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STREAK JUST FINE AT NINE

Sizzling Flames down Jets to leapfrog Edmonton in Pacific Division standings

by AARON VICKERS @AAVickers / CalgaryFlames.com

WINNIPEG, MB -- Mark it nine. 
 
Brian Elliott made 31 saves for his second consecutive shutout and the Calgary Flames won their season-high ninth straight game with a 3-0 victory against the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre on Saturday. 
 
"I think everybody's just approaching it a game at a time and building those two points at a time," Elliott said. "This time of year, it's essential that you get those two points. We have to keep doing the same things. You can't sit back and look at the little run we've been on. You have to look forward to that next game."
 
It's the first time the Flames have won nine straight games since relocating to Calgary in 1980. The Atlanta Flames hold the franchise record of 10 straight wins set from Oct. 14-Nov. 3, 1978. 
 
"We don't talk about it at all," coach Glen Gulutzan said. "We all know it's there. But I know the guys will talk to the media a little bit about it and so will I. Internally, we're focused on game-to-game here and trying to get ourselves solidified in a playoff spot."

Mikael Backlund, Michael Frolik and Alex Chiasson scored and Dougie Hamilton had three assists for the Flames, who have earned points in each of their last 11 games (10-0-1) and are 14-2-1 in the past 17 games.

Video: CGY@WPG: Backlund opens the scoring with a PPG
 
The run has helped Calgary leapfrog the Edmonton Oilers and into a tie with Anaheim for second place in the Pacific Division. The Flames hold the tie-breaker advantage over the Ducks because of an edge in regulation and overtime wins.
 
"I think you just try to take it one step at a time," Elliott said. "You're not really focusing too much on scoreboard watching or anything like that. We're in a position that we control our own destiny. I think that's the best way to approach it and not worry about any other teams or what's going on in the league."
 
Connor Hellebuyck made 26 saves for the Jets. 
 
Backlund put the Flames up 1-0 with a power-play goal at 14:06 of the first period when he backhanded a rebound of Dougie Hamilton's initial shot behind Hellebuyck. The point gives Backlund 48 on the season, a new career high.
 
The goal came after Elliott stopped Bryan Little's redirect in the slot on Mark Stuart's setup at 8:39, one of his seven first-period saves. 

Video: CGY@WPG: Elliott turns away Little's tip-in chance
 
Frolik doubled the lead to 2-0 with another power-play goal at 12:09 of the second period on a scramble in front of Hellebuyck that followed a shot by Hamilton.
 
"We gave up some chances early on and some of the second too, but we just played solid and our power play came up big and we had a lot of chances," Hamilton said. "It's good to get those goals."
 
Chiasson scored 3:23 into the third period to push Calgary's cushion to three. Chiasson took a pass from Sean Monahan before snapping a shot by Hellebuyck.

Video: CGY@WPG: Chiasson rips a wrister past Hellebuyck
 
"When you talk about everybody contributing, different guys, to this streak that we're on, you can speak to that, and you can speak to our specialty teams probably won us this game with our goaltender," Gulutzan said. "You need something different every night to contribute and that was the big difference in my mind."
 
NOTES: Elliott is 12-1-1 in his past 14 starts. Mark Giordano led the Flames with three blocked shots and 24:41 of ice time. The line of Backlund, Frolik and Matthew Tkachuk combined for 12 shots. Michael Stone did not play after sustaining an upper-body injury in Thursday's 5-0 win against the Montreal Canadiens. Dennis Wideman , who was a healthy scratch in the previous eight games, played in Stone's place. Forwards Curtis Lazar and Freddie Hamilton and defenceman Rasmus Andersson were scratched for the Flames. 
 
UP NEXT: The Flames return home to Scotiabank Saddledome to host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday (7 p.m. MT; SNW, SN960).

 

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