Jan Hedja added Columbus' third goal of the night when he took a slap shot from the blueline. The replays showed the puck outside the blueline but the call on the ice stood, giving him his third goal of the year at 6:34.
Just seconds after Russell's hooking penalty had expired, Vermette was able to go in on a partial breakaway with Babchuk hot on his heels. The Flames blueliner dove to ice to try and prevent the shot but was unable to get his stick on the power. However, he didn't touch Vermette so the Flames thought they had escaped an excellent scoring chance unscathed. The referee's viewed it differently though and gave the Blue Jackets their second penalty shot of the night.
Kiprusoff denied Vermette on the shot, holding his team in.
That question was answered quickly at the morning skate with head coach Brent Sutter sliding Alex Tanguay in the middle and throwing Rene Bourque onto the left wing.
"I think that's what its going to start with tonight," Bourque said when asked about the potential line. "Tangs hasn't played much center either so I think we've talked a little bit about rotating and just seeing how it goes to start off."
Given the winger's impressive performance this year, it was thought Glencross could be excellent trade bait if the team wanted to move in that direction.
"There was interest," acting general manager Jay Feaster said on Monday afternoon. "We obviously got phone calls about Curtis and so we did look at those things. We looked at the offers that were presented. But at the end of the day, there was nothing coming back that we felt was going to improve our hockey club more than having Curtis here."
At the moment, Feaster and Glencross' agent are trying to work out an extension
"We have been having some conversations with Curtis Glencross and his agent. We're not there yet as far as extending him."
Feaster admitted contract discussions have changed due to Glencross' additional offensive output this season but didn't feel it was a hindrance when it comes down to settling on a deal.
"Back when Curtis was a healthy scratch earlier in the season, we probably could have done a different deal than now that's scored 20 goals. I only hope he scores 20 goals in the month of March alone and he's the Conn Smythe winner. Then we're having a whole different conversation about him at the end of the season."
A chippy first period ended in a scoreless draw between the Calgary Flames and St. Louis Blues. The scoring chances for both clubs came at a minimum thanks to solid defensive play at both ends of the rink. Most of the play was held to the outside and long-range shots were the norm.
It was a feisty affair right from puck drop with both teams aiming to be as physical as possible. Several players were casualties of rough play. In one sequence, veteran blueliner Steve Staios attempted to plaster David Backes into the glass but the force actually sent the forward over Staios' back and head first to the ice.
"It's really exciting. That's why you play hockey, race like this. To jump into this locker room when they're doing so well ... I'm just trying to contribute any way I can."
If Niklas Hagman, who has sat out of practice the last two practices with the flu, isn't able to play, Nemisz will slide into the lineup.
"They told to come in like I was going play," the 20 year-old said. "I'm coming to the rink at the normal time and getting ready. I don't know for sure but I hope so."
After 20:00 of play, it's an even match between the Calgary Flames and the San Jose Sharks.
Albertan Devin Setoguchi potted his 18th of the season at 3:34. The tally came after a solid 3:00 of play for the Flames, hemming the Sharks in their own zone and testing Antti Niemi close range several times.
The Flames top two lines had a strong period, landing the majority of shots, but it was red-hot defenceman Anton Babchuk who scored the equalizer late in the period.
Taking a pass from his partner Steve Staios in the neutral zone, Babchuk carried the puck into the Sharks zone. Seeing he had a clear lane to shoot, he opted to wire a wrister on net. It seemed to catch Niemi off guard because it whipped past him without much of a reaction from the Finnish netminder.
Shots were 10-9 favouring San Jose. Calgary held the edge in the faceoff circle, winning 55% of the draws.
Another night, another huge game for the Calgary Flames.
None of the Western Conference teams in action on Wednesday night did any favours for the Flames and when they woke up on Friday, they had slipped from sixth to tenth in the conference. As it stands, there are five teams with 70 points and three teams within a four point radius of those five jockeying for position.
The Flames know the importance of their tilt with the San Jose Sharks but are confident they can come out with two points.