CALGARY, AB – The Winnipeg Jets closed out the regular season with a 5-3 road win against the Calgary Flames , and in doing so won back to back games something that has been there Achilles heel in the past.
“We didn’t get the start that we wanted, but middle of the second period, after those two power-play goals, it seemed like the momentum shifted and we had a great third period,” Flames coach Bob Hartley said. “We missed a few chances, we hit some posts. The boys were on a mission, they wanted that win for the fans, but unfortunately we couldn’t get it done.”
The Jets got another strong performance from rookie goalie Michael Hutchinson who stopped 35 shots and once again stood tall to get his 2nd NHL win and proved to all Jets staff he could handle back to back starts in back to back games.
Calgary goalie Karri Ramo made 22 saves off 26 shots in the loss.
The Jets got goals from Michael Frolik his 15th , Evander Kane got his 19th , Carl Klingberg got his 1st NHL goal , Paul Postma got the winner his 1st of the season, Blake Wheeler notched his 28th goal of the season.
“I waited long enough, but there’s no better place to get it. It’s basically my hometown,” said Postma, who played his junior hockey with the Western Hockey League’s Calgary Hitmen. “It’s nice to get that win and getting the game-winner is pretty special.
“We’re building a foundation here for the future, and that’s a good way to end off the season. We’ve got nothing to save it for. We really battled that third period. It’s good to get the win.”
Flames goals were scored by Jiri Hudler his 17th , Sean Monahan his 22nd , Kris Russell his 7th of the season.
“Our fans have been great to us all year,” Flames captain Mark Giordano said. “We sort of knew they would do something like that, and it was pretty nice to stay out there to get that ovation, for sure.
“We’re going to do everything we can to end the right way. We feel like we’ve been playing well lately and we’ve been getting wins, and no better way to go home for the summer with a nice win over [Vancouver].”
The Jets played well for the whole game but seemed to lose some of their energy in the final two periods but still managed to dig deep and closeout the season with a win.
Winnipeg already missing numerous regulars with injuries lost rookie Jacob Trouba just four minutes into the game as he was hit in the throat with a puck and did not return meaning other blue liners would be logging big minutes and the team was led by Mark Stuart and Paul Postma who both played just under 25 minutes along Toby Enstrom and Zach Redmond who were right behind in minutes.
This was a pond hockey style game of sorts as both teams were back and forth getting good looks at the net.http://
Winnipeg finishes the year with a 37-35-10 record for 84 points and fall short again in making the playoffs.
There will be a lot of work to do this off season including getting coach Paul Maurice signed and adding some depth to the line up along with another high draft pick.
Follow me on Twitter @hrank94