Calgary Flames 2 Columbus Blue Jackets 1

Two Points is ... well Two Points

Rick Charlton

November 1st, 2001

Win ugly.

It was games like last night against Columbus that Calgary was losing with monotonous regularity last season, poor showings against Minnesota, the Blue Jackets and others occupying the nether regions of the NHL effectively costing the Flames a playoff spot.

Most nights, opponents have little choice but to play a monotonous, mind-numbing yet necessarily patient game against teams like the Blue Jackets, waiting for opportunities and, as a by-product, usually boring their hometown fans half to death.

So it was again for the Flames last night in a game that looked like both teams were pushing on a string with the Flames eventually cashing in on one of their few opportunities in a hard-fought, if desultory, 2-1 victory.

The win was an important one as it elevated Calgary to a mark of 9-2-0-2 record, good for 20 points on the season and a tie with the New York Islanders for second overall in the NHL behind Detroit.

The Flames also leap-froged the Edmonton Oilers in the standings.

Calgary remains unbeaten on home ice with a stellar record of 6-0-0-2.

The Blue Jackets were all over the Flames in the first ten minutes, building a 1-0 lead only 1:53 in. Flames starter Roman Turek coughed up a large rebound on a Deron Quint point shot and Jamie Heward pinched in to bury a backhand into an open net.

Although the Flames managed to regain their feet by mid-period they were still tentative, particularly through double two man advantages.

But Craig Conroy pulled the Flames even with only 53 seconds left in the first when he deflected a Jarome Iginla pass onto Columbus starter Ron Tugnett then batted in his own rebound.

Iginla, the NHL's leading scorer, extended his point streak to six games with the assist.

Although the Blue Jackets started with a 8-0 advantage in shots, the count at the end of the first was only 12-11 favouring Columbus.

It was Chris Clark, with his second in as many games, who eventually put the Flames on top for good at 13:51 of the third, finishing off a nice tic-tac-toe passing play with Rob Niedermayer and Derek Morris by feathering a shot through Tugnutt's legs.

Just moments later the snake bit Rob Niedermayer failed once again to convert on a great individual play, streaking in alone on Tugnutt but firing a shot into the goaltender's pads. It was Niedermayer's second speed induced break of the night, but the center remains goalless on the season.

The benefit of having a string of opponents like the expansion Blue Jackets is the potential for putting up some wins on home ice. The drawback is that teams like Columbus are a terrible draw and attendance was again poor with only 12,501 passing through the turnstiles at the Saddledome.

Columbus outshot Calgary 27-25 on the night. The Blue Jackets were zero for five on the power play while the Flames, with the second ranked power play in the NHL, were quiet on the night with zero goals in four opportunities.

Struggling Montreal is next up for Calgary on Saturday night.

Box Score


1) CHRIS CLARK - This is like one of the HNIC games where you give a star to the guy who got the winning goal because, all things being equal, no one else stood out. 

2) ROMAN TUREK - after the first two minutes he gave the Blue Jackets very little. 

3) ESPEN KNUTSEN - involved all night and led all forwards on both teams with 23:41 in ice time.


On a Columbus power play in the middle of the third period, Geoff Sanderson whipped a cross crease pass to Espen Knutsen who one-timed a drive into the pads of the suddenly agile Turek who had gone post-to-post for the save.


Petrovicky rattled Tyler Wright with a devastating hit in the first, putting the Blue Jacket nearly through the boards and certainly out of the game.


A hush fell over the crowd in the second period as Roman Turek was hit in an exposed area of his leg after blocking a Heward shot, leaving the Flame netminder laying face down on the ice. . . . . . While Turek managed to recover, the Blue Jackets weren't so fortunate with Wright, Mike Sillinger and Geoff Sanderson, all of whom disappeared from the Columbus bench after hard hits through the game. Ron Tugnutt was later run over by a net-charging Niedermayer, with the Columbus netminder gonging his head off the post and laying stretched out on the ice for several minutes. . . . . . . What's up? Ken Holland, GM of the Detroit Red Wings and Tom Rennie, Glen Sather's right hand man with the New York Rangers, were both at the game last night. Lyle Odelein sticks out as potential trade bait for the desperate Blue Jackets while any number of things might be going on with the Flames although they would all probably zero in on scoring help on the wing. . . . . Robyn Regehr hasn't scored in 70 games . . . . . .


Derek Morris led the Flames with an astonishing 30:12 in ice time while going a plus two and notching three shots . . . . . . . Igor Kravchuk had a rare minus night, going minus one on the Columbus opening goal but led the Flames with four shots. Kravchuk had entered the game quietly leading the Flames with a plus seven rating out of the gate. .. . . .Regehr had 26:03 in ice time. . . . . . Regehr, Morris and Petrovicky had three hits each of the total 15 for the Flames on the night, an unusually low total and emblematic of a relatively quiet night all around. . . . . Grant Marshall had three hits for Columbus, which also had 15 total for the game. . . . . Of Calgary's primary centremen, only Rob Niedermayer, at 60%, had a decent night in the faceoff circle. Conroy was 50% and Clarke Wilm came in at 47%. Serge Aubin (58%), Mike Sillinger (57%) and Knutsen (55%) did a great job for the Blue Jackets on faceoffs.