Flames vs Jets: M&G GameTime Preview

Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

The Jets visit Calgary to continue the rivalry.

Calgary will be coming back to the Saddledome tonight to take on the Winnipeg Jets in the second of three games this season. They'll be looking to bounce back after a 4-2 loss to the Nashville Predators.

The Flames lost to the Predators on Tuesday due to a couple of powerplay goals. Despite their loss, Karri Ramo played a fantastic game and was one of the reasons that Calgary still had a chance. Red hot Mikael Backlund comes into this game with a goal in each of the past three games. Jiri Hudler is playing just as well with four assists his last four. If you couldn't watch the game then no problem: Highlights Recap Boxscore

After the game coach Bob Hartley had some passionate words to say about the center.

This guy has so much more to offer, and he will. There's no doubt in my mind. It's part of our partnership between me and [Backlund] that I need to help him to get it out of him. Many young guys, they need time to find their groove in the NHL, to know how good they are. That's one thing, [Backlund] is unbelievably talented, he's committed, he's lots of fun to work with, and he's just going to get better and better.

Lee Stempniak on breaking his scoring slump:

It obviously feels good to get the monkey of your back and we've been starving for goals as a team and it's nice just to contribute. It's tough with it being a loss, but hopefully it's a good sign for me, personally, to start helping us win some games.

The Winnipeg Jets look to get a big win here and jump back into the playoff race. They are coming off of a 5-1 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on Monday, so expect them to hit the ground running considering they had a very high-tempo practice on Tuesday after the win. A couple of players the Flames' defense will need to shut down are Bryan Little, who has three points in two games, Mark Scheifele, who has four points in four games, and Dustin Byugflien who despite the trade rumours, has eight points in his past six games. The Jets will also be expected to play former Flame Olli Jokinen, who already has one goal against Calgary this season.

Keys to Winning

1. Play a full game. Yes, that means that the Flames must put in 100% for the entire 60 minutes that they're on the ice. We saw what happened when they did not do that on Tuesday against Nashville. They were playing a really tight game up until the third period when they let the Predators score two quick goals, and after that the game just started to slip away. After the game Mikael Backlund commented on the way the team played after the second period.

In the third period, they had two good chances and they scored on them. We weren't ready coming into the third period. If we want to win games, we can't let those goals in. We gotta take charge in the third period if we want to win games.

2. Be strong on the powerplay when needed. This was another aspect of their game that the Flames need to fix. Calgary is 27th in the league on the powerplay, but with their offense starting to break out once again, I expect our team to get a lot more aggressive and capitalize on crucial powerplay opportunities. For penalty killing, the Flames aren't terrible but could do a better job, standing at 17th in the league and 80.5%. They could use some help from their penalty killing units.

The last time these two teams met up it was an absolute thriller of a game. With six seconds left in regulation, Bryan Little scored the tying goal, sending the game to overtime and eventually the shootout. Sean Monahan netted the game winner in the eighth round. Be sure to go on Arctic Ice Hockey for more stats and information about the Winnipeg Jets.

Time: 7:00 PM MST

Season Series: 1-0 in favour of Calgary.

TV: TSN-Jets, Sportsnet West, Sportsnet Calgary

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