Video: JetsTV Road Report
CALGARY, Alberta - The Winnipeg Jets saw a 3-1 lead after 20 minutes go up in flames Saturday night, following a 6-3 loss to the Calgary Flames.
Johnny Gaudreau scored once and added three helpers, as the Flames scored five unanswered goals to erase the Jets lead, and put their first 'W' in the win column this season. TJ Brodie had two of his own (and two assists), while Kris Versteeg, Micheal Ferland, and Mikael Backlund added singles.
Brandon Tanev, Mark Scheifele, and Patrik Laine lit the lamp for the Jets, who fall to 0-2-0 this season.
"We had a little bit of a difficult time moving the puck. I think they got a little faster and closed some time and space on us," said head coach Paul Maurice. "We had a difficult time making the adjustment that you have to go hard and fast in this league, and they won't slow down for you. We got a little bit slow with the puck, and ended up having to play in an area we're not real good at right now."
Steve Mason finished with 39 saves in his second start of the season, while Mike Smith turned aside 25 for the Flames.
Tanev opened the scoring with his first of the season 8:35 into the first period. With Dmitry Kulikov off for tripping, Tanev made a great read picking off a neutral zone pass from Versteeg. Tanev quickly turned it back the other way and while getting chased down by Versteeg, was able to lift the puck over Mike Smith for his first of the season.
Video: WPG@CGY: Tanev steals pass, tallies on break for SHG
The Flames would respond just 93 seconds later, though. With Kulikov still in the box, Brodie one-timed a pass from Gaudreau from the point. His blast found its way through traffic in front and by Mason, for Calgary's first goal of the season.
Winnipeg's power play would answer back, as Scheifele wired home his second of the season. Mathieu Perreault got things started by moving from the half wall out to the point and feeding Blake Wheeler in the corner. The captain wasted no time finding Scheifele at the hashmarks, where the Jets centre made no mistake beating Smith on the stick side.
Video: WPG@CGY: Scheifele one-times a PPG from the slot
The Jets upped the lead to two when Perreault's 45-foot slapshot from the point found the cross bar and fell just outside the crease where Patrik Laine was waiting to swat home the rebound for his first of the season.
"We have that game right where we want it. (At) 3-1, into the second period, playing well, and doing a lot of good things," said Wheeler. "It takes some confidence in who you are individually, what you do as a team, to realize that a goal here or a goal there, it's not the end of the world.
"(After that) the momentum swing was heavy, and from there we got away from our game, and started to go on our own page a bit. That's the kiss of death."
After the Jets couldn't further increase the lead on their first man advantage of the second period, the Flames turned up the pressure. Mason made a big sliding save on Curtis Lazar on a 2-on-1 with Gaudreau, but shortly after, Brodie would get his second of the night. Just like his first, his point shot made its way through traffic and beat a screened Mason to cut the Jets lead to 3-2.
"Mase makes a huge save for us on that 2-on-1, and at that point, you get the puck back, and you want to get that puck out of the zone for him," said Adam Lowry, who played 17:21 in the loss. "He's just made a huge save, saved us a goal. Rather than getting the puck out of our end, it ends up in the back of our net.
"It's frustrating. You want to play well in front of a new guy, you want to let him get comfortable. We haven't done that in the first two games."
Video: POSTGAME | Blake Wheeler
With 7:18 left in the second, Ferland would tie things up. Mason made the original stop off the point shot from Mark Giordano, but Ferland was on the doorstep and put home the rebound.
Calgary took the lead with 2:58 left in the middle frame. With the puck on his stick at the point, and a delayed penalty coming to the Jets, Brodie faked wide then made his move to the inside of the ice around Perreault. He then found Gaudreau back door with a seam pass, and Gaudreau fired it into the open cage to make it 4-3.
Calgary would add another before the end of the period, and would get an insurance marker from Backlund off a deflection just 13 seconds into the third to round out the scoring.
Up next for the Jets is stop number two on a three-game road trip in Edmonton against the Oilers on Monday night, where the Jets know sticking to the game plan for the full 60 minutes is a must, especially against an Edmonton team coming off a 3-2 loss to Vancouver tonight.
Video: WPG Recap: Jets fall short to Flames in 6-3 loss
"The things that give you success really never change. Move your feet or move the puck. If you don't have it, you're going to have to hit somebody, you're going to have to block some shots," said Maurice. "Keep the game real simple. Understand that in every game, there's a change of momentum. The other team is going to have a piece of that game, and that can't be the end of yours."
-- Mitchell Clinton, WinnipegJets.com