The Columbus Blue Jackets are on a tear but another team hitting its stride will try to cool them off when the Calgary Flames pay a visit to Nationwide Arena on Wednesday night. Columbus answered a four-game skid with a four-game winning streak as it prepares to face the high-powered Flames, winners of four of their last five games.
Calgary, which is making the fourth stop on its six-game road trip, has scored at least four goals in each of its wins during the current 4-1-0 stretch. Johnny Gaudreau is sparking the Flames’ offense with a six-game goal streak and a career-best 10-game point string, helping Calgary go 7-3-0 in that span. “They have a lot of similar traits as us,” Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno said. “You’ve got the high-powered offense, the great defensemen and a good goalie. So, I’m expecting a great matchup and an exciting game because of the talent out there. We look forward to playing these guys.” Defense and goaltending actually have provided the impetus for Columbus, which has permitted only four goals during the four-game run.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, Sportsnet360 (Calgary), FSN Ohio (Columbus)
ABOUT THE FLAMES (12-8-0): Gaudreau is in the midst of a torrid stretch with seven goals in the last six games and 19 points in the last 10, including five consecutive multiple-point contests. “He’s making something happen every shift,” center Sean Monahan said. “To be able to play on his line, it’s a lot of fun right now. That confidence is hard to take away from a guy like that, so he’s going to continue to do that.” Monahan is on a roll of his own with seven goals and 13 points over the past nine games, giving him a team-leading 12 tallies.
ABOUT THE BLUE JACKETS (13-7-1): Foligno has been held off the scoresheet for a dozen games, matching the longest stretch of his career, and may be moved to wing when injured center Alexander Wennberg rejoins the lineup. With Foligno struggling, coach John Tortorella moved Pierre-Luc Dubois to center on a line with Artemi Panarin and liked what he saw out of the rookie. “He wasn’t overwhelmed playing with Panarin,” Tortorella said. “I don’t think he was bothered at all about the positions he was put in and he was playing with one of our top guys.”
1. Blue Jackets G Sergei Bobrovsky is 5-2-2 with a 2.17 goals-against average versus the Flames.
2. Calgary is 7-for-18 on the power play over the past four games.
3. Columbus C Lukas Sedlak (ankle) will return to the lineup Wednesday after missing 13 games.
PREDICTION: Blue Jackets 3, Flames 2