There wasn't a lot of shots (24-23 for Calgary), but boy was there a lot of goals! The Flames and Panthers scored five apiece leading to a shootout Thursday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome, where Tkachuk and Sean Monahan both beat Sergei Boborovsky in the 1-on-1 finale to earn a big two points for the homeside. Tkachuk had a pair in regulation and Austin Czarnik, Mark Giordano and Sam Bennettalso scored in a game where Calgary held leads of 1-0, 2-1 and 4-2 before the Cats scored three straight in the third leading to a wild finish. Bennett scored at 17:17 to force extra time and despite some solid chances by both clubs in OT, it remained knotted.
It wasn't the kind of game the Flames want to play on a regular basis but they were proud of their resiliency: "That's obviously a big two points, but we don't want to get comfortable in games like that," said Tkachuk. "We have a two-goal lead in the third, you have to put it away. You think back to one of those games, one of those cost us in the playoffs. We have to tighten it up. … It just seemed when it was 4-2, they were pressing and we had no answer for them. We were maybe a little sloppy with our puck play and stuff like that, but you learn from it. For our team to be successful, we're not going to win those 6-5 (games) trying to come back from it. That's a stressful game. So, it would have been much easier if we just protected that two-goal lead and got out of it with two points that way, but ultimately, in the end, we still got the win and that's all that matters."
The Flames recalled Alan Quine from Stockton yesterday and placed Czarnik on the long-term injured reserve. The young forward left Thursday's win and didn't return to play.
The Flames will don their 1989 white throwback heritage jerseys for tonight's spectacle, the same style jersey the Flames wore when they won the Stanley Cup in 1989. This will be the first NHL regular season outdoor game that will be held at a neutral site that is not formally apart of the NHL market. This will also be the Flames second Heritage Classic game in their franchise, the first was a 4-0 victory over the Montreal Canadiens in 2011 at McMahon Stadium in Calgary.
The Jets have lost four of their last five games - all at home - and they haven't played since Tuesday. Talk about 'cool your Jets'. Winnipeg fell 7-2 to the Pens on Oct. 13, then 4-2 to the Coyotes on Oct.15, followed by a 3-1 setback to the Islanders. They edged the Oilers 1-0 in a shootout last Saturday before falling 3-2 to the Kings in their last tilt. Ehlers and Connor had the tallies for the 'Peg in that one, while Connor Hellebuyck made an impressive 38 saves. The Jets went 0-5 on the powerplay in the loss. The club's top line has been struggling to produce at its normal clip, leading to line recent line juggling. "I don't think that line's been productive enough. (Laine), (Scheifele) and (Blake Wheeler), for the last three or four games, I don't think they really generated what we would normally expect." said Jets coach Paul Maurice on juggling his forward lines after the first intermission agains the Kings … After playing 11 games in 20 days to start the season, tonight is the first of just two games the Jets play over a nine-day span. Winnipeg's 11 games played this season is tied for fourth most in the NHL this season.
3. US vs THEM
This is the first of three matchups this season between the Flames and Winnipeg Jets. The Flames won two of the three matchups a season ago against the Jets, outscoring them 11-6 over the season-series. They skated to a 6-3 win on Nov. 21 at the Scotiabank Saddledome, won 4-1 in Winnipeg on Dec. 27, and fell 2-1 at home on March 16.
THIS: Johnny Gaudreau has found success against the Jets over his career. In 14 games against Winnipeg, Johnny Hockey has nine goals and nine assists for 18 points ... THAT: This is the first time the NHL will host a regular-season game in Regina, and is the first regular-season game held in Saskatchewan since 1994. ... The Other: Cam Talbot is only one of three goalies in NHL history to have a shutout in an outdoor game. Talbot closed the door in 2016 for the Edmonton Oilers as they beat the Jets 3-0. The second of the three goalies in NHL history to record a shutout in an NHL outdoor game: Miikka Kiprusoff in 2011 for the Flames.
Been there, done that. The captain is one of two players - along with Mikael Backlund- to have suited up for the Flames in the 2011 Heritage Classic at McMahon. He had a goal and a helper in the win over the Cats Thursday, along with a team high 26:23 in ice time.
Jets: LW Kyle Connor
The Jets forward had a goal and registered four shots in the loss to the Kings. After going two games without a point, he was one of the stronger performers for Winnipeg in that tilt.