columbus will also welcome Los Angeles to town on Saturday.

The Jackets and Flames split four meetings during the 2008-09 season and Columbus has taken five of the last nine encounters between the clubs. Calgary has lost three straight and six of its last seven tests in the Buckeye State.

Olli Jokinen (Photo: Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images)


(Photo: Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images)
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