CALGARY, Alberta - The Winnipeg Jets improved to 3-1 overall this preseason with a dominant 4-0 victory over the Calgary Flames on Sunday at Scotiabank Saddledome.
Scott Kosmachuk had a goal and two assists, while Ben Chiarot (1G, 1A), Chase De Leo (2A) and Alexander Burmistrov (2A) also contributed with multi-point efforts offensively.
Ondrej Pavelec made 31 saves for the shutout.
"All three of those guys (Kosmachuk, De Leo and JC Lipon) and worked hard this summer - you can tell," Head Coach Paul Maurice said. " They're stronger, they're faster, they're more in tune to the pro game and they came out and played like this was a real important game for them. They know how many games are left and they made sure they were going to leave a strong impression here tonight."
Video: POST-GAME | Paul Maurice
Kosmachuk opened the scoring just 4:48 into the first period, burying a beautiful centering pass by De Leo after driving hard to the blue paint. Showing great speed down the right side, De Leo drove wide and delivered a slippery feed from down below the goal line, giving his linemate a clear look from just a few feet out.
"Paul came in before the game and said this might be our last chance to showcase ourselves," De Leo said. "It got me going, personally. It gave me chills. Obviously it's so much fun putting on the Jets jersey. I'm lucky to have done it a few times. I just try to do whatever I can to get in the play and do whatever I can to impress the staff and the organization.
"Personally I just wanted to impact the game as much as I could."
That he did.
Video: POSTGAME | Chase De Leo
A power-play goal by Chiarot put the Jets up by two with 1:19 to play in the period, mere seconds after Patrik Laine rifled a missile off the crossbar, setting up in his usual spot inside the left point. After making a line change, the puck went off the bodies of Kosmachuk and Burmistrov at the side of the net before it bounced out to Chiarot, who cleaned up the garbage with a backhander in tight, scoring his first of the preseason.
De Leo went back to work midway through the second period when he helped engineer a partial 4-on-1 rush. This time, No. 77 dished off to the trailer, Mark Stuart, who fired a shot top shelf on Flames goalie Chad Johnson.
Johnson exited the game soon after, stopping only half of the six shots he faced on this night. Jon Gillies came on in relief, but did not fare much better as he was victimized on the very first shot, less than two minutes after Stuart's marker.
Video: POSTGAME | Scott Kosmachuk
"It's big for me," said Kosmachuk, who was in on the first three goals. "To know I can do that, it's huge. I had a little stint last year and had some success, so I'm hoping to carry that over to this season and leave my mark."
Paul Postma's goal - a beauty from the slot off an even prettier pass by Burmistrov - made it a 4-0 game at 10:49 of the middle frame. The goal came on the power play, giving the Jets two on the night and their sixth in the past two games.
The Flames had a great chance to get on the board early in the third, but Pavelec flashed the leather on Sam Bennett, who gathered a pass at the bottom of the right circle and tried for the upper near corner.
Video: POSTGAME | Ondrej Pavelec
"You want to win the game and get that winning attitude right away," Pavelec said. "Shutouts always feel good. But it wasn't about the shutout, I was just happy to get the feeling, that game action again. … It was a good night for me.
"We were ready to play. We were ready to work, because training camp is going to be over soon and there aren't too many games left."
- Ryan Dittrick, WinnipegJets.com