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Jackets douse Flames in SO behind Denis' 36 saves

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) -- Columbus Blue Jackets coach Gerard
Gallant gave Marc Denis a rare start in consecutive start. It
turned out to be a good decision.

Denis made 36 saves during the game then added two more clutch
stops in the shootout to lead Columbus to a 2-1 victory aagainst
the Calgary Flames on Wednesday night.

The shootout was over quickly thanks to goals by Jaroslav
Balastik and Rick Nash, the first two Columbus shooters, and Denis'
stops on Tony Amonte and Jarome Iginla.<

"I'm a big fan of the shootout right now because I'm 2-0 and
I've stopped all five shots I've seen," said Denis, who has won
his last five starts. Especially gratifying to Denis was clinching
the win with a stop on Iginla.

"I was glad I could face one of the best players in the NHL
1-on-1 to decide the game, that's a thrill right there," said
Denis, who had been alternating starts with rookie Pascal Leclaire
the past month. "That's why the shootout is such a big deal with
the fans and that's why I think the players are fans of it too."

Nikolai Zherdev scored for the Blue Jackets, winners of nine of
their last 12.

Iginla scored the lone goal for Calgary, which has lost four of
their its last five and had its six-game home winning streak
snapped. It was the Flames' second straight shootout loss.

"It doesn't feel good losing two in shootouts," said Iginla.
"We just couldn't find that second goal in regulation tonight."

Iginla had a great chance to win it overtime but with Denis down
and unable to reach the rebound of Iginla's initial shot, the
Flames captain fired the puck off Denis' pad.

"Denis made a good save on that one in overtime," Iginla said.
"Obviously I probably should have chipped it up. It would have
been nice to see that one go in."

Calgary also had a power-play in overtime when Columbus forward
David Vyborny was penalized for tripping giving the Flames just
their second power-play opportunity of the game. However, the
Flames could not convert the 4-on-3.

"It was a good test for us tonight," Columbus' Sergei Fedorov
said. "We were a patient team, we stayed with the program, and we
played well defensively."

Zherdev tied the game 1-1 at 16:43 of the second period, taking
advantage of a pair of bad breaks for the Flames.

Defensemen Robyn Regehr and Rhett Warrener were both whistled
for delay of game penalties 6 seconds apart for accidentally
shooting the puck over the glass. With 6 seconds left in the
two-man advantage, Zherdev was set up at the faceoff dot by
Rostislav Klesla and he one-timed a low slap shot inside the near
post before goalie Miikka Kiprusoff could slide across the crease.

"I don't think they were careless," Sutter said about the
penalties. "They were under pressure and if it hits one inch down
then its out of the zone and they were both trying to ice the
puck."

Back home after a five-game road trip, Calgary started fast
jumping out to a 1-0 lead 5:26 into the first period. Iginla raced
down the right wing and zipped a wrist shot from 30 feet out into
the top corner.

Game notes
Calgary C Jason Wiemer made just his second appearance in
the last 12 games. He started in place of C Steve Reinprecht, who
was sent to Phoenix for goalie Brian Boucher and left wing Mike
Leclerc in a four-player trade after the game. ... Six Flames
remain that have played in all 53 games. The only member of the
Blue Jackets to hold that distinction is RW Trevor Letowski...
Missing his second game in a row for Columbus was D Bryan Berard,
who is battling the same back injury that sidelined for seven games
in December... Calgary D Jordan Leopold hasn't scored since Mar. 7.
2004, a span of 67 regular season games. Adding in the 2004
playoffs, the slump worsens to 93 games.