Blue Jackets 4 Flames 1
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Jeff Carter had two goals, Curtis Sanford made 27 saves and the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Calgary Flames 4-1 on Monday night for their first winning streak in 42 games.
Antoine Vermette and Rick Nash also scored, and Vinny Prospal added three assists for the Blue Jackets, who improved 3-1-1 in their last five games, and 2-0-1 in those games with the red-hot Sanford. Nash stopped a seven-game drought.
Sanford, who signed a two-way contract in the off-season and recently returned from a groin injury, has been a steadying influence on the team in place of the struggling Steve Mason.
Mark Giordano scored for Calgary, which was seeking a third consecutive win. Backup Henrik Karlsson made 26 stops.
Carter, who has all three of his goals this season in the last two games, carried the puck the length of the ice before sending a snap shot from the left circle over Karlsson’s glove at 3:01 in the first period.
The Blue Jackets continued to forecheck and it paid dividends three minutes later. Derek Dorsett jostled the puck loose around the Flames net and eventually Vermette flicked a nifty shot between his legs and inside the near post to make it 2-0.
Calgary coach Brent Sutter used his timeout after the goal and the Flames responded, playing with more cohesion. They finished the period with an 11-10 shots advantage, but Sanford was there to close the door on the best chances.
Sanford stymied Tim Jackman trying to finish a 2-on-1, kicked aside an uncontested slap shot from Giordano and gloved Alex Tanguay’s attempt.
In the second period, soon after Sanford got a piece of a shot from Rene Bourque on a short-handed breakaway, Columbus capitalized on a two-man advantage at 5:28. Carter fired a Prospal rebound into an open net to make it 3-0.
The Flames bounced back with a power-play goal of their own just over four minutes later. Skating laterally into the right circle, Giordano put on the brakes and snapped a perfectly placed shot to the far post for his third.
The Flames’ best chance in the third came early when Tanguay hit the post and Mikael Backlund couldn’t sweep the rebound into a gaping net.
Nash put the game away with his fifth at 18:29.