Flames slip past Blue Jackets 4-3
Posted at: 10/04/2013 9:35 PM
By RUSTY MILLER
(AP) COLUMBUS, Ohio - Jiri Hudler and Curtis Glencross scored goals 42 seconds apart in the third period to lead the Calgary Flames to a 4-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday night.
Rookie Sean Monahan picked up his first NHL goal and T.J. Galiardi had a goal and an assist for the Flames, who opened their season with a 5-4 loss at Washington on Thursday night.
Goalie Joey MacDonald made 29 saves.
Jack Johnson and Marian Gaborik each had a goal and an assist for the Blue Jackets, brimming with optimism after a strong finish to last season.
Artem Anisimov added a late goal and Sergei Bobrovsky, winner of the Vezina Trophy as the league’s top goalie last year, made 26 saves.
The Flames, playing the second of a road back-to-back, were active and aggressive all night.
This was supposed to be a rebuilding year after franchise goalie Miikka Kiprusoff’s retirement and the trade of captain Jarome Iginla last season.
With the score tied at 2, Hudler gave Calgary the lead for good with 7:50 left in the third. He sped up the left wing and let go of a slap shot from the left dot that beat Bobrovsky glove side.
Almost before that goal could be announced, the Flames scored again.
During a scrum in front of the net, David Jones’ shot was stopped by Bobrovsky, but two Blue Jackets got sticks on the rebound in an attempt to clear it, shoving it directly to Glencross on the weak side for an easy goal.
The Blue Jackets made it interesting a moment later when Anisimov pulled the puck off the back boards and slid it inside the post and past MacDonald while Anisimov was getting hit by Mark Giordano.
Monahan, the first-rounder taken sixth overall in the draft, opened the scoring.
As Monahan crashed the net with defenseman James Wisniewski on his hip, Lee Stempniak put a shot on goal that Bobrovsky deflected. But the rookie was there to jam in the puck.
Columbus, annually near the bottom in the NHL on the power play, scored on its first chance this season with the man advantage.
Gaborik collected the puck near the blue line and skated to the top of the left circle before sliding a nifty cross-ice pass to Johnson for the one-timer from the right circle.
Columbus rookie Ryan Murray then flipped a blind pass that Galiardi intercepted, carrying the puck down the ice with the Blue Jackets scrambling to catch him.
He coasted in on Bobrovsky, faked the forehand and then scored on a backhand that appeared to go in off the tip of Bobrovsky’s glove.
Gaborik then tied it once again. Blake Comeau’s hard shot from the right circle resulted in a big rebound off MacDonald, with Brandon Dubinsky rushing the heart of the ice to get to it. He got a stick on it, the puck going to Gaborik at the left doorstep and he chipped it in.
Notes: Columbus native Jack Nicklaus was the guest for the ceremonial puck drop. His Muirfield Village Golf Club is hosting the Presidents Cup this week. ... Columbus LW R.J. Umberger played in his 600th career game, while Glencross, a former Blue Jacket, played in his 400th. ... Monahan had an assist in the opener.
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(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)