Connor Hellebuyck picked up his third shutout of the season as the Winnipeg Jets defeated the Calgary Flames by a score of 2-0.
This was game 43 for both teams, which ties them with the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks for first in the league. Neither team seemed tired, which made for an entertaining game full of big hits and quick turnovers. Dustin Byfuglien opened the scoring by driving into the zone, pulling it towards himself and roofing it over top of Chad Johnson. That proved to be the game-winner as the Jets shut down the Flames for the rest of a game, playing a solid defensive game.
Sean Monahan is riding an unlucky streak, with zero goals on 26 shots in his last 10 games. Nikolaj Ehlers, however, added an assist and is within one point of his total for last year. The line of Adam Lowry, Joel Armia and Shawn Matthias has combined for four goals and four assists over the past seven games, along with throwing 47 shots on net.
Matthew Tkachuk, who leads the NHL in penalties drawn, drew a penalty less than four minutes into the first period, as Jacob Trouba’s stick came up and caught him. Both teams had some chances during the Flames power play, but no goals were scored.
Calgary turned up the physical play after the penalty kill, with big hits on both Mark Scheifele and Paul Postma. Halfway through the period, a great save by Connor Hellebuyck led to a breakout by Byfuglien, who pulled it towards him and roofed it glove side on Chad Johnson. Nikolaj Ehlers picked up an assist on the play, extending his point-streak to five games.
The Flames had a great chance later in the period, but Kris Versteeg was stripped by Bryan Little with a wide open net. They continued to apply pressure, but couldn’t solve Hellebuyck. They pressure did draw a penalty and Enstrom ended up in the box for holding.
Short-handed, the Jets had a three on one chance that missed. The play turned around, with the Flames taking off the other way, but a solid by Trouba stopped the chance. The Jets killed off the penalty, and then drew one of their own, with Ehlers getting high-sticked.
On the power play, Matthieu Perreault had an amazing chance that was turned away by the pad of Johnson. That ended up being the only shot they took on the power play, and the period ended with the Jets up 1-0.
Chances went both ways to start the second. Byfuglien laid a heavy hit on Tkachuk. Hathaway laid a heavy hit on Ehlers and caught his leg. The Jets were not happy about that hit and Hathaway had to refuse two fights from Thorburn and Chariot. Ehlers stayed on the bench.
— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) January 10, 2017
The Jets got two good scoring chances and eventually forced Wideman to dump the puck over the glass. The Jets went on to their second power play of the game. They got set up in the Flames end just once, with no good scoring chances.
The action was back and forth for the rest of the period. Joel Armia had a chance in front of the net but wasn’t able to get his stick on the end of it. Gaudreau had a great chance that was turned away by the stick of Hellebuyck. The period ends with no scoring.
The captain of the Jets kicked things off the third period. TJ Brodie picked up the puck in the neutral zone but fanned on the pass to his partner. Wheeler caught up to the puck and put it beside Johnson and into the net.
A bit of an interesting penalty to the Flames as the period, as Backlund took an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for continuing to yell at the ref as he was sitting on the bench. On the power play, the Jets give up a two on one. As he has been all game, Morrissey made an absolutely incredible defensive play to keep the two-goal lead. The penalty ends without any further damage.
Gaudreau had another chance as he skated right between Morrissey and Byfuglien. He ended up drawing a penalty, putting Calgary on an important power play, as they looked to get within one. The Flames had a couple of good chances, but the Jets were able to escape unharmed.
The Flames pulled the goalie with two and a half minutes to go in the game, which resulted in a pileup when Bennett shoved Enstrom into his own goalie. The play resulted in minors to Bennett and Trouba. The result was a five on four with a Flames empty net and two minutes to play. They controled the play throughout the two minutes but couldn’t find the net. Winnipeg bounced back from losing a two-goal lead in Buffalo and beat the Flames by two.
WPG – Dustin Byfuglien (6) assisted by Drew Stafford (5) and Nikolaj Ehlers (23)
WPG – Blake Wheeler (12) unassisted
THW Three Stars
First: Connor Hellebuyck (27 saves, 1.000 save percentage)
Second: Josh Morrissey (18:04 TOI, 4 blocked shots)
Third: Chad Johnson (26 saves, .929 save percentage)
Montreal Canadiens vs Winnipeg Jets
MTS Centre – 6:30 p.m. CST on Wednesday, January 11
Broadcast Channels: SN
2016-17 Season Series: First meeting of the season
San Jose Sharks vs Calgary Flames
Scotiabank Saddledome – 7:30 p.m. MT on Wednesday, January 11
Broadcast Channels: SN, SN1
2016-17 Season Series: Nov 3 – Calgary (3) vs San Jose (2)
Dec 20 – San Jose (4) vs Calgary (1)
Judson Rempel was born and raised in the Great White North, skating on ponds and watching hockey every Saturday night in small town Manitoba. When he’s not watching hockey, he’s playing hockey with his son and daughter, and trying to convince his wife to let him watch more hockey.