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Frolik, Backlund, Colborne line stays hot against Jets

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

CALGARY, AB -- Michael Frolik had a goal and two assists to help the Calgary Flames to a 4-1 win against the Winnipeg Jets at Scotiabank Saddledome on Wednesday.

Joe Colborne, Sean Monahan and Mark Giordano scored, and Joni Ortio made 28 saves for Calgary (30-35-5), which has won three of its past four games.

"We said in the room here that we want to finish strong," Frolik said. "Every game, we want to play hard, we want to be on the puck. Every shift, we want to play very hard. I think we were doing that the last couple of games and just want to carry on that in the rest of the season."

Drew Stafford scored for Winnipeg (29-36-5). Ondrej Pavelec made 17 saves.

"The few mistakes we made ended up in our net and it's a challenge mentally to stay with what you believe in and to stay with what you do," Jets forward Blake Wheeler said. "But we believe that doing that is going to pay off in the not-too-distant future, hopefully."

Colborne gave Calgary a 1-0 lead 5:38 into the first period. After taking a pass from Frolik, Colborne skated out from behind the goal line and tried to center a pass through the crease to Mikael Backlund, but the puck hit Pavelec's dropped stick and went across the goal line.

"At first I saw him swing and I thought he missed it, which he did, but then it went in," Colborne said. "I figured I saw something wrong. I had no idea the goalie stick was sitting right there. We'll take it. I would've been fine with an assist if [Backlund] finished it, but obviously I'll take the goal."

The Flames doubled the lead at 12:48. Backlund fanned on a one-timer, but the puck slid to Frolik for a tap-in.

"Obviously, it was a little bit lucky goal, but I think we were good there," Frolik said.

Frolik has four goals and seven points in a three-game point streak, Backlund has two goals and five points in a four-game point streak, and Colborne has three goals and four points in his past five games.

"It's fun playing with those two," Colborne said. "[Backlund] is playing the best hockey of his career and [Frolik]'s playing incredible too. When you're on a line with two guys that are going like that, it's a lot of fun. I think we're just three similar guys. We're all willing to work hard, get in on the forecheck and we all like to play a cycle game and puck control game. It just seems to be working."

Calgary defenceman Dennis Wideman left the game because of an upper body injury after Frolik's goal.

"It doesn't look very good," Flames coach Bob Hartley said. "The preliminary reports that we got from the medical staff are not very good, but he'll have some tests [Thursday] and we should have more news late [Thursday] or on Friday."

Monahan extended the lead to 3-0 with 1:40 remaining in the first. Johnny Gaudreau sent a cross-ice pass to Giordano, who fed Monahan in the slot for a shot past Pavelec.

The goals came after Alexander Burmistrov beat Ortio on the game's first shot, but it was waved off after Marko Dano interfered with Ortio. Jets coach Paul Maurice challenged the call, but replay confirmed the call on the ice.

Stafford cut the lead to 3-1 at 10:23 of the second period. Wheeler forced Ortio into a turnover behind the net and centered to Stafford, who scored before Ortio could get set back in his crease.

Ortio made 10 saves in the third, and Giordano scored on the power play with 3.8 seconds remaining.

"We gave up one even-strength shot in the third," Jets coach Paul Maurice said. "Had they not get the power plays at the end, I don't think they would've had much to our net. The effort's fine."

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