Calgary Flames 5 Winnipeg Jets 4 (Shootout) – For the fourth time in five games the Winnipeg Jets went to a shootout, having won the previous three before falling to the Calgary Flames in eight rounds on Monday. The Jets are now 5-2 in shootouts on the season. The win snapped Calgary's six-game winless skid, and snapped the Jets four-game home winning streak. The Jets are now 0-2-1 in the second game of back to backs. After their four-game winning streak was snapped Sunday night in Minnesota, the Jets record sits at 10-10-3.
The game had a little bit of everything: strange bounces, great offensive plays, questionable officiating, questionable defensive zone coverage, some great saves by both Al Montoya and Reto Berra, a number of good hits, a lot of blocked shots, and some late game heroics by Bryan Little. Put all that together and from a fans standpoint, it was a very entertaining game.
The first period was scoreless with the Jets outshooting Calgary 11-6. Mike Cammalleri opened the scoring at 9:01 of the second on a power play, with Michael Frolik tying it 2:10 later with his fifth of the season, banging home the rebound of a Grant Clitsome shot. T.J. Brodie regained the Flames lead with a strange one as it went off Frolik and Montoya never saw it as it came down and caught the top part of the net. The Jets outshot Calgary 23-9 in the second; the 23 shots in a period one shy of the Jets franchise record.
The third period was wild. Olli Jokinen tied the game with a floater from just inside the line that Berra never saw. With the game tied the Jets went on a power play only to have the Flames score their fourth shorthanded goal of the season to take a 3-2 lead. The Jets were furious that Lance Bouma, the eventual goal scorer was not penalized for interference after a pick took Dustin Byfuglien out the play. But on the same power play Byfuglien scored his fifth in five games to again tie the game.
The Jets have now scored three power play goals in three games, all by Byfuglien. Calgary would again take the lead on a Jiri Hudler shot that went off the skate of Mark Scheifele and in, setting the stage for the heroics. With time running out Evander Kane put a shot on goal that was stopped but Little buried the rebound to tie the game with six seconds left in regulation. It was Little's team leading 12th of the year. Thanks to a power play to start the period the Flames at one time were outshooting the Jets 10-0 in the third, settling for a 13-10 advantage at the end of the frame. The Jets have now scored 25 third period goals, tied for tops in the NHL.
Calgary outshot the Jets 5-3 in overtime, making the final shots on goal 47-33 for Winnipeg. It was the most shots Berra has faced in his young career, and the third time this season the Jets have hit that mark. The Jets directed 92 shots at the Flames net, with nine going wide and the Flames blocking 36. That is the second highest blocked shot total since the NHL started keeping the stat in the 1989-90 season. Montreal blocked 38 against St. Louis on November 11.
The shootout went as follows. Setoguchi no (had been 3/3 this season), Joe Colborne yes, Andrew Ladd yes, Hudler no, Jokinen no, Cammalleri no, Wheeler yes, Stempniak yes (had to score to keep shootout going), Frolik no, Brodie no, Scheifele no (first ever attempt), Baertschi no, Kane no, Chris Russell no, Byfuglien no, Sean Monahan yes (first ever attempt.)
It was also Berra's first shootout. Little was not eligible for the shootout due to a misconduct penalty at the end of overtime. Asked about it, Little said it was a head shake that he was called for, with Andrew Ladd adding, “I didn't think it was much and to lose one of our best shooters.”
Little had the shootout winner Friday vs Philadelphia.
Kane ended the night with 10 shots on goal, tying his career high. It was the third time he has hit that mark. He also led in hits with eight as the Jets recorded 28 hits in the game. Toby Enstrom led in ice time at over 29 minutes; Byfuglien was just under 29. Kane led all forwards with over 24. Zach Redmond and Adam Pardy were the only Jets to not register a shot on goal. Jokinen won 21 of 29 face-offs. Little, Clitsome, Wheeler and Byfuglien all had two point nights. Byfuglien picked up six minutes in penalties, four coming in a scrum at the end of the second period.
“We did a lot of good things,” said Ladd. “But we gave up too many quality chances. We did battle back and got key goals at key times and got a point.”
“It was a strange game,” added coach Claude Noel in his post-game comments. “We chased the game. It was wild in a lot of ways and it would have been nice to get two points, but we'll take one. It reminded me of a third game in four nights. At no point was I comfortable with the way we were thinking, the way we were playing.”
Like the players, Coach Noel was asked about the officiating and like the players would not say much feeling he had nothing to gain by publically questioning a number of calls and non-calls. “We'll take the point and move forward, but not a good game from a coach's standpoint.”
The three-game home stand continues Thursday against Chicago and Saturday afternoon against Minnesota, both games on TSN Jets and TSN 1290. Monday in New Jersey the Jets start a six game, 14-day road trip.