Blue Jackets get eighth straight win, 4-1 over Flames

BY Hank Green and AP • December 17, 2016

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) -- Sam Gagner got his fifth goal in five games, Zach Werenski continued his impressive rookie season with two assists and the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Calgary Flames 4-1 on Friday night for their eighth straight win.

The streak is tied for the second-longest ever for Columbus, which is in third place in the highly competitive Metropolitan Division with 42 points.

Werenski has 20 points on the season, tied for fourth among rookies. He has six more points than the closest rookie defenseman.

His first assist came when he forced a turnover in the neutral zone that led to Brandon Saad's goal with 5:34 left in the first, putting Columbus up 2-0.

Werenski also assisted on Gagner's power-play goal 1:14 into the second for a 3-1 lead. The 19-year-old defenseman fired a slap shot from the blue line that Gagner deflected for his team-leading 13th goal.

Sergei Bobrovsky made 22 saves to run his winning streak to seven and improve to 18-5-2.

Boone Jenner, Brandon Saad and Matt Calvert also scored for Columbus, which owns the NHL's best winning percentage at .750. The streaking Blue Jackets are 13-1-2 in their last 16.

Sean Monahan scored for Calgary, which has lost two straight on the heels of a six-game winning streak.

Monahan extended his career-best point streak to nine games (five goals, six assists), which is now the NHL's longest active streak after Sidney Crosby ended his nine-game run Friday.

Calvert got his goal short-handed 7:31 into the second. He intercepted Johnny Gaudreau's pass at the blue line and raced away on a breakaway, tucking his fifth goal through Chad Johnson's pads.

It was redemption for Calvert, who took the penalty in the first period that put the Flames on a two-man advantage and led to Monahan's goal at 16:45.

Gaudreau combined with Kris Versteeg to set up Monahan's one-timer. Gaudreau has points in six straight (two goals, eight assists) since returning from his broken finger.

Johnson had 25 stops.

NOTES: Columbus coach John Tortorella (499-413-127) is one win away from becoming the 24th NHL coach to win 500 games. ... The Blue Jackets team record for a winning streak is nine games from March 18-April 4, 2015. ... Flames have power-play goals in seven straight games for the first time since 2005-06.


Blue Jackets: Play at Vancouver on Sunday.

Flames: Play at Arizona on Monday night.