(SportsNetwork.com) – Johnny Gaudreau has been able to enjoy his race for the
rookie points lead since it has paralleled Calgary’s successful push for a
Gaudreau and the Flames look to keep their hold on a postseason spot Saturday
afternoon when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Looking to reach the postseason for the first time since 2009, the Flames
snapped a two-game slide with Thursday’s 4-1 victory over the Philadelphia
Flyers. That put Calgary a point ahead of the Los Angeles Kings for third
place in the Pacific Division and just one point behind the second-place
Both the Kings and Canucks have a game in hand over the Flames and meet on
Saturday afternoon in Los Angeles.
The 21-year-old Gaudreau had a goal and two assists in Thursday’s victory, his
fourth three-point game of the season. It gave the Boston College product 56
points on the season, one ahead of Nashville’s Filip Forsberg for the NHL lead
“I want to be one of the top rookies in the league,” said Gaudreau, “and as
I’m playing well and the team’s playing well, we’re in the playoff race,
everything seems to be going our way right now. Hopefully we can keep it
Sean Monahan and T.J. Brodie also scored while Jiri Hudler and Kris Russell
tacked on two assists apiece for the Flames, who won for the sixth time in
nine games. Karri Ramo made 26 saves.
Calgary will play the third contest of a five-game homestand tonight against a
Columbus squad that is seeing its own young skater come into form.
Marko Dano had a pair of goals and an assist in Thursday’s 6-2 win over the
Canucks, giving the 20-year-old three goals and four helpers over his past
five games. The 27th overall pick of the 2013 draft has seven goals and 14
points in 25 games with Columbus this season.
Dano has caught fire since being moved to a line with fellow 20-year-old and
2013 first-round pick Alexander Wennberg and veteran forward Scott Hartnell.
“His linemates are helping but he is also doing things on his own,” Columbus
coach Todd Richards told NHL.com of Dano. “He’s physical in the corners,
physical in the battles, he creates a little separation, and you see some
different things. He can score goals. He makes a great pass to Hartnell on his
goal. There’s a lot of skill and ability in him.”
Dano’s effort helped Columbus overcome an early 2-0 second-period deficit to
the Canucks as the Blue Jackets scored six unanswered goals. Wennberg notched
a goal and an assist and Hartnell also scored to give him six tallies and an
assist over a six-game point streak.
Rene Bourque and Cam Atkinson scored as well and Sergei Bobrovsky made 38
The Blue Jackets have won five of their last six games and are looking to
secure a perfect three-game swing through Western Canada tonight. They have
won two in a row and four of their last five versus the Flames, including a
3-2 victory at home on Oct. 17.
Columbus has won four straight in Calgary.