The Five Takeaways: Flames vs. Blue Jackets
The Flames had several great scoring opportunities in the opening frame but the puck did not bounce in their favour. Shots either rang off the iron, slid through the blue paint or went just wide of the net.
The energy the Flames had at the conclusion of the stanza wasn't there right off the hop. By the midway mark of the period, they had a single shot and the Blue Jackets opened the scoring at 13:03 when Nikita Nikitin's point shot flew past a screened Miikka Kiprusoff.
Guillaume Desbiens dropped the gloves with Jared Boll right after the tally, sparking his club. The team poured on the pressure, drawing two penalties and throwing five more shots on net. After twenty minutes of play, they had outshot the Blue Jackets by a 7-5 margin.
One can't be sure the Blue Jackets showed up for the second period as the Flames peppered Steve Mason with 16 shots and held their opponents to a mere three - none of which were legitimate scoring opportunities.
Their forecheck was ferocious, hammering the Blue Jackets whenever they had an opportunity while wiring shot after shot. In addition to the 16 shots that made it to the net, the Flames attempted 24 more. Those were either blocked or missed the net.
After their outstanding second period, the Flames fell back a bit in the third and allowed Columbus to throw v shots on net. However, they kept working away and finally found the back of the net.
The pivot has seven points (four goals, three assists) in his last seven games. Through 52 games this season, Stajan has potted seven goals and 16 points.
The shootout went four rounds but none of the Flames could convert on their shots. Alex Tanguay Olli Jokinen, Glencross and Jarome Iginla all tried to best Mason but the netminder - who is the only reason the Blue Jackets remained in the game - denied them all. The only Columbus player to beat Kiprusoff was Cam Atkinson.
Despite being up 2-0 in the third period, the Edmonton Oilers did the Flames no favours and lost to the Phoenix Coyotes 3-2 in a shootout. The Flames now have 81 points but remain in 11th as San Jose (9th) and Los Angeles (10th) both have 82 points on the year.
Colorado, who the Flames play on Tuesday night, are clinging to the final playoff spot with 83 points while the Coyotes sit in 7th with 83 as well.