This time the Calgary Flames were able to take advantage of a shorthanded Winnipeg Jets team.
After dropping Game 2 on Monday, the Flames bounced back on Tuesday evening with a 6-2 rout in Game 3 of their qualifying round series to take a 2-1 series lead, pushing the Jets to the brink of elimination.
They will have a chance to close out the series in Game 4 from Edmonton on Thursday.
The Jets were once again without the services of star forwards Mark Scheifele and Patrik Laine, and the lack of firepower caught up with them in a big way on Tuesday. Nikolaj Ehlers did strike with an early goal (his second in as many games) to give them an early lead, but it would prove to be a short-lived advantage as Calgary’s Elias Lindholm scored the equalizer just 14 seconds later.
The Jets would never regain the lead.
The Flames ended up getting goals from six different players, and it was an especially big day for some of their top stars.
Sean Monahan finished with three points (a goal and two assists), while Mikael Backlund, Johnny Gaudreau, Andrew Mangiapane, and Lindholm all had two points, while Matthew Tkachuk and Milan Lucic also added goals.
Starting goalie Cam Talbot stopped 33 out of 35 shots in the win.
This was always going to be a tough series for the Jets to get through even before the injuries started to pile up in Game 1. They have a limited defense and were going to need Conor Hellebuyck to carry them in net. When you take two players as good as Scheifele and Laine out of the equation, it eliminates pretty much any room they may have had for error. Without them recipe is going to have to look exactly like Monday’s Game 2 win with great goaltending and just enough offense to scratch out a win. They did not get either of those elements on Tuesday.
It remains to be seen if Scheifele or Laine will be ready for Thursday’s game.
(8) Calgary Flames vs. (9) Winnipeg Jets (Series tied 1-1)