Winnipeg Jets 5 Calgary Flames 2 (Jets 21-23-5, 10-13-1 road) – The win makes it two straight for the Jets under new head coach Paul Maurice, and after snapping a five-game home losing streak Monday, the Jets snapped a three-game road losing streak with the win in Calgary. It was the Flames seventh straight home loss, a new franchise mark.
The Jets opened the scoring with Bryan Little notching his 16th of the year, putting home the rebound off a Michael Frolik back hand shot. Andrew Ladd also drew an assist, time of the marker was 5:01. Dustin Byfuglien with his 11th from Olli Jokinen and Chris Thorburn at 8:11 put the Jets ahead 2-0 after one, the shots 10-8 Jets.
The Jets added two more in the second, Mark Scheifele with his eighth from Blake Wheeler and Thorburn, followed by Jokinen on the power play from Ladd and Little. Jokinen has now scored in back to back games and has 13 on the season. Shots were 6-3 Jets in the second. In both periods the Jets forecheck gave the Flames problems.
The Flames came out with a push to start the third and Mark Giordano with his eighth got the Flames on the board and put the Jets on their heels. Then a key sequence of events: A Jokinen penalty put the Flames on the power play, Ondrej Pavelec made a terrific left pad save of Mikael Backlund, a strong play along the boards by Frolik resulted in a penalty to Dennis Wideman, and while four-on-four Jacob Trouba with his fifth restored the four-goal lead. Pavelec would be superb the rest of the game as he kept the Flames from narrowing the gap, and has now won back to back games. Lance Bouma on a deflection made it 5-2 but Pavlec kept the Flames from getting any closer. Shots in the third were 11-7 Calgary.
Jokinen, Ladd, Little, Thorburn, Scheifele and Wheeler all had two points each in the game as the Jets go back to back with five goals scored. Jets have seven players in double digits in goals, last year, after 48 games they had three. After a 14-point shortened season last year, Jokinen has 31 points, and 17 in his last 21 games. Byfuglien extended his point streak to four games (2-4-6) and has 10 points in his last seven games, 15 points including six goals in his last 13 games. It was Byfuglien's 499th NHL game. Scheifele has 6-11-17 in the last 19 games and continues to lead all NHL rookies in assists. Trouba led the Jets in ice time at 23:25. Byfuglien and Setoguchi each had five shots on goal. Little won 13-of-19 face-offs.
Postgame, coach Maurice acknowledged how critical Pavelec was to the win with the saves early in the third. Maurice did call a time out at 4-1 to settle his team down.
”We needed to talk about how we were going to handle things going forward,” Maurice said.
On the play of rookies Scheifele and Trouba: “They are players, not rookies. When I throw them over the boards it's because they get what they have earned. It's been solid back to back games for Scheifele.”
Maurice did not feel it was an easy win.
“We respected how hard they work.”
The Jets now play Edmonton at MTS Centre Saturday afternoon (TSN 1290), then head to California for the first time this season, into Anaheim Tuesday and then San Jose Thursday (both games TSN Jets, TSN 1290).