William Karlsson snaps slump with 2 goals, Blue Jackets beat Flames
Jiri Hudler nets lone goal for Calgary
Led by a pair of rookies, the surging Columbus Blue Jackets picked up another two points Friday night.
William Karlsson scored twice to bust out of a slump and Joonas Korpisalo made 30 saves as Columbus beat the Calgary Flames 2-1.
"It feels good to win and score two goals. Obviously, I haven't been too spoiled with the goals this year," said the 23-year-old Karlsson, who entered the night with one goal in his previous 30 games. "I'd say this is a classic, greasy road win. We got the goal early in the third and after that it was all about the defense."
Karlsson scored the go-ahead goal 1:42 into the third period, taking advantage of a miscue by Dougie Hamilton. The Flames defenseman had the puck knocked off his stick at the Columbus blue line and on the subsequent odd-man rush, Matt Calvert set up Karlsson's sixth goal of the season.
Columbus picked up six of eight possible points on a four-game road trip. The Blue Jackets do not play again until Tuesday, when they host the New York Islanders to open a five-game homestand. The Blue Jackets are 4-1-1 in their last six.
Jiri Hudler scored at 7:09 of the opening period for the Flames, who have lost four of their last five.
It was another great night for Korpisalo, who has been pressed into service due to injuries to Sergei Bobrovsky and Curtis McElhinney. He is 6-1-1 in his last eight starts with an impressive .945 save percentage.
"He's been saving (us) for a while, it seems like. It feels great with a guy like that you can really count on," Karlsson said. "He seems very confident out there, calm. It's kind of contagious. It goes out on all of us players."
One of his best saves came early in the second while lying flat on the ice when he stuck out his trapper to thwart Michael Frolik.
"Those kinds of desperation saves, you just try to get something in front of the puck," said the 21-year-old Finn. "You have to save the puck, doesn't matter about style."
The Blue Jackets tied it at 1 at 9:39 of the second on another odd-man rush, this one coming as a result of Calgary defenseman Ladislav Smid getting caught deep in the Columbus end.
On the ensuing 2-on-1 led by Seth Jones, the defenseman faked a shot, held the puck patiently, then neatly set up Karlsson, who put a one-timer past Karri Ramo inside the goal post.
"You look at the two goals we gave, two mistakes that we need to learn from," Flames coach Bob Hartley said. "It's part of our process with our young group and obviously it stings, but that's the way it is right now. We can only learn."
Calgary led 1-0 after the first period, with the key sequence beginning when Boone Jenner was sprung in alone on a breakaway by Cam Atkinson, but was robbed on a superb glove stop by Ramo. Play kept going and as the Flames went back up ice, Sean Monahan fed a pass across to Hudler, whose shot deflected off the stick of Alexander Wennberg and beat Korpisalo over the shoulder.
That would be the only shot to beat Korpisalo.
Ramo had 16 stops, but the Blue Jackets didn't register a shot for the final 16:07 of the game.
"Bottom line is one goal, you're not going to win many games in this league," Flames captain Mark Giordano said. "We have to create more. We have to score more goals."