The Calgary Flames have been excellent on the road all season, but they can’t seem to find a way to win when they visit Columbus.
The Blue Jackets, meanwhile, should be glad to be back on home ice.
Calgary looks to end its struggles at Columbus and improve to 2-0 on its longest road trip of the season Saturday night when it faces a road-weary Blue Jackets club trying to halt a four-game losing streak.
The Flames (15-6-3) have a one-point lead over Colorado atop the Central Division largely due to an 8-1-3 record away from the Pengrowth Saddledome. This is the second stop on a six-game trip, which Calgary opened in impressive fashion Friday with a 3-0 victory at defending Western Conference champion Detroit.
Jamie Lundmark(notes), Nigel Dawes(notes) and Olli Jokinen(notes) scored to provide more than enough offense for Miikka Kiprusoff(notes), who made 40 saves for his 32nd career shutout and second of the season.
Thirty-two of Kiprusoff’s saves came in the first two periods, and he also helped the Flames kill off six Detroit power plays.
“He definitely kept us in the game,” said Lundmark, who added an assist for his fourth multipoint game in the last two seasons. “He had over 30 shots over the first two periods.”
Kiprusoff is 13-5-2 with a 2.06 goals-against average against the Blue Jackets but may rest Saturday, as he’s only played on consecutive nights once this season. Backup Curtis McElhinney(notes) lost 3-1 at Nationwide Arena on Nov. 8, 2008, in his only career start against Columbus.
Calgary’s only regulation loss of the season away from home was a 2-1 defeat at Columbus (12-9-3) on Oct. 13. That loss was the fourth straight at Nationwide for the Flames, who have been outscored 13-2 in those contests.
Nash and the Blue Jackets could certainly use some home cooking. They dropped the final four games of their season-high five-game road trip, including a 2-1 defeat Thursday at Ottawa. Steve Mason(notes) made 34 saves, but allowed the deciding goal to Nick Foligno(notes) during the Senators’ second power play of the final period.
Columbus has been outscored 30-16 in the third period this season, including 4-0 in its last two games.
“It was a good road game until the third period,” said Nash, whose club fell to 6-7-1 away from home compared to 6-2-2 at Nationwide. “That’s been the story of the road trip, we’ve been taking too many penalties in the third.”
This is the longest losing streak for the Blue Jackets since they dropped the final five games of the 2007-08 season.