The Calgary Flames faced the Winnipeg Jets for the first time since their final preseason game. After each team won their respective home games against each other prior to the start of the year, they finally faced off a quarter of the way into the season.
The Flames got off to a great start to the game. Just 26 seconds into the opening period, Calgary got ahead early. Off a faceoff, in the Jets’ zone, Brendan Dillon sent the puck behind the net expecting another Jets player there.
However, Johnny Gaudreau picked it up as it went around the net and sent a blind backhand pass into the slot. Matthew Tkachuk was right there to backhand it in past Connor Hellebuyck. An incredible heads up play by Gaudreau led to Tkachuk’s 10th goal of the season.
Seven minutes later, the Flames found themselves on the power play. Winning the offensive zone faceoff, the Flames quickly cycled the puck. Gaudreau passed it to Monahan who tipped it on net, and with the rebound uncontrolled by Hellebuyck, Elias Lindholm was perfectly positioned to score on a wide open net.
Before the period was over, the Jets drew back within on thanks to Kyle Connor. Still, it was a solid opening period for the Flames and they went into the intermission up 2–1.
The second period started with the Jets tying the game. Paul Stastny was the beneficiary of a Jacob Markstrom rebound, and was in perfect position to tie the game back up at two goals apiece.
Later on towards the end of the period, Milan Lucic was given a game misconduct and a boarding major against Dylan DeMelo. On the ensuing penalty kill, the Flames faced some pressure to start, but was effective at killing off the whole penalty. Winnipeg was unable to take advantage and they saw their power play evaporate once Neal Pionk was called for a holding.
Overall, the second period wasn’t great for the Flames given that they gave up a goal, but they more than survived a long penalty kill—they showed why they have one of the best kills in the league right now.
In the third period, the Flames were all over the puck and had prime opportunities to regain their lead. As the game was nearing its end, the Jets were held to without so much a shot attempt for much of the period. In transition into Calgary’s zone, the Jets finally got a shot attempt and of course, it’d be Connor scoring his second of the night to instead put the Jets up by one for the first time in the game. With the Flames net empty in attempt to send the game to overtime, Andrew Copp instead scored on the vacant net to seal the win for Winnipeg.
It was a frustrating period as there were a few instances of the Flames coming quite close to scoring but were ultimately unable to. And yet the Jets were able to score after being held to virtually no chances for most of the final frame. Calgary ended up losing in regulation for just the fourth time this season—at least it wasn’t to a divisional opponent.
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