CALGARY — Columbus rookie William Karlsson broke out of a slump with two goals Friday night to lead the surging Blue Jackets to a 2-1 victory over the Calgary Flames.
Karlsson recorded the game-winner 1:42 into the third period, taking advantage of a miscue by Dougie Hamilton. The Flames defenceman 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.
The 23-year-old entered the night with one goal in his previous 30 games.
Columbus (21-28-5) picked up of six-of-eight possible points on a stretch of four straight road games. The Blue Jackets do not return to action until Tuesday when they host the New York Islanders to open up a five-game homestand.
The Blue Jackets remain last overall due to having played more games, but a 4-1-1 record in their last six has them even in points with five other teams — Calgary, Toronto, Winnipeg, Buffalo and Edmonton.
Jiri Hudler scored for Calgary (22-25-3). The Flames, who have lost four of their last five, are back in action Saturday night in Vancouver.
The Blue Jackets tied it 1-1 at 9:39 of the second on another odd-man rush, this one coming as a result of Calgary defenceman Ladislav Smid getting caught deep in the Columbus end.
On the ensuing two-on-one led by Seth Jones, the defenceman faked a shot, held the puck patiently, then neatly set up Karlsson, who put a one-timer past Karri Ramo inside the goal post.
Calgary led 1-0 after the first period.
The key sequence began 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 Joonas Korpisalo over the shoulder.
That would be the only shot to beat Korpisalo, who had another great night with 30 saves.
The 21-year-old rookie entered the game 5-1-1 in his previous seven games with a .942 save percentage.
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 at the side of the net.
Ramo had 16 stops. The Blue Jackets didn’t register a shot for the final 16:07 of this hockey game.
Notes: Calgary D TJ Brodie was back in action after he exited the previous game early in the second after taking a shot just above the knee… Czech D Jakub Nakladal was a scratch for the sixth time. The 28-year-old in his first season in North America has been called up from Stockton (AHL) twice but has yet to make his NHL debut… Seth Jones has seven assists in 13 games since being acquired by Columbus from Nashville.