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Jones' 100th NHL goal helps Flames edge Devils

by Aaron Vickers /

CALGARY -- David Jones picked the right night to reach a career milestone.

Jones' 100th NHL goal proved to be the game-winner in the Calgary Flames' 3-2 victory against the New Jersey Devils at Scotiabank Saddledome on Tuesday.

Matt Stajan had a goal and an assist, and TJ Brodie scored for the Flames (7-12-1). Calgary has won three straight on home ice, but has two wins in its past five games following a four-game road trip that yielded one victory.

"To be competitive and work your way up the standings you have to win at home, first and foremost, and then you try to gain some points on the road," Jones said. "This is such a great building with our crowd, we have to win here. That's the bottom line.

"I thought we played a pretty solid game tonight."

Cory Schneider made 27 saves, and Bobby Farnham and Jordin Tootoo scored for the Devils (10-7-1). New Jersey will complete a three-game road trip through Western Canada with games against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday and Vancouver Canucks on Sunday.

"We'll watch some video, I think, and learn from it and move on to Edmonton," Devils forward Lee Stempniak said. "We just weren't as sharp as we needed to be tonight. They played well, they played hard, but we had our chances and didn't finish. Our passing was a little off, and we weren't clicking like we usually do. It's tough to lose two points. There's no moral victories for us at this point. We need to pick up points. It's tough to start a road trip with a loss."

Jones' milestone goal, his team-leading seventh of the season, came at 6:09 of the second period and gave the Flames a 3-1 lead. Stajan forced a turnover behind the Devils' net by Adam Henrique that allowed Joe Colborne to center the puck to Jones, who beat Schneider to the glove side.

"It's something right now, and 10 years for now I'll have that puck on a mantle somewhere or my kid will be playing with it in the garage," Jones said. "It's kind of cool. You hit these every 100 games [milestones], and to get 100 goals in the NHL is pretty cool. I never thought I would ever get that. Hopefully there's more to come."

The goal clinched Calgary's first win this season when scoring first and preserving the lead throughout the game.

"That's a little scary," Jones said. "We have to learn how to play with the lead. Up two goals like that, we even made it a little bit closer than we needed to. We've got to find a way on the power play there to really put the dagger at the end of the game and finish them off. They had some chances at the end there. We're a little bit fortunate that way, but it was our turn to get a bounce."

Jones' goal came between two by New Jersey in a span of 4:05.

Farnham scored his second in as many games at 4:01 to cut Calgary's lead to 2-1. Tootoo made it a one-goal game again at 8:06 with a power-play goal, taking a pass from Stempniak in the slot and beating Karri Ramo to the blocker side. It was his second goal of the season.

Schneider kept the Devils within one in the third period, first stopping Brodie on a breakaway at 8:10, then denying Johnny Gaudreau's shot from the slot a shift later.

Ramo made five saves in the third period and finished with 18.

Brodie opened the scoring near the midway mark of the first period. He took a pass from Gaudreau, stepped around Stempniak and beat Schneider with a short-side shot from the lower left circle to put Calgary up 1-0 at 10:04. It was his second goal of the season. Gaudreau's assist snapped a personal four-game point drought.

"[Schneider]'s a huge part of our team. He gives us a chance every night," Stempniak said. "I don't want to speak for him, but I think he probably wants the first one back, maybe just a tough angle. He normally makes those all the time. He more than made up for it late, made some huge saves when the game could've got away from us. That happens. For us, we need to come through and pick him up. That's the essence of the team there."

A mistake by Schneider helped put the Flames up by two at 13:33. The Devils goaltender left his crease to knock down a dump-in, but the puck skipped over his stick to Colborne, who centered a pass that Stajan eventually slid over the goal line for his first of the season.

"It's nice to get rewarded," Stajan said. "I feel our line with [Jones] and [Colborne], we've been reading off each other really well. The chemistry is there. It has been for the four or five games we've played together. We've been chipping away. We've been getting some goals. It was nice to get a few tonight."

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