Flames Burn Jets – Bennett Tallies 2 Points

CALGARY — Sam Bennett scored the go-ahead goal and added an assist as the Calgary Flames erupted for five first-period goals, then hung on for a 6-3 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday night.

Dillon Dube, Matthew Tkachuk, Mark Jankowski, Johnny Gaudreau and Derek Ryan, with an empty netter, also scored for Calgary (13-8-1), which moved back into first place in the Pacific Division.

Patrik Laine and Brandon Tanev scored for Winnipeg (12-6-2). The Jets have split the first two games of a four-game trip that continues Friday in Minnesota.

The Flames are the fourth team in NHL history and first in nearly 30 years to score five or more goals in consecutive first periods. Calgary also scored five times against Vegas on Monday in a 7-2 win.

The St. Louis Blues were the last team to do accomplish the feat back in November 1989.

Tanev took advantage of poor defensive coverage and scored on his own rebound just 15 seconds into the game.

Dube’s first NHL goal tied it up less than two minutes later. He finally ended his drought in his 17th game, firing a Jankowski centring pass behind Connor Hellebuyck.

The Flames took the lead for good at 8:20 of the first when Bennett ripped a 25-foot wristshot into the top corner.

Sam Bennett Calgary Flames
Calgary Flames center Sam Bennett (Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports)

Next shift out, Bennett combined with TJ Brodie to set up Tkachuk, whose shot leaked through Hellebuyck’s glove, making it 3-1 and ending the evening for the Jets goaltender, who exited after giving up three goals on nine shots.

It was the first multi-point game of the season for Bennett, who is responding well after being promoted to the second line with Tkachuk and Mikael Backlund at the start of the homestand. Half of his eight points on the season have come in the past four games.

Down 5-1, Winnipeg started to chip away at the lead, beginning with Laine’s one-timer with 14 seconds remaining in the second period.

On a nearly identical-looking goal, only this time on the power play and off a set up by Dustin Byfuglien, Laine’s 13th of the season 6:17 into the third period drew the Jets to within two.

Making his third straight start with struggling Mike Smith on the bench, David Rittich finished with 37 saves to improve to 8-1-0. He’s won five straight.

Laurent Brossoit had 14 stops in relief of Hellebuyck. He took the loss to fall to 3-1-1.

Notes: Flames forward Michael Frolik (lower body) was a scratch. He was replaced by Austin Czarnik… Calgary entered the night as the only NHL team with five players with 20+ points… For the Jets, it was just the second loss in their last 20 games against a Pacific Division opponent (15-2-3).

Darren Haynes, The Canadian Press