The Calgary Flames entered Saturday night’s content with the Winnipeg Jets trying to avenge a disappointing 3-2 loss from the previous night and snap their four game losing skid. They were able to do just that thanks to a pretty strong game at both ends of the ice.
David Rittich got the start while Johnny Gaudreau was playing in his 500th NHL game, oh where does the time go. Also in for the Flames were Brett Ritchie and Michael Stone who made his season debut after playing four games with the Stockton Heat in the last week or so. The Jets also countered with their backup netminder in Laurent Brossoit.
The Flames jumped ahead late in the first period when Josh Leivo banged home a loose puck in tight on Brossoit during a scramble. It was Leivo’s fourth of the year and Sean Monahan got an assist on the goal. Calgary then doubled their lead just 2:01 later with a Mark Giordano point shot deflecting off a Jet stick to make it 2-0. Johnny Gaudreau and Elias Lindholm picked up assisits while Giordano recorded his 499th career point on the goal.
Winnipeg got back within one early in the 2nd period when a long Mason Appleton shot (that was going wide) hit off Milan Lucic and beat Rittich high. Five and a half minutes later, the Jets tied it when Logan Stanley recorded his first NHL goal by wripping a high hard shot glove side from the slot. Both teams would get a few chances over the rest of the period, including a couple of PP looks for the Jets but no scoring was done.
The Flames jumped ahead early in the third period when a long relatively simple shot from Andrew Mangiapane beat Brossoit to make it 3-2. It was Mangiapane’s 10th goal of the year and one Brossoit would have liked back.
If the third goal was one for Brossoit to like back, he would absolutely love to have take the Flames fourth goal back as Sam Bennett basically just dumped the puck into the zone wide of the net, but Brossoit moved towards it a little too casually and it hit the backside of his stick and deflected behind him into the net. It was probably a play he makes 100 times over the course of the season and 99.9 work out just fine. Either way though, Bennett gets a very lucky break and Joakim Nordstrom gets his first point as a Flame with the goal.
After that point the Flames did a very good job of playing Sutter hockey to shut down the Jets, save for a few wild scrambles in front of Rittich in the dying minutes. Calgary held on and grabbed their first win in five games.
Flame of the Game
Johnny Gaudreau (F): Called out by Darryl Sutter in the morning press conference in a way I don’t think we’d seen before, he really showed up in his 500th game and was generating chances all night.