Blake Wheeler, Paul Stastny and Kyle Connor each collected one goal and one assist to lead the visiting Winnipeg Jets to a 3-2 victory over the Calgary Flames on Friday night.
Connor Hellebuyck made 25 saves for the Jets, who won their third straight game and vaulted back into a tie with the Toronto Maple Leafs for the top spot in the North Division standings.
Jacob Markstrom stopped 26 shots for the Flames, who have lost four straight games and scored only four goals in the span.
The teams meet again in Calgary on Saturday as well as on Monday.
The Jets were hoping for a fast start, and they drew first blood when Wheeler’s lucky power-play goal opened the scoring before the midway point of the first period. Stastny deflected the point shot, and it ricocheted off Wheeler’s skate and into the net at the 9:13 mark.
Connor’s team-leading 17th goal of the season doubled the Winnipeg lead early in the second period. Connor was sprung on a breakaway by Tucker Poolman and was denied on his original shot, but he had the presence to chip in the rebound opportunity at 5:33 of the middle frame.
Connor has collected five goals and eight points in six games against the Flames this season.
Milan Lucic gave the Flames a much-needed jolt of life when his third-period power-play goal put them on the board.
Lucic was parked at the front of the net when Mikael Backlund sent a pass toward the net, and the puck nicked off him and then banked off defenseman Josh Morrissey and into the net at 6:52 of the final frame.
Lucic’s pair of penalties a few minutes later — one for boarding and another for roughing — combined with Markstrom being whistled for firing the puck over the glass, proved costly. Stastny buried a chance from the doorstep during the ensuing five-on-three advantage with 5:06 left on the clock for the game-winning goal.
Matthew Tkachuk scored on a nifty redirect from the doorstep with 1:59 remaining to again make it a one-goal game, but even with a power play for the final 113 seconds, during which they had the goalie pulled to make it a six-on-four, the hosts couldn’t find the equalizer.
–Field Level Media
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