banner

NHL

more stats

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

Other Stories

Hurricanes

Rangers rally to top Canes in shootout, 3-2
Canes visit Rangers on backside of home-and-home

The New York Rangers will attempt to post their longest winning streak in over three years on Sunday evening when they go for a sweep of their home-and-home series with the Carolina Hurricanes.

Related Stories
  • Sun Bowl: Duke vs. Arizona State

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NHL: Hurricanes at NY Rangers

    Tonight at 7:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • CBB: Louisiana Tech at NC State

    Tuesday at 7:00 pm on WRAL-FM

Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 17
CLE 13
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
CAR
Final
TOR 118
NYK 108
4th
CLE 97
MEM 81
 
1st
MIA 25
BOS 17
 
1st
BRK 28
DET 16
 
1st
SAC 22
LAL 14
 
1st
ORL 16
PHI 19
 
1st
WAS 19
PHO 14
 
7:00pm Tonight
MIN
IND
7:00pm Tonight
OKC
NOP
Final
UVA 76
HARV 27
Final
BGU 68
FERST 82
 
Final
ARMY 72
MAINE 69
 
Final
QUIN 60
ORST 52
Final
CLST 69
USF 65
 
Final
CARK 55
CCAR 72
 
Final
UWGB 66
ARKLR 46
 
Final
RAD 74
CORN 61
 
Final
UNT 62
CREI 58
Final
CAN 67
HC 48
 
Final
USB 67
GHND 52
 
Final
OKST 64
MD 73
Final
WINT 100
REIN 72
 
Final
UGST 68
SMISS 55
Final
NEOM 77
TXPA 72
 
Final
STLU 58
VERM 55
 
Final
UNCA 62
WCU 66
 
Final
EVAN 81
ALAST 63
 
Final
HART 82
FIU 69
 
Final
VALPO 82
GOSHEN 55
 
Final
LIP 69
PEAY 63
 
Final
DEN 46
BRY 48
 
Final
MONT 62
SD 67
 
Final
MTST 65
TENST 47
Final
SAMF 64
LAMON 50
 
Final
SCAR 78
COKR 52
 
Final
HAMP 75
NARZ 66
 
Final
SDU 71
SDCHR 61
 
Final
BC 71
USC 75
 
Final
NICST 64
TROY 65
 
Final
BRAD 47
UCI 55
 
1st
UGA 27
SHU 13
 
6:30pm Tonight
ALA
APP
7:00pm Tonight
KSU
NDST
 
7:00pm Tonight
WASU
SJST
9:00pm Tonight
UTEP
ALCOR
 
10:00pm Tonight
SEAT
SACST
 
1st
DET 0
COL 0
 
1st
EDM 1
DAL 2
 
7:00pm Tonight
BOS
BUF
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
CAR
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
TOR
9:00pm Tonight
WIN
PHI
Final
NOS 14
ATL 30
Final
HOU 25
BAL 13
Final
CAR 17
CLE 13
Final
CHI 14
DET 20
Final
TAM 3
GBP 20
Final
PIT 20
KAN 12
Final
MIA 37
MIN 35
Final
NYJ 16
NEP 17
3rd
STL 20
NYG 27
 
3rd
OAK 16
BUF 10
 
3rd
DAL 35
IND 0
 
8:30pm Tonight
ARI
SEA