Blue Jackets 4 Flames 2
CALGARY — Zach Werenski continued his impressive rookie season with a pair of assists as the Columbus Blue Jackets extended their winning streak to eight games with a 4-1 victory over the Calgary Flames on Friday night.
With Columbus leading 1-0 in the first period, the 19-year-old defenceman combined with Alexander Wennberg to set up Brandon Saad at 14:22 to put the visitors ahead by two goals.
After Calgary narrowed the lead to 2-1, Werenski helped re-establish a two-goal cushion 1:14 into the second on a power play when his slap shot from the blue line was deflected by Sam Gagner for his team-leading 13th goal.
The only player on the night with multiple points, Werenski has 20 points on the season to move into a tie for fourth in rookie scoring. He has six more than the next closest defenceman.
Boone Jenner, Brandon Saad and Matt Calvert also scored for Columbus (19-5-4), which owns the NHL’s best winning percentage at .750.
The streaking Blue Jackets are 13-1-2 in their last 16.
While in third place in the Metropolitan Division, two points back of Pittsburgh and one back of the New York Rangers, Columbus holds three and four games in hand, respectively.
Sean Monahan had the lone goal for Calgary (16-15-2), which has lost two straight on the heels of a six-game winning streak.
Monahan extends his career-best point streak to nine games (five goals, six assists), which is now the NHL’s longest active streak after Sidney Crosby had his nine-game streak come to an end on Friday.
Looking to answer back on the man advantage seven minutes into the second, Calgary yielded a short-handed goal instead.
Calvert intercepted Johnny Gaudreau’s pass at the blue-line and raced away on a breakaway, tucking his fifth goal through Chad Johnson’s pads.
That goal took the life out of the Scotiabank Saddledome as well as the Flames, who didn’t generate much offence the rest of the evening.
It was redemption for Calvert, who took the penalty in the first period that put the Flames on a two-man advantage and led to Monahan’s goal at 16:45.
Gaudreau combined with Kris Versteeg to set up Monahan’s one-timer. Gaudreau has points in six straight (two goals, eight assists) since returning from his broken finger.
In the Columbus net, Sergei Bobrovsky made 22 saves to run his winning streak to seven and improve to 18-5-2 on the season.
Johnson had 25 stops to see his record fall 13-6-1.