A 5-3 win by the Calgary Flames over the Winnipeg Jets moved them closer to a playoff spot in the West, while the loss prevented the Jets from moving back into the top eight in the East.
The game was a strange one. The Flames scored on two power play chances early in the first, then added a third to make it 3-0 thirteen minutes in. The Jets had the final 10 shots on goal in the period, scoring twice to cut the Flames lead to one after the first. Evander Kane with his team leading 27th made it 3-1, Kane now with 16 points in his last 11 games, including eight goals. Two minutes later Blake Wheeler finished off a great individual rush with his fourth in as many games and sixth in his last six games to make it a one-goal game.
The Jets had their chances in the second period, but the only goal of the period was scored by Alex Tanguay. The line of Tanquay, Jarome Iginla and Matt Stajan had a very good night. Miikka Kiprusoff was terrific as the Jets outshot the Flames 12-9 in the second, 17-4 in the third and 45-27 overall.
Curtis Glencross on a power play in the third gave the Flames their three-goal lead back before Toby Enstrom tallied for the Jets, but that is as close as Winnipeg would come. Glencross has now scored in six straight games. The Flames power play went three for three.
Interesting start to the night when Dustin Byfuglien did not take the warm up but came out to start the game. "It was a lower body issue we were trying to get resolved," stated Coach Claude Noel after the game. "Give him credit, he ended up playing over 27 minutes." Jets dressed seven defenceman with Mark Flood getting into the lineup. The 11 forwards went down to 10 as the Jets lost Chris Thorburn in the first with a lower body injury.
It was the Jets 11th back-to-back of the season, with their record falling to 1-10 in the second game. After a tough game in Vancouver Thursday the Jets seemed to run out of energy as the game wore on, but still found a way to create scoring chances.
Jets will do some scoreboard watching now as they do not play again until Wednesday when they start a three-game homestand against Dallas. (TSN Jets, TSN 1290)
Wheeler has 18 points in his last 11 games and continues to be a dominant player. Byfuglien assisted on the Enstrom goal giving him 33 assists on the year, tying a career high. He finished the night a plus-one and is plus-14 in his last 11 games. Kane had another six shots on goal giving him 64 in the last 11 games. He was robbed by Kiprusoff on a third period power play that would have cut the lead to one, and also had a goal disallowed as it was knocked in with a high stick.
So not the road trip the Jets needed or wanted, as they will again try and use the three-game home stand (Dallas, Washington, Carolina) to get back into the top eight and continue the battle with Washington and Florida for top spot in the Southeast division.