SUN Hockey Pool

Game Day

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:50 AM ET

CALGARY FLAMES AT COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS

TONIGHT AT 5 P.M., TV: SPORTSNET, RADIO: FAN 960

COMING IN:

Thanks to a terrible first period, the Flames spotted Minnesota a three-goal lead then stormed back to pull within one but still lost 6-3. Columbus, a club with a chance to make the playoffs for the first time since joining the league in 2000-01, lost its season opener 3-2 in Washington.

HEAD-TO-HEAD:

The Flames laid out the welcome mat right away for the Blue Jackets, playing victim in the expansion franchise's first victory and it hasn't become much better over the years. Columbus leads the all-time series 9-6-0-1. It's even worse at Nationwide Arena, where Calgary dropped the first five meetings and has a 2-7-1 mark.

ARRIVALS:

D Adam Foote, D Bryan Berard, D Radoslav Suchy, D Francois Beauchemin, D Andy Delmore, C Jan Hrdina, C Dan Fritsche, C Gilbert Brule, LW Jaroslav Balastik.

WHO'S HOT:

FLAMES -- Tony Amonte did pick up a couple of helpers in the disappointing season opener.

BLUE JACKETS -- Dan Fritsche, who played 19 NHL games in 2003-04 before returning to junior and spent last season helping the London Knights win the Memorial Cup, scored both goals for his team against the Capitals.

WHO'S NOT:

FLAMES -- The second line -- Chris Simon, Steve Reinprecht and Chuck Kobasew -- was a combined minus-six and were pinned to the pine at the end.

BLUE JACKETS -- Geoff Sanderson had no shots, no points and no impact in 12 minutes of ice time.

SPECIAL TEAMS:

POWERPLAY -- Calgary 12.5% (1-8, 16th); Columbus 0% (0-9, 24th).

PENALTY KILLING -- Calgary 33.3% (30th); Columbus 75% (26th).

INJURIES:

FLAMES -- D Robyn Regehr (knee) is out.

BLUE JACKETS -- D Rostislav Klesa (stress fracture) is on the shelf. LW Rick Nash is questionable due to a high ankle sprain.

NOTABLES:

Rick Nash, who shared the Rocket Richard Trophy after 2003-04 with Jarome Iginla and Ilya Kovalchuk, started the game in Washington despite missing almost the whole pre-season but had to leave before the second intermission. "He didn't re-injure it, just re-aggravated it," said head coach Gerard Gallant


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