The Calgary Flames flew to Winnipeg on Saturday night seeking a point to clinch a playoff spot. They’re still looking for it despite a strong effort in a tight-checking 2-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets.
This game was pretty even, tilted slightly towards the Flames. There were three goals.
The Jets made it 1-0 with nine seconds left in the first period. After an icing, Mark Scheifele won the face-off, passed the puck off and then drove to the net. Ben Chiarot pinched with the puck and shoved it to Scheifele, who chipped it past Mike Smith. It was a really sharp play to take a late lead.
The Flames tied the goal off a nice shorthanded play, winning the defensive zone face-off and then connecting a nice passing sequence which ended with a Mark Jankowski redirect of a Elias Lindholm pass to make it 1-1.
Another goal, another ? pic.twitter.com/tUfLcalL3j
— FantenbergNation (@FlamesNation) March 17, 2019
But before the double-minor that the Flames scored on could expire, Mathieu Perreault jammed in a loose puck after Smith made the initial stop but couldn’t smother the rebound. That made it 2-1, and that’s all the scoring we saw here.
The Flames pressed in the third period, but couldn’t turn their zone time into goals as the Jets defended well.
Why the Flames Lost
This was a schedule loss – the Flames played the night before in a different time zone, were missing two regular forwards, and didn’t arrive in Winnipeg until 3:30 a.m. – but the visitors did their best to make a game of it. They out-shot and out-chanced the Jets at even strength, but the Jets scoring on their power play opportunities (and the Flames failing to do so) was the difference.
Johnny Gaudreau didn’t get a point, but he led the Flames in ice time and shots. He was all over the place and should’ve been rewarded more for it on the scoresheet.
The Turning Point
Take your pick of either third period Flames power play. If they score on either of them, or even generate some scoring chances and tucker the Jets defenders out, it’s a completely different game.
(Percentage stats are 5-on-5, data via Natural Stat Trick)
This and That
Mark Jankowski scores Calgary’s 17th shorthanded goal of the season. That’s tied for the third most in team history with the 1990-91 team. The others:
Jankowski has 11 goals, 5 of them are shorties. #Flames
— Pat Steinberg (@Fan960Steinberg) March 17, 2019
The Flames (44-21-7) head home tonight. They’re off tomorrow and host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night at the Saddledome.