The Five Takeaways: Flames vs. Blue Jackets
Five key elements from the Flames-Jackets tilt
With Morrison out on a day-to-day basis with a knee injury, many assumed it was Fredrik Modin that would make his Flames debut on Friday night, not defenceman Brett Carson, but when the official roster sheet was finalized, both of Calgary's trade deadline day acquisitions were in the lineup.
Mikael Backlund was the surprise scratch of the night as the Flames. He skated on line with Modin and Tom Kostopoulos at the morning skate but was sidelined due to the flu. The team was forced to go with seven defenceman and 11 forwards against Columbus.
TAKEAWAY TWO: Sloppy start, lucky end
With all of the new line combos and players trying out different positions, the Flames understandably looked a little discomobobulated to start the first period but thanks to some lucky bounces, they came out ahead after 20 minutes.
Disorganization led to an early Columbus goal, with defenceman Craig Rivet blowing past Modin and roofing a shot top shelf.
Olli Jokinen managed to notch the equalizer after a great cycling shift with linemates Curtis Glencross and David Moss, scoring his 14th of the season at 8:13. Then, just 44 seconds later, Blue Jackets goaltender Steve Mason handed the Flames a present.
Jarome Iginla carried the puck into the offensive zone and sent a harmless looking shot towards the net, hoping to garner a scoring chance off a rebound. Mason bobbled the puck off his glove and it bounced up in the air and into the net.
TAKEAWAY THREE: Power play prowess
It appeared to be all Columbus in the second period after an early goal from Antoine Vermette that tied the game up. The Flames were back on their heels, not landing a shot on net until around the 7:00 mark, and then Vermette smacked Moss in the fact with his stick. The refs handed him a double-minor for the infraction and the NHL's 5th best power play at home went to work.
Rene Bourque kicked off the scoring, batting in a rebound from the side of the net to net his third goal in the past two games. Jokinen and Glencross earned their second points of the night with the assists.
Less than two minutes later, Anton Babchuk sent his patented blast from the blueline towards to the net with Glencross screening Mason. The gritty winger was able to get his stick on it and potted his 21st of the season.
TAKEAWAY FOUR: Iggy Iggy Iggy!
The Flames captain has been the club's hottest player over their last three outings, notching seven points in that span (4 g, 3 a). With his first period marker, Iginla now has 29 goals on the year.
Overall, Iginla had a goal, two shots, a 100% faceoff win percentage and a +1 rating in 22:46 of ice time.
If Iginla hits 30 goals this season as he is expected to, he will be only the 10th player in NHL history to record 10 consecutive 30+ goal seasons. The 33 year-old earned his 50th point of the season on Feb 7th and has now scored 50+ points in 12 consecutive seasons and in 13 of his 14 seasons played.
TAKEAWAY FIVE: Standing on his head
Miikka Kiprusoff has been a crucial part of the Flames rise up the Western Conference standings and on Friday, he once again displayed his incredible talent and won the game for his team.
The Finnish netminder faced not one but two penalty shots during the contest, stoning rookie sensation Matt Calvert in the second period and then Vermette in the third.
"He's been a brick wall for us all season," defenceman Steve Staios said. "We don't want to overwork him like we did tonight. They got way too many chances so we've got to bear down and play better."
Kiprusoff stopped 37 shots and won his 30th game of the season. He now has six consecutive 30+ win seasons.