Calgary Flames @ Winnipeg Jets, 6 PM MT, Bell MTS Place, Winnipeg MB
TV: SNW - Radio: Sportsnet 960
Calgary Flames (4-4-1, 9 pts) - Winnipeg Jets (6-4-0, 12 pts)
The Flames and Jets will conclude their three game series tonight as Calgary will try and get back in the win column. The Flames lost to Winnipeg Tuesday night 3-2, after the Flames fell behind 3-1 after 20 minutes. Calgary has really struggled in the opening frame of games this season and they haven’t been tearing it up against Winnipeg since their season opener. The Flames scored three first period goals in the game (on their way to a loss), but it’s been tough sledding ever since. Including Tuesday night’s loss, the good guys have given up 14 goals to start a game and five of those have come in the last two contests against Winnipeg.
We’ve been beating the drum lately about how slow starts have doomed the Flames and as much as you are tired of reading about it, we’re tired of writing about it. That’s the real key to the Flames coming out with a “W” tonight: play well early.
With that out of the way, the Jets have really played well against the Flames during the last two games. Once they’ve gotten a lead they have suffocated Calgary and really made it tough for the Flames to get pucks into the Winnipeg end. Clogging the neutral zone and slowing down the Flames speed has been ultra successful and it’s another thing the Flames will have to overcome. Winnipeg has also stymied the Flames power play which was scoring goals more often than when Calgary was at even strength. The Jets PK has gone 6-6 over the last two nights, shutting down the Flames high powered offence and making it look, at times, like the Flames are the team playing man down.
With this series ending, Calgary and Winnipeg still have four more games against each other, but they won’t cross paths again until March 26th. I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen enough of Winnipeg for a while. So, how about a good first period, maybe even outscoring Winnipeg and give us all some hope that the players and coaches can put together a solid opening 20 minutes. That’s not too much to ask......is it?
Starting Goalies (E=Expected, C=Confirmed)
Flames: Markstrom (E): 4-2-1, 2.27 GAA, .924 SV%
Jets: Hellebuyck (E): 4-2-1, 2.70 GAA, .907 SV%
Flames: Goals- Gaudreau (6), Points- Gaudreau (11), PIM- Lucic (10), Save%- Markstrom (.924)
Jets: Goals- Connor (6), Points- Scheifele (13), PIM: Beaulieu (12). Save%- Hellebuyck (.907)
What’s Happening With The Opposition?
Winnipeg Jets Coverage: Arctic Ice Hockey
Last Time Out
Calgary Flames 2 - Winnipeg Jets 3
Players To Watch
Johnny Gaudreau: points in 9 straight games
Mark Scheifele (C): 5 points in last 5 games