Flames Ground Jets on Goals from Monahan, Bennett

CALGARY — Sean Monahan and Sam Bennett scored for the Calgary Flames in a 2-0 exhibition win over the visiting Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday.

Monahan and Bennett collected their second goals of the pre-season while goaltender David Rittich posted a 20-save shutout for the Flames (3-2-1).

Jets goaltender Eric Comrie allowed two goals on 20 shots over two periods. Mikhail Berdin repelled all 13 he faced in the third for Winnipeg (2-2-1).

Calgary had more big names in its lineup — Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau, Mark Giordano — than the Jets, who were minus captain Blake Wheeler, forwards Mark Scheifele and Nikolaj Ehlers and top goaltender Connor Hellebuyck on Tuesday.

Both teams are trying to ink deals with key restricted free agents before the regular season begins — Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor for Winnipeg and Matthew Tkachuk for Calgary.

Tkachuk’s absence gives Bennett top-six playing time on a line with Mikael Backlund and Michael Frolik.

Milan Lucic, acquired in a July trade with the Edmonton Oilers, filled Tkachuk’s net-front role for Calgary’s top power-play unit Tuesday.

After a scoreless first period, the hosts struck twice in a 33-second span starting with Monahan’s power-play goal at 13:37.

With Lucic providing traffic in front of Comrie, Monahan tipped a Gaudreau pass over the goaltender’s right shoulder.

Dmitry Kulikov, Elias Lindholm
Winnipeg Jets’ Dmitry Kulikov ties up Calgary Flames’ Elias Lindholm (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh)

Bennett shovelled the puck under Comrie’s right pad on a feed from Backlund at 14:10. 

Tucker Poolman’s double minor for high-sticking gave the Flames a first-period power play, which the Flames couldn’t cash in for a goal.

Calgary’s power play went 1 for 3. Winnipeg was scoreless on one chance with a man advantage.

Calgary has pre-season games remaining in San Jose on Thursday and at home Saturday against the Edmonton Oilers.

Winnipeg is at home to the Oilers on Thursday and caps the pre-season Sunday hosting the Minnesota Wild.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 24, 2019.

Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press