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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
CHA 104
LAL 103
Final
GT 49
UNC 81
Final
CLEM 61
NCSU 66
7:30pm Tonight
BRK
CHA
 
8:00pm Tonight
DUKE
WAKE
 
Final
DET 15
BAL 2
 
Final
MIA 7
MIAFLA 1
 
Final
PHI 5
NYY 5
 
Final
BOS 2
NEASTERN 1
 
Final
TOR 7
PIT 8
 
Final
CIN 10
CLE 0
 
Final
OAK 9
SFG 4
 
Final
BOS 1
BOSTONCOLL 0
 
Final
ARI 4
ASU 0
 
1:05pm Today
BAL
DET
 
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ATL
NYM
 
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NYY
PHI
 
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PIT
TOR
 
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LOS
CWS
 
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CLE
CIN
 
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TEX
KAN
 
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SFG
OAK
 
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SEA
SDP
 
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MIL
WMIL
 
3:10pm Today
COL
ARI
 
7:05pm Tonight
MIN
UMIN
 
Final
CLE 110
BOS 79
Final
CHA 104
LAL 103
Final
NYK 86
SAC 124
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ATL 104
HOU 96
Final
MEM 82
UTA 93
Final
CHI 97
WAS 92
Final
DEN 106
MIL 95
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ORL
PHO
 
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CHA
 
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CLE
 
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DEN
 
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LAL
 
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POR
 
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UMO 70
AKR 63
 
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NAVY 56
ARMY 52
 
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BST 60
EMICH 67
 
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BUT 54
GEOR 60
Final
IND 63
IOWA 77
Final
FLGC 81
JVU 63
 
Final
USCU 90
KNST 54
 
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BGU 80
KSU 81
 
Final
NKENTUCKY 73
LIP 76
 
Final
HC 62
GHND 45
 
Final
RUTG 50
MD 60
Final
GT 49
UNC 81
Final
BUF 93
OHIO 66
 
Final
ALA 74
MISS 82
Final
DAY 75
RIU 59
Final
CMICH 85
TOL 77
 
Final
DET 77
YOUNG 67
Final
UNF 81
STET 67
 
Final
ABCHRIST 83
HOUB 71
 
Final
NDAK 78
NEOM 80
 
Final
NILL 65
WMICH 63
 
Final
ILLCH 60
WRST 57
Final
MIZZ 63
AUB 61
Final
UGA 64
KENT 72
Final
NW 82
MICH 78
Final
CLEM 61
NCSU 66
Final
UF 66
TEXAM 62
Final
KU 76
WVU 69
Final
CREI 72
VILL 76
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PBY
LONG
 
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GWEBB
CAMP
 
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UNCA
LIB
 
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PSU
OSU
 
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USB
BING
 
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FORD
DUQ
 
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GMAS
GWU
 
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UNH
HART
 
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STJOE
LAS
 
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Terriers
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GTDNS
MAINE
 
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LOU
ND
 
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SHU
PROV
 
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BRY
SHU
 
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MORE
SEMIZ
 
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MNTER
RFLSH
 
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LSU
TENN
 
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SFLA
UCF
 
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VERM
UMBC
 
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RMU
WAGN
 
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UMASS
RICH
 
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TULA
HOU
 
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YALE
HOW
 
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PITT
MIAMI
 
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TXPA
NMST
 
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MSU
PURD
 
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STLU
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WAKE
 
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VANDY
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SIUE
 
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TCU
 
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USC
 
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FRES
AFA
 
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SJST
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NEB
 
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UCSB
 
Final
PHI 2
CAL 3
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NJD 3
NAS 1
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CLB 3
WAS 5
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TAM 3
BUF 0
Final
FLA 2
TOR 3
Final
MIN 3
OTT 2
Final
DAL 3
NYI 2
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ARI 1
ANA 4
Final
VAN 2
SJS 6
Final
EDM 2
LOS 5
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WIN
OTT
 
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DET
NYR
 
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ANA
MON
 
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COL
PIT