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Blue Jackets cool off Flames' hot streak with 2-1 NHL victory

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

It felt so good, they did it again - right away. David Vyborny and Fredrik Modin ended a long Columbus scoring drought with third-period goals to give the Blue Jackets a 2-1 victory over the Calgary Flames on Thursday night.

"We just banged away, got two dirty goals and got away with a win," said Modin, whose 13th goal with 9:18 left was the difference. "The top lines need to score, that's just the way it is. We need to take it on our shoulders, chip away and bang away, and get those goals. It really hasn't gone that way. But tonight we were fortunate to get two goals that came from the so-called top two lines."

Vyborny had scored just one goal in his previous 17 games and Modin had just three goals in his last 22 games while the Blue Jackets grew desperate for scoring. They were shut out 3-0 by Phoenix on Tuesday night.

"Last game we didn't play very well but tonight we got excited," said Vyborny, who notched his 12th goal in his 450th career NHL game. "They scored a lucky goal and finally we got two goals."

Fredrik Norrena stopped 24 shots for Columbus, which ended a three-game skid.

Matthew Lombardi scored for the Flames, and Kristian Huselius extended his point streak to 14 games.

Northwest Division-leading Calgary had picked up points in its previous eight games (8-0-3).

"Our top players didn't play well at all," coach Jim Playfair said.

The Blue Jackets couldn't score for 133 minutes and 26 seconds, then overcame a 1-0 deficit with two goals in 47 seconds.

Vyborny broke the spell when he grabbed a loose puck and jammed it in at 9:55 of the third period.

Rick Nash was battling Stephane Yelle for control behind the goal when Vyborny reached in and pulled the puck away, then wristed a quick shot that hit goalie Jamie McLennan in the mask and ricocheted into the net.

Before that goal could be announced, Sergei Fedorov tossed a pass through the crease from the left boards that Modin got his stick on and directed past a surprised McLennan.

"In the second break, we said we had to maintain focus on our game," Fedorov said. "We were down 1-0 and it was a one-shot game. We had to stick with the game plan for 60 minutes, like we said before, and we would get our shots. It was nice to see it pay off."

McLennan, giving front-line goalie Miikka Kiprusoff a night off, finished with 29 saves.

Columbus killed much of the final minute after a delayed penalty was called, playing keep-away with the puck.

Only 21 seconds remained in the second period when the Flames took a 1-0 lead.

Moments earlier, Nash was levelled by defenceman Dion Phaneuf near the corner. When play resumed, Columbus captain Adam Foote was assessed a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct stemming from the hit on Nash.

About 90 seconds into the power play, Phaneuf whiffed on a one-timer, but David Moss got the puck and slid a pass off the backboards that Huselius snagged and tried to convert on a wraparound. Norrena blocked the shot, but the puck slid to the far post where Lombardi jammed in the rebound for his 16th of the season.

The Flames were 22-0-1 when leading through two periods before the two quick goals turned things around.

"We need every win we can get," Norrena said. "It doesn't matter if we play at home or away, we just have to show up every night and see how it goes."

Notes: Calgary was 0-for-4 on the power play, the Blue Jackets were 0-for-5. ... Columbus improved to 6-27-1 when the opponent scores first, with the Flames falling to 22-7-1 in games in which they led 1-0. ... It was the fourth time this year Columbus has overcome a deficit in the third period.


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