It’s been well over a year since the Calgary Flames last lost three consecutive games in regulation.
The Flames might not have an easy time trying to prevent that from happening as they host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday night.
Though Calgary (27-14-4) has won 11 of its last 15 games, and owns a comfortable lead in the competitive Northwest Division, it lost 6-2 at Colorado on Sunday and is in danger of dropping three straight in regulation for the first time since Nov. 25-29, 2007.
“We didn’t provide much of a game,” said Calgary forward Michael Cammalleri, who has six goals in his last five games. “It’s disappointing to lose two in a row.”
Avoiding a third straight loss could be tough versus Columbus (22-20-4), which despite falling 4-3 at Edmonton on Tuesday, has won eight of its last 12 games overall and the last two meetings with Calgary.
The Blue Jackets won 3-1 at home over the Flames on Nov. 8 and have split their last two visits to the Pengrowth Saddledome.
Calgary’s Jarome Iginla scored in the most recent contest against Columbus, but the Flames’ leader with 51 points has gone eight straight games without a goal.
Cammalleri scored his team-leading 20th, and Rene Bourque matched a career high with his 16th in the loss to the Avalanche.
After receiving a rare night off on Sunday, league wins leader Miikka Kiprusoff likely will be in net for the Flames. He is 27-12-3 with a 2.80 goals-against average this season and 10-3-2 with a 1.81 GAA versus the Blue Jackets.
It’s still uncertain if Calgary’s Todd Bertuzzi will be ready after missing five games with a hip flexor injury. Bertuzzi, who had two goals and three assists in his last three games before getting hurt, continues to practice with the team.
“It felt okay,” Bertuzzi said. “I have to see how it feels (Wednesday). We have to be careful. These things can linger.”
Columbus hopes the sting from its loss at Edmonton won’t linger.
Newly acquired Jason Williams had a goal with an assist, but the Blue Jackets allowed two goals in the final five minutes to fall to 1-1-0 on their three-game western Canadian road trip.
“We pissed it away,” Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock said of his team’s latest loss. “They had nothing going, we were completely controlling the hockey game. We gave it away. We had a turnover with 47 seconds left. You can’t do that.”
Williams has two goals with an assist in three games since being acquired from Atlanta last Wednesday. He has a goal and three assists in his last four contests versus Calgary.
Steve Mason will probably be back in goal after making 18 saves against Edmonton. The rookie, who will not be taking part in Saturday’s YoungStars game during All-Star weekend due to back spasms, is 17-11-1 with a league-leading 1.99 GAA.
He made 22 saves in the November victory over Calgary.
Mason will likely continue to see a bulk of the work after the All-Star break after the team announced Tuesday that former No. 1 goaltender Pascal Leclaire will have ankle surgery and is expected to be sidelined 10-12 weeks. Leclaire hasn’t played since Dec. 18.