Justin Danforth had a goal and an assist, backup goalie Spencer Martin stopped 36 shots to get his first win in nearly a year, and the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Calgary Flames 3-1 on Friday night.
Sean Kuraly and Zach Werenski also scored for the Blue Jackets, who rebounded from a 4-0 loss to Detroit on Monday.
“There was a lot of good stuff from us,” Kuraly said.
Elias Lindholm scored, and Jacob Markstrom stopped 23 shots for Calgary.
After a scoreless first period, Kuraly picked up a leading pass from Danforth in the neutral zone and unloaded from the right circle. The puck went in under Markstrom’s arm to get Columbus on the board at 6:29 of the second with Kuraly’s first goal of the season and 50th of his career.
In the third period, Jack Roslovic brought the puck out from behind the Flames’ net and passed across the crease to Danforth who finished it to give the Blue Jackets a 2-0 lead at 8:45. Danforth recorded his first multi-point game in the NHL.
Less than two minutes later, Lindholm broke away and beat Martin for a short-handed goal to get the Flames on the board. But that would be it for Calgary.
“(The Flames) had a press there in the second and third and Marty was lights out tonight and has a great game,” Danforth said.
Werenski got an unassisted empty-netter with 2:21 left to seal the win.
“They came out and pressed us hard,” Calgary centre Mikael Backlund said. “They put a lot of pressure on us. They have a lot of fast forwards. We knew that going in. I thought we were a little sloppier than we have been in the past.”
Between the pipes
Merzlikins left last Saturday’s win against the New York Rangers with an unspecified illness and then missed the loss to Detroit on Monday. He wasn’t 100% on Friday, so Martin started in his place again. Martin, in his fourth NHL season, was claimed off waivers from Vancouver because of a knee injury to Daniil Tarasov.
The Blue Jackets’ Cole Sillinger and Flames centre Nazem Kadri dropped the gloves and traded some wild roundhouse punches in the first period. Both went to the box for fighting. Shortly after, Columbus killed a 5-on-3 Calgary power play.
“I think that fight was huge for us,” Danforth said. “Just the young kid (who) dropped the gloves with a veteran guy like that. It shows a lot for our team, and it’s big for him to step up like that for himself. I think after that’s when we started.”
Laine shaken up
Columbus forward Patrik Laine took a shot to the head from Rasmus Andersson as the horn sounded to end the game. Laine’s teammate Erik Gudbranson took exception and jumped Andersson before the ice was cleared. Laine was very slow to get up.
“I see a hit to the head and (Andersson) lifting his feet,” Columbus coach Pacal Vincent said. “I saw the replay. That’s illegal in my book. So we’ll let the NHL deal with it.”
Flames: At Detroit on Sunday.
Blue Jackets: At Minnesota on Saturday night.