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Preview: Game 1, Calgary Flames vs Winnipeg Jets

Goaltending could be a MAJOR factor in this series.

Calgary Flames v Winnipeg Jets Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images

Calgary Flames vs Winnipeg Jets, 8:30 PM MT, Rogers Place, Edmonton AB

TV: NBCSN, NHLTV, CBC, SN - Radio: Sportsnet 960

Calgary Flames (36-26-7, 79 Points) - Winnipeg Jets (37-28-6, 80 Points)

The Flames and Jets open up their first round, qualifying match-up tonight in Edmonton at Rogers Place. This will be the first time these teams will meet in the playoffs as the current Winnipeg Jets franchise. In the past the Flames and Jets met three times before Winnipeg closed up shop and became the Phoenix Coyotes. In 1984-85 and 1986-87 the then Winnipeg Jets sent the Flames packing from the playoffs, while Calgary was only able to turn the tables in 1985-86 by sweeping the Jets out of the playoffs.

As we mentioned in our comparison preview neither team has had a good look at each other in 2019-20. Their only regular season meeting was at the 2019 Tim Horton’s Heritage Classic where Winnipeg beat the Flames in OT 2-1 in a very entertaining and competitive game. So based off of that late October game....you really can’t draw any type of conclusion. Both teams finished within a point of each other and as team offence, their fairly similar as well.

Calgary and Winnipeg have each played their exhibition games with Winnipeg winning 4-1 and the Flames losing 4-1. Again, I don’t know what to make of any of that because everyone is rusty and it’s everyone’s first real game action in months.

All in all, on paper, this is a pretty even match-up and Game 1 could very well come down to who’s got the best goaltender that night. Both David Rittich and Cam Talbot didn’t set the world on fire in Calgary’s 4-1 loss to Edmonton, giving up two goals apiece. Connor Hellebuyck on the other hand stopped 37 of 38 shots in 59:00 of work. So there’s that. The Flames will need to rattle Winnipeg’s all world keeper early and often because if Hellebuyck gets hot and slows the Flames from the get go, it could be a long night for Calgary.

Team Leaders

Flames- Goals: Lindholm (29) Points: Tkachuk (61) PIM: Tkachuk (74) Save%: Talbot (.919)

Jets- Goals: Connor (38) Points: Connor (73) PIM: Scheifele (45) Save%: Hellebuyck (.922)

What’s Happening With The Opposition?

Winnipeg Jets Coverage: Arctic Ice Hockey

Last Time Out

Calgary Flames 1 - Edmonton Oilers 4

Winnipeg Jets 4 - Vancouver Canucks 1

Players To Watch

Calgary Flames

Calgary Flames v Tampa Bay Lightning Photo by Scott Audette /NHLI via Getty Images

Mikael Backlund (C): 22 points in last 16 regular season games

Winnipeg Jets

Vancouver Canucks v Winnipeg Jets Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images

Connor Hellebuyck (G): wins in 7 of his last 10 regular season games