The Calgary Flames didn’t play a perfect hockey game on Saturday night against the Winnipeg Jets. But they were pretty good all-around, especially when the game was in the balance. They scored first and never trailed en route to a 4-2 win over the Jets to snap their four game losing streak.
The Flames were pretty decent in the opening period, and got a bit more energetic as the period wore on. They eventually opened the scoring.
Brett Ritchie had a skate issue and had to head to the bench, replaced by Josh Leivo. Off the ensuing rush, the Flames dumped the puck into the Jets zone. Leivo retrieved the dump-in and put the puck out front. He and Sean Monahan jammed at the loose puck and Leivo batted it past Laurent Brossoit to make it 1-0 Flames.
Cashing in on that on rebound. pic.twitter.com/ydQiOvdksX
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) March 28, 2021
A little bit later, Joakim Nordstrom drew a penalty. On the power play, Mark Giordano’s shot from the point glanced off Mason Appleton and eluded Brossoit to extend Calgary’s lead to 2-0.
Shots were 16-7 Flames and scoring chances 7-4 Flames in the first period.
The Jets made a push in the second period and looked dangerous. They got on the board 34 seconds into the second off a defensive lapse. Mason Appleton was left all alone in the high slot. He received a pass and had tons of time to get a shot off; the shot glanced off Milan Lucic and beat David Rittich to make it a 2-1 game.
Midway through the period, the Jets tied it up. The visitors had oodles of time to cycle the puck in the offensive zone. Logan Stanley snuck in from the point and beat Rittich high to tie the game at 2-2.
Shots were 9-7 Jets and scoring chances 7-6 Flames in the second period.
The Flames retook the lead early in the third period. Andrew Mangiapane’s shot off the rush squirted through Brossoit’s five-hole and made it 3-2 Flames.
And the Flames extended their lead a little bit later off a bad read by Brossoit. Sam Bennett skated into the zone and put the puck on net. Brossoit went to knock the puck down and misread the angle… and it glanced off his stick and went into the net to give the Flames a 4-2 lead.
Shots were 10-8 Flames in the third period.
Why the Flames won
The Flames played well enough to win this game. They weren’t awful in any of the three periods. But most importantly, when the game was up for grabs to begin the third period, they grabbed hold of it and took control.
Yeah, both of their third period goals were probably on the goalie misreading the rush. But the Flames also didn’t really let the Jets back in after those goals, and that’s a nice step for them to take.
Let’s go with Big Save Dave. Playing for the first time in awhile, Rittich was calm, cool and collected in the net and made some key saves to keep the Flames in this game when the Jets were pushing.
The turning point
Mangiapane’s goal to begin the third got the Jets back on their heels and gave the Flames a lead they never gave away.
Data via Natural Stat Trick. Percentage stats are 5v5.
This and that
This was Johnny Gaudreau’s 500th NHL game. Chris Tanev got his 100th NHL assist. Joakim Nordstrom got his first point as a Flame. Milestones all around!
Juuso Valimaki and Dillon Dube were healthy scratches.
The Flames (16-17-3) are back in action on Monday night when they play the Jets, again.