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Raymond leads Flames past slumping Jets

by Patrick Williams

WINNIPEG -- Breaking even on an early six-game road trip would have been sufficient for the Calgary Flames.

But Calgary coach Bob Hartley pushed the Flames after the morning skate to set their expectations higher, and they responded by defeating the Winnipeg Jets 4-1 at MTS Centre on Sunday.

The win wrapped up a 4-2-0 road trip that featured wins against the Chicago Blackhawks and Nashville Predators.

Hartley does not plan on letting up on the young Flames.

"Don't give us flowers too soon," Hartley said. "It's not time for [that]. There are only seven games played. We still have a long way to go."

Calgary used 12 first-period saves from goaltender Jonas Hiller and five blocked shots from defenseman Lance Bouma to weather Winnipeg's early attack before rolling off three second-period goals in a 6:42 span to break open the game.

The Jets, who have three games left on their five-game homestand, have scored two goals during a four-game losing streak.

"It's reflective of the kind of hockey we've played; the (1-4-0) record is accurate," Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice said. "It's about that constant battle to keep doing what you're doing and not change what you're doing. Even in that second period, you have to find that confidence to stay up and stay aggressive. We're having a hard time with that."

Dennis Wideman, Johnny Gaudreau, Mason Raymond and TJ Brodie scored for the Flames.

"We kept the game under control," Hartley said. "We knew at 1-0 that we had a chance to come back. Our guys showed a lot of character, and we had a great second period.

"We had a good talk in [the first intermission]. We were on our heels, and that's not the identity of our hockey club. We want to go for it. Even though we're a young hockey club, we're playing a style of hockey that we want to keep playing for years to come. Our players will grow in that system. It's about pressure. It's about skating and being an up-tempo team."

Hiller made 34 saves in his first start since a 50-save performance at Chicago on Wednesday. He had a .952 save percentage in his three starts on the trip.

"A big part of our trip goes to our [goaltending]," Hartley said. "We've said it many times. ... The difference between winning and losing, that margin is so slim; if you don't get quality goaltending, you don't win."

Hartley shuffled his lines after the first period and assembled a line with center Joe Colborne flanked by Raymond and Gaudreau, who was a healthy scratch in a 3-2 loss Friday against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The line combined for six points, including three for Raymond.

"The second [period] was probably one of the best periods we've played this season," Hiller said.

Mark Scheifele had a goal for the Jets, and goaltender Ondrej Pavelec stopped 25 shots.

"It's going to be tough to get a win in [the NHL]," Scheifele said. "Every team is good, every team works hard and every team has their players, and we have to be ready to play a full 60-minute game."

The Jets attacked the Flames early and held a 10-1 lead in shots at one point in the first period. Scheifele scored his first goal of the season off a cross-slot feed from Blake Wheeler 9:32 into the game.

The Flames used Jets defenseman Paul Postma's turnover to tie the game 6:12 into the second period. Matt Stajan delivered a pass to the high slot, where Wideman directed a low wrist shot past Pavelec.

Four minutes later, Gaudreau ended Winnipeg's season-opening streak of 18 consecutive successful penalty kills after the Jets were called for too many men on the ice. Gaudreau grabbed a rebound and beat Pavelec with a wrap-around move at 10:12 for a 2-1 Calgary lead.

Raymond increased the Calgary lead to 3-1 with his fifth goal on a wrist shot past Pavelec's glove hand at 12:54. Gaudreau, playing in his seventh NHL game, was credited with an assist on the goal, giving him the first multipoint game of his career.

"They came at us really hard," Raymond said of Winnipeg's first period. "We regrouped and had a really good second period. I thought we really played with a lot more confidence under our feet.

"I think for us it was just pushing back and playing more of our style of hockey. We sat on our heels a lot and received the game in that first period."

Brodie made it 4-1 with a shot under the cross bar past Pavelec 3:18 into the third period. He is on a six-game point streak (three goals, four assists).

Winnipeg captain Andrew Ladd, who has one assist through five games, is trying to maintain the Jets' confidence.

"There is frustration in not coming away with the right result, but frustration is not the answer here," Ladd said. "We've got to find a way to stay together and start going the right way,"

Gaudreau admitted that scoring his first goal of the season was a relief. He said he used his night off in Columbus to see the game from a different vantage point.

"I think that I played a better game," Gaudreau said. "Just watching from [high] and seeing how much more space I had, where to go to try to get open and make little plays like that. I think that it kind of helped me in some ways, and I'm appreciative that the coaching staff gave me another shot in the lineup after that healthy scratch."

Gaudreau is one of several young Flames who will figure in the rebuilding process that is underway in Calgary.

"We push," Hartley said. "We push. It's all about commitment, dedication and hard work. We want to build a culture. We started a foundation, but a foundation is not a building. I'm not a great construction guy, but once the foundation is there, you need to keep going."

"I have one mindset," Hartley said. "It's to be in the [Stanley Cup] Playoffs. That's what I'm pushing every day. That's what we're trying to cultivate."

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