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Morning Skate Report: Flames vs. Blue Jackets

Monday, 21.11.2011 / 7:58 AM / News
By Torie Peterson  - CalgaryFlames.com (@toriepeterson)



CALGARY TOWER IN NET

It looks like Henrik Karlsson will take over the goaltending duties tonight in Columbus. The 27 year-old is in search of his first win of the season despite coming through with some very strong performances earlier in the year.

"The last two games, he's been very, very good and we haven't played as well as we need to in front of him," head coach Brent Sutter said. "He's played outstanding."

Karlsson's record is 0-2-1 heading into tonight's battle. In the four games he has appeared in, he has posted a .910 save percentage and a 2.94 GAA.

He is in the midst of his second season with the Flames. He went 4-5-6 in his first year, earning a 2.58 GAA and a .908 save percentage.

The Blue Jackets have decided to start Curtis Sanford in net as Steve Mason was struck in the head during practice this morning.

FROM BEST TO WORST

After defeating the Chicago Blackhawks - who were the top team in the NHL when they rolled into Calgary - on Friday night, the Flames are now set to face off against the League's worst: the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Blue Jackets are stuck in the basement with a 4-13-2 record, giving them just 10 points in 19 games this season. However, they are coming off a victory in Nashville and have played extremely well in their last four games. They're hoping to use momentum from those performances to quell the Flames tonight.

"We're 2-1-1 in our last four," Blue Jackets head coach Scott Arniel told the Columbus Dispatch. "We've put together some real solid games, which is obviously what it's about. We have to build off this now, 8, 9 or 10 in a row where we can play solid hockey and give ourselves a chance each night."

Despite their less-than-flattering record, the Flames aren't taking them lightly. The Blue Jackets boast a number of very talented players who are more than capable of making the opposition pay.

Their top line - comprised of Vinny Prospal, Jeff Carter and Rick Nash - is a prime example. The trio has combined for 33 points this season and all three have been able to consistently generate offence throough their careers. If they are allowed to set up in the other team's zone, they are going to create quality scoring opportunities.

"Every team is good. They're all NHL players," Lee Stempiak said. "For us, every point, every game is so important that we've got to approach it with the same mentality and the same desperation."

QUOTABLE

"They're certainly are a better team today than they were two weeks ago." - Sutter on the Blue Jackets