Bobrovsky, Jackets bounce back to edge Flames

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

CALGARY, Alberta -- One night after being pulled early, Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky helped his tired team pull one out.
Bobrovsky made 23 saves, and defenseman Nikita Nikitin scored the game-winner on a broken play as the Blue Jackets grinded out a 2-1 overtime victory Wednesday against the Calgary Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
Less than 24 hours removed from a 7-0 loss to the Oilers in Edmonton, the Blue Jackets received a much better performance from their Vezina Trophy-winning netminder. Although Bobrovsky, who was yanked after surrendering four goals on 18 shots to the Oilers, didn't have to stand on his head, he didn't give up any softies in Calgary.
"I think we let (Bobrovsky) down yesterday, and we had to get it back to him," said Blue Jackets defenseman David Savard, who assisted on the overtime tally. "I think it was a great effort. Everybody was going. It was a great win."
The performance was much better than the one Columbus turned in Tuesday in Edmonton.
"The great thing about sports is you always get a chance to prove yourself," said Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards, who ripped his team after Tuesday's defeat. "Coming off last night, sometimes as a coach you're not sure what you're going to get. I'm real happy the way the guys stepped up tonight. You question their character a little bit, and they came out and they played hard."
Left winger Nick Foligno had the only goal in regulation for the Blue Jackets (8-11-3), while center Joe Colborne was the only member of the Flames (7-11-4) to solve Bobrovsky.
Calgary's goaltender, Reto Berra, finished with 16 stops. He denied center Artem Anisimov with a sliding pad save about midway through the overtime period, but was still out of his crease when Nikitin fired the game-winner into a wide-open cage.
Although Berra's pad save on defenseman Jack Johnson will be on the highlight reels, he wasn't the best goalie Wednesday.
"We had to play for a win today to recover, and now we're feeling good," Bobrovsky said.
The Flames were trying to win back-to-back games for only the second time this season, but they settled for a single point in what won't be remembered as the most entertaining game in the history of the Saddledome.
The hosts had more shots than their guests, but they generated only a handful of scoring chances through 40 minutes.
"They're a proud team over there," Colborne said. "We knew that they didn't have the effort they wanted last night, so effort wouldn't be the problem for them. We have to give them credit. They played a good, solid game, but we failed to assert our will until the end.
"It's big to get that one point coming from behind, but we need every point we can get."
Foligno had the only tally in the opening period, although Flames defenseman TJ Brodie was last to touch the puck. Brodie attempted to block Foligno's shot from the slot area, but the re-direction ended up in Calgary's net at 9:21.
After a dull second period, Colborne tied it up just 3:28 into the third frame, taking advantage of a great touch pass by right winger David Jones and beating Bobrovsky with a high backhander on a partial breakaway.
Although they all finished with a minus-one rating, center Matt Stajan and wingers Michael Cammalleri and Lee Stempniak were bright spots against the Blue Jackets, Flames head coach Bob Hartley said.
"I don't think it was the most exciting game. They scored early and it seemed they would be happy to go home with a 1-0 road win," Hartley said. "We kept plugging. I felt in that third period, that's where we skated the best. We generated some good pucks at the net. We had decent looks out there.
"But the bottom line is it's pretty tough to win when you only have one line going. Matt Stajan's line was, by far, our best line. We didn't get enough from the other three."
The Flames await Friday's visit from the Florida Panthers. The next stop for the Blue Jackets on their five-game road-trip is Vancouver, where they will face the Canucks on Friday.
NOTES: Just minutes before Wednesday's opening faceoff, the Blue Jackets announced D Dalton Prout was placed on injured reserve with a strained back. ... Blue Jackets C Brandon Dubinsky suffered a bruised foot in Tuesday's 7-0 loss to the Edmonton Oilers and missed Wednesday's date with the Flames. That was more bad news for a squad that already was missing two of its top forwards -- RW Marian Gaborik (knee) and C Nathan Horton (shoulder) -- due to injuries. On a positive note, Blue Jackets LW Matt Calvert, who missed his 18th consecutive game after abdominal surgery, is expected to return Friday in Vancouver. ... The Flames are also without the services of a couple of key contributors, with D Mark Giordano (ankle) and LW Curtis Glencross (knee) on IR. ... Calgary and Columbus won't face off again until the 2014-15 campaign. Their first of two meetings this season was Oct. 4, when the Flames spoiled the Blue Jackets' home opener with a 4-3 victory.

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