|6:30 PM PT7:30 PM MT8:30 PM CT9:30 PM ET2:30 GMT10:30 7:30 PM MST9:30 PM EST6:30 UAE (+1)21:30 ETNaN:� BRT, January 23, 2023
Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary, Alberta Attendance: 17,697
Johnny Gaudreau set to return to Calgary as member of Jackets
Columbus Blue Jackets at Calgary Flames
- The Blue Jackets' 3-1 win versus the Flames in Columbus on December 12 ended Calgary's six-game winning streak in the series. The Blue Jackets' last road win against the Flames was on March 29, 2018 (5-1), with Pierre-Luc Dubois scoring three goals for Columbus.
- The Blue Jackets' penalty-killing percentage in their 16 games against Western Conference teams this season is 87.5% (seven PPGA in 56 times shorthanded), second best in the NHL, behind the Bruins (90.1%). Columbus' penalty-killing percentage in 30 games versus teams from its own conference is 71.3% (27 PPGA in 94 times shorthanded), 29th in the NHL.
- Johnny Gaudreau has tallied 337 points in the 301 regular-season games at the Saddledome (122 goals and 215 assists, all for the Flames). Gaudreau ranks fifth in points scored there, behind Jarome Iginla (575), Al MacInnis (475), Theo Fleury (463) and Joe Nieuwendyk (349).
- Calgary killed all six Tampa Bay power-play opportunities in its 6-3 win at the Saddledome on Saturday. The Flames are 9-0-1 in home games in which they did not allow a power-play goal this season (and 4-8-1 in the home games in which they did allow a power-play goal).
- Defensemen Rasmus Andersson (one goal, two assists) and Noah Hanifin (three assists) each tallied three points for the Flames against the Lightning on Saturday. There were only two previous three-point games by a Calgary defenseman this season, one each by Michael Stone (Oct. 15 at Edmonton) and Andersson (Dec. 7 vs. Minnesota).
- Jacob Markstrom led the league with nine shutouts last season but his 32 starts this season are the third most among NHL goaltenders with no shutouts in 2022-23, behind co-leaders Carter Hart and Andrei Vasilevskiy (33 starts each).
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- Preds deny Bruins' team-record 58th win
- Rangers stay hot, within 2 points of 2nd
- Point scores 2 as Lightning blank 'Canes
- Perron scores 3 in 3rd, Wings beat Pens
Johnny Gaudreau's eight full seasons with the Calgary Flames included countless ovations in the Saddledome.
When Gaudreau and the rest of the Columbus Blue Jackets hit the ice on Monday against the host Flames, there will likely be some cheers to welcome him, but Gaudreau will definitely also receive some jeers.
And he knows it.
"We all understand. Sports is awesome. It brings people together, and I ... had some great memories," Gaudreau said. "Now, probably, they're a little upset that I'm not there anymore. So I get it."
Gaudreau, who led the Flames with 115 points (40 goals, 75 assists) last season and sits fifth on the team's all-time points list, left via free agency and signed a seven-year, $68.25 million contract with the Blue Jackets.
The fact he departed for the Blue Jackets is only one reason why Flames supporters were left with a sour taste. It was the perception he was optimistic of re-signing with Calgary, then spurned the Flames at the last second despite reportedly being offered a larger contract.
Flames fans reacted with derision toward Matthew Tkachuk, who forced a trade over the summer, in his return earlier this season, but they welcomed Sean Monahan with open arms. Gaudreau will likely receive both responses.
"I'm just excited to go back there and play in the 'Dome again," he said. "It'll be a lot of fun, but whether we're in first place or last place, it doesn't really matter. It's going to be special night."
Gaudreau scored his team's first goal Saturday as the Blue Jackets erased a 2-0 deficit midway through the second period en route to a 5-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks that snapped a three-game losing skid.
The Flames are well aware that Monday night will center on their former teammate, but the trip down memory lane must be secondary to the club that is just outside a playoff spot.
Calgary, which lost a 3-1 game to the Blue Jackets last month in Columbus, will be looking to build off Saturday's impressive 6-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
"Right from the start, I thought we were really good," forward Dillon Dube said. "Every shift, we didn't take too many off, and we played the right way. There was a lot of compete from the guys today. We were really prepared to play and prepared to win. It was a really good job by our group."
The Flames dominated the first period only to see a 1-0 lead turn into a 2-1 deficit in quick fashion just past the game's midway point. Calgary recovered, killing six Lightning man advantages -- no small feat against a team that boasts the league's No. 2 power play -- and outshooting the Lightning by a 41-24 margin to record a well-deserved victory.
The heat was on the Flames, who were guilty of slow starts in a pair of losses leading up to the Lightning visit.
"We bounced back quick today, and I think we responded really well after their second goal, obviously," said defenseman Rasmus Andersson, who collected one goal and two assists. "I'm proud of the guys. We bounced back quick and once we got the lead, we played really well."
--Field Level Media
Updated January 23, 2023