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Blue Jackets hand Flames fourth straight loss


CALGARY — It took 47 games but Columbus' first shorthanded goal of the season was a big one on Thursday.

Coming off the stick of Alexandre Texier, the goal broke a 2-2 tie and propelled the Blue Jackets to a 5-2 NHL victory over the Calgary Flames.

With Damon Severson in the penalty box for high-sticking, the Flames' 30th-ranked power play allowed the Blue Jackets to cash in instead.

As Texier broke in on a 2-on-1, his initial shot hit the goalpost, but as Markstrom looked over his right shoulder for the rebound, the puck came back out over his left shoulder and right to Texier, who buried his seventh goal of the season.

“It doesn't happen really often, those bounces, but when you get the chance you have to put it in,” said Texier.

Columbus is the last NHL team to score on the penalty kill.

“Our penalty-kill is more dangerous than our power-play right now, and that’s not a good thing,” mused Flames coach Ryan Huska.

Crippling any Flames comeback attempt was Jonathan Huberdeau's boarding major and game misconduct in the third when he drilled Jack Roslovic headfirst into the boards, bloodying his face.

Dmitri Voronkov's goal on the extended 5-on-4 made it a 4-2 lead.

Yegor Chinakhov, Severson, and Adam Fantilli, into an empty net, also scored for Columbus (15-23-9).

MacKenzie Weegar and Connor Zary were the marksmen for Calgary (21-22-5).

"Not every night's going to be pretty, not every play is going to be perfect, and we get that,” said Severson. “I felt we were engaged for the most part and we didn't sit back."

The reeling Flames have lost four straight with all of them coming at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

“It's unacceptable. Four straight losses at home when you're trying to make the playoffs,” said Calgary defenceman Chris Tanev.

Daniil Tarasov made 28 saves for the win. He improves to 3-4-2.

At the other end, Jacob Markstrom had 27 stops. He falls to 13-13-2.

“Guys played really good in the second. This gave us the chance to win in the third period,” said Tarasov.

Mikael Backlund also pointed to the middle period as the difference.

“We had 18 shots in the first and in the second period, we had four or five,” said the Flames captain. “It's a big difference and tells the story about the game. We came out and played well, and just let the game get out of hand in the second.”

Calgary had an 18-9 edge in shots in the first, but the score was even at 2-2.

The Blue Jackets opened the scoring at 2:50 when Chinakhov's attempted dump-in hit referee Steve Kozari and came right back to him. With Markstrom caught flat-footed, Chinakhov cut across the top of the crease and shovelled in a backhand for his 12th goal.

Weegar tied it 1-1 at 7:26 when he wired a shot under the cross bar for his 12th goal, giving him goals in three straight games for the first time in his career.

Weegar is tied with Quinn Hughes for second in goals by a defenceman. Only Rasmus Dahlin (13) has more.

After Severson gave Columbus the lead again at 11:48, Zary tied it three minutes later.

“We're missing a little bit of energy I find at times in games,” said Backlund. “We've got to play with a lot of energy and pace and when we don't, that's when teams take advantage of us.”


After missing more than a season and a half on a mental health leave, Flames defenceman Oliver Kylington played his first NHL game since May 26, 2022. The crowd gave him a standing ovation when he was introduced in the starting line-up.

“It's touching for sure. It really is,” said the 26-year-old Swede. “This was nothing I could ever expect. When you see people writing to you, people cheering for you, applauding you, it really touches you in a way I wasn't expecting. So it means a lot.”


Flames lost LW A.J. Greer halfway through the second period when he injured his leg attempting to hit Blue Jackets' defenceman Jake Bean. Greer collapsed to the ice after hitting the boards, clutching at his left leg. He had to be helped off the ice.


Blue Jackets: Travel to Vancouver to take on the Canucks on Saturday.

Flames: Wrap up their six-game homestand on Saturday against the Chicago Blackhawks.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 25, 2024.