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Kadri helps ignite Flames rally to ground Jets

Nazem Kadri Calgary Flames Nazem Kadri - The Canadian Press

CALGARY — Down 3-1 early against one of the top teams backstopped by an elite goaltender, the slumping Calgary Flames could have easily folded.

Instead, they fought back.

Nazem Kadri had two goals and an assist Monday afternoon as Calgary rallied for an improbable 6-3 NHL victory over the Winnipeg Jets.

“I feel like we've done that several times this year,” said Kadri. “When things start to snowball and stack against us, we're able to reset and refocus and pull out a big win against a great team.”

The comeback started at 14:09 of the first period when Blake Coleman cut the deficit to one.

After Kadri tied it on a deflection 4:58 into the second, Calgary surged in front on Jonathan Huberdeau's goal 11 minutes later.

“It hasn't been easy on us lately, so for us to come back like we did tonight shows a lot of good things about our team,” said Huberdeau, who also had an assist.

Calgary got some breathing room at 13:18 of the third period when Kadri wove into the Jets zone and set up Andrew Mangiapane's one-timer.

“We've gotta go on a streak,” Huberdeau said. “We beat a really good team and we've got to take all the positives of that and come back and win the next one.”

Oliver Kylington also scored for Calgary (26-25-5), which snapped a three-game losing streak.

Sean Monahan scored all three goals for Winnipeg (33-15-5), which had its three-game win streak halted.

Pulled in his previous outing after allowing four goals on 12 shots, Flames' netminder Jacob Markstrom made 28 stops to improve to 18-15-2.

“We love Marky. He's a great goalie. I would say he's a top-three goalie in this league,” Kylington said. “Everyone will have bad bounces sometimes, and we always have his trust and we know that he can save games for us.”

Connor Hellebuyck had 28 stops to fall to 26-11-3.

It was the first time in 32 starts that Hellebuyck has surrendered more than three goals. The last time was Nov. 2 when he gave up four against Vegas.

“To me it's disappointing because those weren't goals that I felt like he could stop. We gave them opportunities to score goals that were defensive breakdowns and that's on us, that's not on him,” said Jets captain Josh Morrissey.

The Jets remain third in the Central Division, one point back of the Colorado Avalanche.

"We don't play like that. That's just not our hockey game. That's as soft as we've played, as loose as we've played,” said Jets coach Rick Bowness. “Shifted up the pairings, shifted the lines, it didn't matter one little bit. We just had nobody going other than Sean and our goalie."

Calgary opened the scoring at 4:19 of the first period on Kylington's first goal since April 18, 2022.

The defenceman intercepted Dylan Demelo's pass at his own blue line and rushed the puck up ice, seemingly catching the Jets on their heels as he burst between the two defencemen and shovelled a backhand over Hellebuyck's shoulder.

“I saw ice. So I just tried to take it,” said Kylington.

The 26-year-old Swede returned to the lineup on Jan. 25 after missing a season-and-a-half while on a mental health leave.

“It's been a long time coming, very happy for him,” said Kadri. “In pretty sick fashion, too, going coast to coast like Bobby. So, it's nice to see and I'm very proud of the journey he's had and to come back and contribute is good to see.”

Monahan's natural hat trick comes in his sixth game with the Jets after being acquired from Montreal. The goals came in a 5:58 span in the first period.

"I think I'm just more comfortable making reads,” said Monahan, who has 17 goals on the season. “We're getting pucks to the net. When you get a couple on the power play you start getting some confidence and it goes a long way."

His only other three-goal game was with the Flames in Philadelphia on Nov. 18, 2017.


In his 200th game with the Flames — one of six in franchise history to reach that plateau — Markstrom becomes the fifth goaltender to win 100 games.


The Jets lost a game in which they led after the first period for just the second time this season (15-2-0). They entered the game tied with St. Louis for the best winning percentage (. 938) in that scenario.


Jets: Host the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday.

Flames: Wrap up a four-game homestand Thursday against the Boston Bruins.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 19, 2024.