Blue Jackets beat Flames 3-2

Preview | Box Score | Recap

CALGARY, Alberta (AP)—The Columbus Blue Jackets accomplished more in two days in Alberta than they did in their previous 14 games.

Antoine Vermette(notes) had a goal and two assists Friday night to help the Blue Jackets beat the Calgary Flames 3-2 for their third victory in 16 games.

Raffi Torres(notes) had a goal and an assist, Jan Hejda(notes) also scored, and Mathieu Garon(notes) made 20 saves for Columbus, coming off a 4-2 victory Thursday night in Edmonton that snapped a franchise-record, 13-game road losing streak. Columbus has won consecutive games for the first time since a three-game winning streak in mid-November.

“We’re starting to look like last year’s team. The last two games, that third goal in Edmonton has changed everything for us,” Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock said.

Mark Giordano(notes) and Rene Bourque(notes) scored for Calgary.

“This team shouldn’t be this way, but this is the way we’ve been,” Flames coach Brent Sutter said. “You win two, win three, lose two, you keep getting the same line, `Well it’s not good enough.’ Well if it’s not good enough, then respond.”

The Blue Jackets are 10 points out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference.

“If you look at the big picture and see how many wins and points you have to get to get in, it could be overwhelming. We just have to take it day by day,” Vermette said

Hitchcock remains confident.

“You never know, other teams have come from far back,” Hitchcock said. “If we can keep playing well and get this thing to .500 then we have the big home schedule in February, March, and April, we can still do some damage.”

Vermette made it 3-1 at 5:22 of the third period on a pretty three-way passing play with Torres and Jakub Voracek(notes).

Voracek sent a cross-ice pass to Torres, who quickly slid a pass back across the slot to Vermette, who buried his 13th goal into an empty net with goalie Curtis McElhinney(notes) caught out of position.

Calgary cut it to one on Bourque’s goal with 8:01 left, but Garon shut out the Flames the rest of the way.

“The whole night, we didn’t take enough shots, didn’t create enough shots or enough chances,” Flames star Jarome Iginla(notes) said.

NOTES: Calgary recalled Jamie Lundmark(notes) from the AHL’s Abbotsford Heat and inserted him on the top line with Iginla and Daymond Langkow(notes). … Columbus star Rick Nash(notes) has gone eight games without a goal. He leads the Blue Jackets with 19.

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Three Stars

  Three Stars
A. Vermette
Antoine Vermette
Blue Jackets - C
Goals: 1
Assists: 2
M. Giordano
Mark Giordano
Flames - D
Goals: 1
Assists: 0
R. Torres
Raffi Torres
Blue Jackets - LW
Goals: 1
Assists: 1


Goalie Team Shot Save
Curtis McElhinney Cls 22 19
Mathieu Garon LA 22 20


Friday, Jan 8