NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, February 7th
(All times Eastern)
Calgary Flames (2-3-2) at Columbus Blue Jackets (3-6-1), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Calgary Flames are looking to get things on track after
picking up just their second victory of the season. They are likely going to
have to try and accomplish that without starting goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff
on Thursday night in a meeting with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Kiprusoff suffered a lower body injury in Tuesday's 4-1 victory over the
Detroit Red Wings, exiting after two periods of work. He ended with 19 saves
on 20 shots faced, while Leland Irving made six saves in relief.
The 36-year-old, who collided with Detroit's Johan Franzen at the net in the
second period, updated his status with a statement on Wednesday, the same day
that the Flames signed netminder Danny Taylor to a one-year, two-way contract
to serve as the likely backup to Irving during any time Kiprusoff misses.
"In the second period I felt some discomfort in the lower body area,"
Kiprusoff's statement read. "During the intermission, it was decided that I
not return to play. I really believe that this is a short-term injury and over
the next days, I'll work toward being ready as soon as possible."
Still, the signing of Taylor offers evidence that Calgary expects Kiprusoff to
miss some time and head coach Bob Hartley has already named Irving his starter
for this game.
Kiprusoff's injury put a black mark on an otherwise solid effort versus the
Red Wings. Captain Jarome Iginla netted his first goal of the season,
converting an Alex Tanguay early in the first period, while Dennis Wideman had
a goal and an assist.
"It was nice to see it go in. It was a great pass by Tangs," said Iginla.
Curtis Glencross and Mark Giordano also scored for the Flames, who were
playing just their second road game of the season and are 2-1-1 in their past
four after opening the campaign with three straight losses.
The Blue Jackets are passed the midway point of a six-game homestand, having
gone 1-2-0 so far on the stay. They picked up a loss last time out, falling
4-2 to the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday.
Derick Brassard and Derek MacKenzie scored for the Blue Jackets, who have
dropped three of their last four and seven of 10 to begin the season. Steve
Mason gave up all four goals on 31 shots in the loss.
"You just have to find ways to bounce back from games like this," said Mason.
"It's always difficult to play in this league. You'll never get any easy
games. We'll get things figured out here."
Columbus was playing without defenseman James Wisniewski due to a concussion
suffered on Saturday versus Detroit and was in danger of losing forward
Brandon Dubinsky to a suspension after he was called for a five-minute
boarding major and game misconduct for a hit on Los Angeles' Rob Scuderi.
Dubinsky, though, was only fined $10,000 for the hit on Wednesday and will get
a chance versus the Flames to net his first goal of the season.
The Blue Jackets went 3-0-1 versus the Flames last season.
02/07 10:30:45 ET