The Calgary Flames beat the Winnipeg Jets by a 4-1 score on Thursday night. Here are selected reactions from players and coaches following the game.
The Flames weren’t great (but were good enough)
The last time the Flames hit the ice, they lost 3-1 to the St. Louis Blues on Saturday afternoon. Speaking to the media following the game, head coach Bill Peters jokingly asked how many days the team had off – four – and chuckled that it looked like it.
“Tough game to play, right?” said Peters. “You take X amount of days off and then you fly in on game day. And then your goaltender has got to be real good, and ours was. Gave us a chance to build a game, get our feet underneath us, and made some big saves in the third obviously also. Big part of the win.”
Flames leading scorer Johnny Gaudreau had a hat trick in the win, and credited netminder David Rittich with keeping the game close early on.
“I think were a little bit slow footed in the first,” said Gaudreau. “Ritter played really well back there for us. In the second got our feet moving, got a couple goals there. Big shorthanded goal there in the third. Just a big team win.”
Rittich improved his record to 12-4-2, with a 2.22 goals against average and .926 save percentage. Of regular goalies, only Pekka Rinne has a better goals against average and only Casey de Smith and Jaroslav Halak have better save percentages.
Special teams come up big
The Flames killed off two penalties against the scary-good Jets power play. Not only that, they scored a short-handed goal that gave them some breathing room – their 10th of the season, second only to Arizona’s 11.
Peters had a couple explanations for the success of the team’s penalty killers at generating scoring chances.
“Anticipation, some good anticipation,” said Peters. “We have some skilled guys on the penalty kill, obviously. Janko’s got a bunch of those. Real good decision to keep it and shoot it here today. Looked like he locked him up probably thinking pass. But did a good job, had some deception there. And aggressive. Aggressive mindset. We want to kill the penalty up ice as much as we can. If not there, then the stand at the blueline.”
Jankowski’s three short-handed goals are tied for second in the NHL.
Gaudreau’s arm is fine
Gaudreau was slashed on the arm by Dustin Byfuglien just before scoring his third goal. He left the game and didn’t return, though there was only 2:06 left in regulation and there wasn’t much of a point of keeping him in the game.
Asked how his arm was, Gaudreau said it was fine.