The Five Takeaways
Five key factors from the Flames-Blue Jackets contest
Henrik Karlsson made 35 saves in his sixth start of the season and Olli Jokinen potted the Flames lone goal in the loss.
Takeaway One - King Karlsson
After a strong performance on Dec. 10 against the Anaheim Ducks, Karlsson was given his sixth start of the season and he proved once again why he's a capable caddy to Calgary starter Miikka Kiprusoff.
Karlsson faced 37 shots in the loss, allowing 2 goals in the opening 40 minutes and made several clutch saves for his club, including two key stops in the second frame.
First, with Antoine Vermette in the penalty box for interference, the Flames went looking for the equalizer but instead found themselves facing a dangerous Columbus scoring opportunity. Derek Dorsett and Kyle Wilson were able to go steaming into the Calgary zone after a turnover at the Columbus blueline, leaving Mark Giordano all alone to defend against the duo. The Flames blueliner did an admirable job of cutting off the passing lane but Dorsett opted to shoot instead of pass. The forward sent a hard wrist shot high-glove side but Karlsson flashed the leather and managed to make the save.
Just a minute later, Vermette was left alone in the Flames zone and thought he had a prime chance to notch his 10th of the season thanks to the abundance of time and space Calgary had given him. Karlsson, however, had other ideas. He flung himself out of the blue paint and went for the risky pokecheck on Vermette. The move paid off as he was able to get enough of the puck with his stick and shoved it into the corner.
Takeaway Two - Slow Start
Prior to the game, several players stated the team needed to have a energetic, chippy first period if they hoped to leave Ohio with two points.