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Jets Win Third Straight With Impressive 3-1 Win Over Flames

The Jets buzz around Calgary goaltender Dan Vladar (Photo by Scott Stroh)

Jets Win Third Straight With Impressive 3-1 Win Over Flames

Sure, it’s too little, too little, but the Winnipeg Jets have looked like world-beaters this past week.

On Sunday, the Jets beat Colorado 4-1. On Wednesday they shut out Philadelphia 4-0. And on Friday night in front of a surprisingly good crowd at Canada Life Centre, the Jets beat the playoff-bound Calgary Flames 3-1.

The Jets have now won three straight games and are 38-32-11 on the season. They aren’t going to the playoffs, of course, and have only one game remaining this season, but this past week, the Jets have provided their their fans with some very entertaining hockey.

Friday night, the Jets started slowly and then, midway through the first period, took over. They dominated Calgary for the final 50 minutes and thanks to goalie Connor Hellebuyck and solid defensive efforts from the likes of Brenden Dillon, Dylan Samberg, Josh Morrissey and Norm Schmidt, the Jets looked like the team they are — a good one that frittered ¬†away a playoff chance by slumping badly at Christmas and then again in early April.

Calgary opened the scoring at 3:19 of the first period when Matthew Tkachuk went in alone on Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck and despite Hellebuyck’s best efforts, Tkachuk was able too jam the puck into the net. It was Tkachuk’s 42nd of the year.

The Jets had a glorious opportunity midway through the first period when the Flames took back-to-back penalties, and Winnipeg had a two-man advantage for almost a minute an a half. Paul Stastny, Blake Wheeler and Kyle Connor all missed glorious scoring opportunities as the Jets came away from the big chance with a giant goose egg.

Still, the Jets had a solid period. Hellebuyck was outstanding and Winnipeg’s top forward lines were creating opportunities.

With 19 seconds left, the Jets broke out of their zone with Stastny in the middle. He fed Wheeler who left the puck for Nikolaj Ehlers. Ehlers feathered a perfect pass back to Wheeler who had set up on the left circle and the big Jets captain rifled a shot past Calgary goaltender Dan Vladar at 19:47. It was Wheeler’s 16th of the year as he notched a goal in his third straight game. Stastny (23) and Ehlers (27) drew the assists.

Calgary outshot Winnipeg 18-12 in a wide-open first period, but the Jets definitely had some chances.

In the second period, the Jets were all over the Flames. They outshot Calgary 19-8 and completely dominated the period., However, the came away with a one-goal lead and everyone in the Canada Life Centre knew that wasn’t enough against the playoff-bound Flames.

Mason Appleton scored the only goal of the period, banging home a rebound off a shot by Josh Morrissey. It was Appleton’s eighth off the season and gave the Jets a 2-1 lead with 20 minutes to play.

In the third period, the Jets were rick solid defensively and were it not for Vladar in the Calgary goal, Winnipeg might have blown the Flames out of the building. The Jets outshot Calgary 12-7 (43-33 overall) in the final period and didn’t allow the Flames many chances. The Jets put it away at 19:40 when Dillon lifted a shot the length of the ice into an empty net to tally his third goal of the year.

The Jets didn’t win as many face-offs and were outhit by the Flames but thanks to Hellebuyck’s brilliance and Appleton’s winner, the Jets won their third straight game.

Winnipeg will round out the 2021-22 season on Sunday afternoon. It’s the make up game with Seattle (the originally scheduled game was postponed due to an April snowstorm in Winnipeg) and face-off is 1:10 p.m.

Covered his first junior hockey game for the Sarnia Observer in 1968. Covered his first Jets game for the Winnipeg Free Press in 1980. Still thinks hockey is the bees knees.

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