NHL Hockey

2
Final 1 2 3 Tot
Columbus 1 0 1 2
Calgary 2 1 1 4
4
6:00 PM PT7:00 PM MT8:00 PM CT9:00 PM ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 PM MST8:00 PM EST5:00 UAE (+1)21:00 ET22:00 BRT, March 19, 2019
Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary, Alberta  Attendance: 18,288

Blue Jackets continue playoff push vs. Flames

Columbus Blue Jackets at Calgary Flames

  1. Calgary beat Columbus, 9-6, when these teams met on December 4, one of the two highest-scoring games in the NHL this season (Chicago versus Ottawa, February 18 -- 8-7).
  2. Calgary lost to Winnipeg in regulation on Saturday, 2-1. This was the Flames' fifth regulation loss of March, their most since October (also five) and tied for fourth most in the NHL this month.
  3. Columbus lost to Boston in overtime last time out, 2-1. The Blue Jackets and their opponents have combined for 4.44 goals per game in March, second fewest in the NHL (Stars, 3.38).
  4. Matt Duchene scored his 30th goal of the season in his last game, tying his career-high goal mark set in 2015-16. He has had two seasons with more points than his 64 in 2018-19: 67 in 2010-11, 70 in 2013-14.
  5. Mark Jankowski scored his fifth short-handed goal of the season on Saturday, tying him for most in the NHL. It was his first point during the month of March, and his -6 plus/minus in March is his worst in a month this season.
  6. Mark Giordano assisted on Jankowski's goal, and his 53 assists rank second among defensemen in the NHL this season (Brent Burns, 62). Giordano has a four-game assist streak entering tonight, tied for his longest this season (October 27 -- November 1).

The Columbus Blue Jackets, in a dogfight to earn a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, will take points any way they can get them.

Coming off a weekend in which they received a top-shelf goaltending performance by Sergei Bobrovsky to beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-0 and then claimed a single point with a 2-1 overtime loss to the Boston Bruins, the Blue Jackets aren't going to complain.

"We'll take that every day of the week," Matt Duchene told the Columbus Dispatch.

"If you tell us that we're going to get three out of four points on a back-to-back, yeah, we're taking that every day. That was big for us -- and to do it the way we did it, to still have the work ethic, energy and stinginess that we did tonight, it's a testament to what type of team we are."

Columbus (40-28-4) is looking upward and downward these days when gazing at the standings.

Heading into Tuesday's clash at the Calgary Flames, the Blue Jackets -- who have 10 games left in the season -- are one point back of Carolina (which holds the first wild card spot), and four behind the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Montreal Canadiens are three points in arrears.

Columbus is on a 3-1-1 run.

"This time of year, we're grinding away here," said head coach John Tortorella.

While the Blue Jackets are in a fight to earn a postseason berth, the Flames punched their playoff ticket Sunday when Minnesota lost in overtime to the New York Islanders. That allowed the Flames (44-21-7) to become the first Western Conference team to earn a playoff berth.

"We've talked a little bit about, as a group, we don't just want to get in," center Derek Ryan told Postmedia. "Because that's not the goal, just to get into the playoffs. I know that's an accomplishment in itself, but that is not all this group is capable of. We have our goals set higher than that."

Defenseman Noah Hanifin, a fourth-year pro, has yet to skate in a NHL playoff game.

"It's going to be incredible," said Hanifin, who spent his first three seasons with Carolina.

"Anytime you're sitting at home and watching the playoffs, you don't feel too great about yourself and you always think you could have done more to help your team in any way to get to the playoffs. But this year, we all have the expectation to do well in the playoffs and go deep, and that's a good feeling to have."

The Flames had their three-game winning streak snapped Saturday in a playoff-type contest, a 2-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets in which they were without top-line center Sean Monahan due to illness and winger Sam Bennett due to injury. Both are listed as day-to-day. The team summoned Curtis Lazar from the minors.

The Blue Jackets practiced Monday without Ryan Dzingel -- who took a heavy hit from Boston's Zdeno Chara -- and captain Nick Foligno (personal). Dzingel is listed as day-to-day, while Foligno is not with the team.

--Field Level Media

Updated March 18, 2019

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