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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, October 4th (All times Eastern)

Calgary Flames (0-0-1) at Columbus Blue Jackets (0-0-0), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Columbus Blue Jackets saw first hand last season just how damaging a slow start can be.

The Blue Jackets try to get off to a better start on Friday night when they open up their season at home against the Calgary Flames.

Aiming for just their second postseason berth in franchise history, the Blue Jackets finished the lockout-shortened season tied with the Minnesota Wild for the eighth seed in the Western Conference. However, the Wild had three more non-shootout wins to earn the tiebreaker and send the Jackets home early yet again.

Columbus wrapped the shortened season 19-5-3, but that came after a 5-12-4 start.

The Blue Jackets had a much more positive offseason than the previous summer, when they dealt superstar Rick Nash to the New York Rangers. They added Marian Gaborik in-season from the Rangers during the shortened campaign and signed Nathan Horton to a seven-year deal.

Horton, though, isn't expected to be ready for game action until around December due to offseason shoulder surgery.

Columbus will have a full season of Gaborik, a three-time 40-goal scorer who fell out of favor in the Big Apple, and also return reigning Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky to net.

Bobrovsky was acquired prior to last season from the Philadelphia Flyers for draft picks and eventually took over the full-time job from Steve Mason, who was later traded to the Flyers in a separate deal. Bobrovsky won eight of his final nine starts and went 21-11-6 in the campaign with a 2.00 goals against average, .932 save percentage and a career-high four shutouts.

Bobrovsky posted a 1.64 GAA and .945 save percentage in 20 games at home last season and gets the call tonight for Columbus' Eastern Conference debut. The Blue Jackets shifted to a new conference and division following realignment as they now reside in the Metropolitan Division.

However, they'll face a former Western Conference foe in the Flames, who the Blue Jackets are 5-0-2 against the in last previous seven meetings.

Columbus is 4-2-0 in its last six season openers and begin the campaign without forward Jared Boll due to an upper body injury. Defenseman Fedor Tyutin is questionable because of a lower body issue.

The Jackets play five of their next six on the road following this game, while the Flames wrap a two-game swing to open the season with this stop in Ohio.

Calgary had a pair of early three-goal leads versus Washington, but the Capitals rallied and eventually won a 5-4 shootout decision.

The Flames lost their season opener for the fourth straight year despite goals from David Jones, Lee Stempniak and Jiri Hudler in the first 16:22 of the game.

"Very happy with the effort, obviously disappointed with the result," said Flames coach Bob Hartley. "Just don't be glad to be in the NHL, when you have a 3-0 lead, you have to find a way to keep it."

Karri Ramo, in his first regular-season NHL game since April 11, 2009, gave up four goals on 39 shots for the Flames. Lance Bouma also scored in the loss, while captain Mark Giordano had two assists.

Calgary begins a three-game residency with its home opener versus Vancouver on Sunday.

10/04 10:52:01 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CREI 65
NCCU 45
 
Final
NCSU 68
SFLA 65
Final
MIA 94
CHA 93
Final
MIA 94
CHA 93
Final
MEM 107
LAC 91
Final
BOS 88
POR 94
Final
OKC 86
GSW 91
1st
LAL 17
DEN 17
 
Final
GMAS 60
COC 61
Final
FSU 69
UMASS 75
Final
SHSU 53
WOFF 64
Final
UNCG 67
YOUNG 76
Final
CMICH 75
ARKPB 43
 
Final
ILLCH 60
SILL 67
Final
MORE 46
AMER 51
Final
CORN 59
DREX 61
Final
CCST 60
COOK 65
Final
ARKLR 94
CSNO 88
Final
LEH 44
CLMB 54
 
Final
USB 89
MERMAR 54
 
Final
NMU 51
TEXAM 64
Final
STLU 56
TAMCC 62
 
Final
FAIR 80
SD 72
Final
EMICH 79
LONG 48
Final
ND 74
PROV 75
Final
RAD 88
CATAWBA 52
 
Final
DEN 80
COPST 54
 
Final
UAB 58
JST 50
 
Final
WICHS 105
NWM 57
Final
OKLA 90
NWST 68
Final
KSU 59
YALE 66
Final
CREI 65
NCCU 45
 
Final
NCSU 68
SFLA 65
Final
UCR 102
STKAT 49
 
Final
PSU 63
USC 61
Final
HC 101
NICHOLSCOL 70
 
Final
BC 53
DAY 65
Final
MON 75
TOWS 79
Final
HOF 93
WAGN 71
 
Final
CIN 54
EILL 49
Final
UGA 74
FATL 61
Final
BRAD 58
NCAT 50
 
Final
LATU 76
PBY 48
Final
RUTG 76
Terriers 73
 
Final
SAMF 64
UMKC 55
Final
NAVY 70
BING 68
Final
SHU 85
GWEBB 67
Final
UNT 58
IONA 78
Final
KENT 86
MNTST 28
Final
FORD 57
MLOWELL 64
 
Final
UCF 76
USCU 69
 
Final
SCAR 63
AKR 68
Final
WVU 78
UCONN 68
Final
CALST 70
DEL 52
 
Final
HOW 78
HOOD 51
 
Final
OSU 106
SHU 48
Final
VANDY 78
TENST 46
Final
NE 65
MAN 51
 
Final
COLST 75
MERC 62
 
2nd
MISS 73
NARZ 66
 
2nd
WASH 71
PAC 62
 
Final
LMU 82
SDCHR 60
 
Half
CHAR 31
MIAMI 38
 
Half
GAELS 35
UCI 35
 
1st
ILLST 31
ODU 24
 
10:00pm Tonight
UCLA
LBSU
10:30pm Tonight
SEAT
MONT
 
Final
WIN 2
STL 4
Final
NYR 5
MON 0
3rd
ANA 2
ARI 0
 
1st
VAN 0
CHI 0
 
Final
HOU 13
CIN 22
Final
ATL 24
CLE 26
Final
NEP 34
DET 9
Final
MIN 21
GBP 24
Final
IND 23
JAC 3
Final
CHI 21
TAM 13
Final
PHI 43
TEN 24
Final
SEA 19
ARI 3
Final
SDC 27
STL 24
Final
DEN 39
MIA 36
Final
SFX 17
WAS 13
Half
NYG 21
DAL 10