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Jets top Flames in pre-season action

by Aaron Vickers @AAVickers /

CALGARY, AB -- Scott Kosmachuk had a goal and two assists, and Ondrej Pavalec made 31 saves to help the Winnipeg Jets to a 4-0 win against the Calgary Flames in pre-season action at Scotiabank Saddledome on Sunday.

Ben Chiarot, Mark Stuart and Paul Postma also scored for the Jets (3-1-0).

Chad Johnson and Jon Gillies combined to make 22 saves for the Flames (2-3-0).

"For me, it was a weird game," Johnson said. "We were all over them really. We took it to them the first two periods. You just move on from it. You sort of realize it's pre-season and you thank whoever for the fact it is that and it doesn't mean a lot. But you still want to learn from it.

Winnipeg had three shots in the first period. Two beat Johnson.

Jets forward Chase De Leo drove wide on Flames defenceman Jyrki Jokipakka before sending a pass into the slot that Kosmachuk redirected through Johnson's pads to put Winnipeg up 1-0 at 4:48. Kosmachuk has three assists in eight career NHL games with Winnipeg.

Chiarot doubled the lead on the power play with 1:19 remaining in the period. Brett Kulak's clearing attempt behind the net hit the shin pad of Kosmachuk and bounced into the slot, off the stick of Alexander Burmistrov and to Chiarot, who beat Johnson to give the Jets a 2-0 lead.

"It was just a weird game," Johnson said. "It seemed like there wasn't a lot of action. First one went in. Second one took a weird bounce. Second period it was just not a lot of shots their either and then a guy comes down and makes a good shot."

Stuart put the Jets up 3-0 after converting on a 4-on-2 at 8:54 of the second, and Postma beat Gillies on the first shot he faced in relief at 10:49. On the power play, Postma took a pass at the point from Burmistrov and shot by Gillies blocker to extend Winnipeg' lead to four.

The Jets finished 2-for-5 with the man advantage.

"It sucks to lose, but personally and as a team I thought we played better than the score showed," Flames forward Mikael Backlund said. "Our special teams weren't good enough. We didn't score on the power play and they scored on their power plays."

Mikael Backlund hit his second goal post of the game on a power play less than a minute into the third, and Lauri Korpiskoski won a footrace to a loose puck and cut in on Pavelec, who got the paddle down to deny the partial shorthanded breakaway at 4:34.

Pavelec also trapped Dennis Wideman's slap shot from the point at 7:23.

"They're going to come," Backlund said. "But as long as you keep shooting it'll eventually go in."

Goal of the Game: After a turnover at the Flames blue line, De Leo hauled the puck up ice on an odd-man rush and dropped a pass back into the high slot to Stuart, who skated in and ripped a shot over Johnson's blocker to give the Jets a three-goal lead in the second.

Save of the Game: At 5:26 of the third, Backlund hit Sam Bennett with a cross-slot pass that the 20-year-old quickly shot, but it was met with a windmill glove save from Pavalec to keep Winnipeg up 4-0.

Unsung Moment of the Game: Thorburn and Bollig dropped the gloves near centre ice midway through the second in a spirited fight that saw Bollig land several heavy lefts. "He's always a willing combatant," Bollig said. "I think that's our first time fighting, him and I. It was a little bit of frustration at the score, a little bit of him getting into it with (Matt) Stajan and a few other guys. I'm still here for that reason and I'm more than willing to do that."

Highlight of the Game: Backlund hit the crossbar moments after a flurry of chances to score a minute into the second period. Wideman's point shot was stopped by Pavelec, as was TJ Brodie's rebound attempt. Pavelec also stopped the third try from Emile Poirier while on his stomach and with his back to the play.

They said it: "Legs felt good. I can still get better timing-wise and just knowing where everyone is and all of that. I'm still on the fifth game of the year. I thought I played pretty good." - Backlund on making his return to the Flames after sustaining a concussion at the World Cup of Hockey 2016 in September 

"Just like everyone else … just like goal scorers … they want to pop one in preseason. It's the same with us fighters. You definitely want to get one in the preseason and get back to it." - Bollig on his second-period fight.

"In some respects. In some respects guys you were hoping could provide some offence, or on the penalty kill … we didn't get results in those two areas. We'll go back and look at the tape and go back and look at the guys again and make a good informed decision." - Flames coach Glen Gulutzan on if the game made decisions on pending cuts easier. 

Need to Know: The Flames returned six players to Stockton of the American Hockey League, including defencemen Rasmus Andersson and Roman Dyukov, and forwards Austin Carroll, Ryan Lomberg, Andrew Mangiapane, and Hunter Smith. Forward Luke Adam was released from his try-out, and goaltender Tyler Parsons was returned to London of the Ontario Hockey League as well.

What's Next: The Flames host the Arizona Coyotes at Scotiabank Saddledome on Wednesday (7:00 PM MT; SN960)

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