Time to build a win streak

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:58 AM ET

The first win is out of the way.

Now comes an even meaner feat for the Calgary Flames -- finding the formula that turns one victory into two straight.

The Flames head into tonight's clash with Columbus looking for their first winning streak of the season, which means all the exuberance and relief from the club's solid victory over the Minnesota Wild won't be worth much if it's followed by a loss.

Especially since Columbus comes into town sitting even lower than the Flames in the standings and on the verge of yet another losing skid.

"I'm sure we'll be reminded (this) morning. We all know it and we've talked about it before other games," forward Marcus Nilson said of his team's lack of a winning streak. "Our team needs to win two, three, four in a row and get that good feeling back with everybody.

"We'll get more confidence as a team."

While Calgary is coming off a strong game, the same can't be said for Columbus, which was thumped 5-1 in Edmonton Tuesday.

As Nilson pointed out, this is hardly the time for complacency to set in.

"They're gonna be hungry," he said. "You look at their lineup and it's a good lineup so we know they're going to be a tough team.

"We have to make sure we're ready to come out like we did (against the Wild) because I think that was, by far, our best game this year. It's good to see and we have to build off that."

Columbus, off to a disappointing 4-9-0 start, received good news Tuesday when budding star Rick Nash returned to the lineup after missing all but the season opener due to a high ankle sprain suffered in the pre-season.

Having Nash, even if he isn't completely healthy, is a boost for the Blue Jackets' offensive attack, seeing as he shared the Rocket Richard Trophy with Jarome Iginla and Ilya Kovalchuk in 2003-04.

"He's really good in front of the net and is a big guy," Nilson said. "The big thing is to play in their end and then you don't have to worry about him."

Calgary may see its injured brigade lighten.

Defenceman Robyn Regehr, yet to play this season due to a knee injury, is inching closer and may be in the lineup. However, seeing as yesterday's practice was his first with contact, he may be held out until Saturday's meeting with Vancouver.


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