On Wednesday, the Calgary Flames were shut out 5-0 by the Jets in Winnipeg. On Friday, the Flames had some flashes of brilliance, but they still were left wanting. The Flames lost at home by a 5-3 score to the Jets to close out their exhibition schedule.
Who was playing?
Aside from Kevin Rooney sitting, the Flames essentially dressed their Game 1 lineup:
Jonathan Huberdeau – Elias Lindholm – Tyler Toffoli
Andrew Mangiapane – Nazem Kadri [A] – Dillon Dube
Radim Zohorna – Mikael Backlund [A] – Blake Coleman
Milan Lucic – Adam Ruzicka – Trevor Lewis
MacKenzie Weegar – Chris Tanev [A]
Noah Hanifin – Rasmus Andersson
Nikita Zadorov – Connor Mackey
Jacob Markstrom started for the Flames, backed up by Dan Vladar.
Not dressed for the Flames, but still in camp: Michael Stone, Nicolas Meloche, Juuso Valimaki, Brett Ritchie and Kevin Rooney.
How did they do?
The Jets opened the scoring 4:18 into the first with a weird one. Dylan DeMelo had time and space to crank off a shot from the right point. His shot ricocheted off a couple sticks and skates, eventually beating Jacob Markstrom inside the far post to his right. Pierre-Luc Dubois was credited with the goal (due to having the final deflection). That made it 1-0 Jets.
The Jets got another weird one roughly four minutes later. The Jets had an initial scoring chance turned aside by Markstrom, but they beat out the Flames defenders to the loose rebound. Nikolaj Ehlers had the time and space to chuck the puck at the net, where it glanced in off Markstrom’s glove-side arm to make it 2-0 Jets.
The Flames got on the board later in the first period off a gorgeous little bit of hockey. Jonathan Huberdeau exited the Flames zone, spinning past a Jets player in the process without losing speed, then set up a tic-tac-toe passing play that was finished off when Tyler Toffoli fired the puck past Connor Hellebuyck to cut the Jets lead to 2-1.
But the Jets responded on the power play late in the period. The Flames were caught a bit on their heels during a line change, giving Dubois a lane to the net. A Mark Scheifele pass sprung Dubois, he split the defenders and beat Markstrom with a nice shot to give the Jets a 3-1 lead.
The Flames cut the lead to 3-2 in the mid-second period off a nice bit of forechecking from new guy Radim Zohorna. Zohorna chased down a Noah Hanifin dump-in, then flung the puck towards the net-front area. Amidst all the chaos and confusion, the puck bonked in off Blake Coleman and made it a 3-2 hockey game.
But a little later, the Jets got their two-goal lead back. The Jets cycled the puck fairly well, leading to Kyle Connor getting a nice shot off from the face-off dot with Jansen Harkins screening. That shot beat Markstrom to make it 4-2 Jets.
The Flames drew a late power play in the second, but the Jets stole the puck after the initial draw and Connor and Scheifele went in on a two-on-one rush, with Scheifele finishing a Connor feed for a shorthanded goal to give the Jets a 5-2 lead.
Nazem Kadri added a late goal in the third period to cut Winnipeg’s lead to 5-3, but that was as close as the Flames got.
Who looked good?
The Flames had some nice flashes offensively, particularly the top two lines.
But overall, the Flames were not particularly good. Five-on-five, the Flames were pretty leaky and gave up a lot of odd-man chances against. On special teams, they allowed a power play goal and a shorthanded goal. Jacob Markstrom wasn’t particularly bad, but he also wasn’t particularly good.
Needless to say, there’s some work to do before Thursday night.
This and that
Jets forward Pierre-Luc Dubois suffered a lower-body injury in the first period and didn’t finish the game.
Dillon Dube hit Cole Perfetti in the numbers at the end of a Jets power play, leading to a crowd to form. (Remember: the Jets were grumpy after the Wednesday game after Mark Scheifele was checked high by Nikita Zadorov and Nazem Kadri was called for boarding Perfetti. A crowd formed, but Dube didn’t receive a penalty after the hit.
The Flames have completed their pre-season schedule. Their next game is one that counts in the standings: a Thursday night meeting with the Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche at the Saddledome.