FLAMES GROUNDS JETS 5-4
CALGARY, AB -- Sean Monahan has experienced many firsts as a rookie. His latest gave the Calgary Flames two points.
After alternating goals throughout regulation, Reto Berra stopped Dustin Byfuglien and Monahan converted in the eighth round of his first career shootout to lift the Flames to a 5-4 victory over the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre on Monday.
After Berra stopped Byfuglien’s attempt to sneak a shot between his legs, Monahan beat Jets starter Al Montoya in Calgary’s first game in Winnipeg since April 6, 1996 to improve the Flames’ record to 7-11-2 and give the club their first win in seven tries.
Overtime was needed after the Jets scored with just 5.4 seconds remaining in the third. A last-ditch effort to get the puck on net ended up setting up the tying marker as Evander Kane’s rebound was converted into Bryan Little’s team-leading 12th goal of the season to tie the game 4-4.
The goal was one of five in a wild third as both teams traded punches throughout the final 12 minutes of regulation.
Calgary carried a 2-1 lead that was erased when former Flames’ pivot Olli Jokinen floated a wrister through a screen and over the blocker of Berra at 8:16.
The Flames responded at 11:17 with Lance Bouma’s second of the season, a shorthanded marker set up by Matt Stajan but the Jets capitalized on the same man advantage after Byfuglien collected his own rebound and beat Berra 53 seconds later.
Jiri Hudler re-established Calgary’s lead with 3:26 remaining, basting a shot by Montoya that Little eventually squared away until Monahan’s shootout winner.
After a scoreless first period that saw the Jets outshoot Calgary 11-6, the Flames got on the board midway through the second.
With Grant Clitsome in the penalty box for high-sticking, Lee Stempniak fed a cross-crease pass to Mike Cammalleri, who buried it behind Montoya to give the Flames a 1-0 lead at 9:01. Winnipeg responded just over two minutes later when Michael Frolik snapped Clitsome’s rebound behind Berra to tie the game 1-1 at 11:11.
With his second of the season, TJ Brodie gave Calgary another lead. Brodie one-timed a Kris Russell pass that hit Frolik’s stick and fluttered over Montoya at 15: 24 to restore the Flames’ one-goal edge.
The flurry of goals came after some stellar netminding from both goaltenders in the frame.
First, Berra robbed Kane on a partial breakaway just a minute in for one of his 43 saves in the game. After Bouma hit a post two minutes later, Montoya robbed the Flames’ forward’s shorthanded attempt on a 2-on-1 with Stajan.
GOAL OF THE GAME
Opening the scoring at 9:01 of the second period on the power play, Cammalleri took a cross-crease pass from Stempniak, outwaited a downed Montoya and buried the puck into the net for his team-leading ninth of the year.
SAVE OF THE GAME
Just seven minutes into the game, Jokinen hauled the puck into the Flames’ zone on a 2-on-1, outwaited a sprawling Flames defenseman before sending a pass to Devin Setoguchi alone in front, but Berra was able throw a pad on his attempt to keep the game scoreless.
Monahan converted on his first career shootout attempt in the eighth round to help snap Calgary’s six-game losing streak.
STAT OF THE GAME
Though Berra was forced to make 43 saves through regulation and overtime, the Flames blocked 36 more shots off Jets' sticks, including a team-best seven by Russell.
Tim Jackman , Derek Smith and Christopher Breen (conditioning stint) were scratched against the Jets. Curtis Glencross (MCL sprain) and Mark Giordano (broken ankle) also missed the game due to injury.
The Flames return from their one-game trip away from Calgary to host the first of three at Scotiabank Saddledome when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday (8 p.m. MT, SNET-West).
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