CALGARY, AB – The Winnipeg Jets were coming off one of their most complete and best games of the season on Monday night in a win against the Coyotes and were looking to keep the ball rolling under new bench boss Paul Maurice. They did many of the same things in a 5-2 road win against the Calgary Flames.
“You’re asking them to do hard things and things that at times put them in harm’s way and practice harder and do those things,” Maurice said. “These guys want to win. They’re no different than anybody else. They’re willing to do what you ask them to do and having a little bit of success just reinforces some of their hard work.”
The Jets came to work early on in this game as they looked like a team with a plan and continued this found structure to their game using size and speed and smart d-zone plays as they knew the lowly Flames don’t give you much as they work hard and never quit.
Things got heated early as Jets’ tough guy Anthony Peluso and Flames Brian McGrattan dropped the mitts for a heavy weight battle to set the tone of the game.
Bryan Little got his 16th of the season after some nice work by his linemates Michael Frolik and Andrew Ladd to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
Dustin Byfuglien playing forward yet again ripped home a beauty for his 11th after a nice feed by Olli Jokinen to give the Jets a 2-0 lead after twenty minutes of play.
“It’s pretty tough to generate energy when you give the first two goals,” coach Bob Hartley said. “There was two gifts — we covered this afternoon in our team meeting – they were bad coverage right in front of our net.
“In the NHL, [when] you let guys get great shots right from 10-15 feet from the net, you’re looking for trouble. Obviously with the way that we played here in the past games our confidence is very fragile. You put yourself down 2-0 after a few minutes, we made it tough on ourselves.”
Mark Scheifele tapped in his 8th after a gorgeous pass from Blake Wheeler to make it 3-0.
Jokinen scored his 13th on the power play from Ladd and Little to give the Jets a 4-0 lead going into the third.
The Flames who never seem to give up got an early goal in the first minute of the third from Mark Giordano his 6th to make it 4-1 .
Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec kicked out a couple of big saves to keep it 4-1 before rookie Jacob Trouba got his 5th of the year from Wheeler and Scheifele to put the Jets up 5-1.
Pavelec finished the night with 21 saves, not too busy but he had to make some big saves at some key moments in the third period.
Lance Bouma got his 3rd of the year late to make it 5-2.
The Jets got Maurice his second win as coach and have seemed to be playing a better since he took over.
They will look to continue this modest win streak as they head home for a Saturday afternoon game against the struggling Edmonton Oilers.
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