(SportsNetwork.com) – The Winnipeg Jets scored six times in a season-opening
win, but the offense has nearly disappeared during the club’s current three-
game losing streak.
The Jets hope to get back to scoring on Sunday when they welcome the Calgary
Flames to MTS Centre.
Winnipeg recorded a 6-2 win at Arizona to begin the season, but has been
outscored by a combined 9-1 margin in losing its next three tilts. The Jets
were shut out for the second time in three games on Friday, losing their home
opener against Nashville by a 2-0 score.
The Jets outshot the Predators 31-27, but had nothing to show for it on the
scoreboard. Pekka Rinne made 31 saves to post the shutout for Nashville, while
James Neal and Mike Ribeiro scored the goals.
Ondrej Pavelec made 25 saves for the Jets, who ranked 15th in the NHL in
scoring last season with an average of 2.67 goals per game.
After Friday’s loss, Winnipeg head coach Paul Maurice suggested his team needs
to take a kitchen sink approach to scoring until the offense gets untracked.
“The simple answer is we’ve got to put more of the basic stuff to the net so
that we can find a way to bang some ugly ones in until the offensive guys get
that good feeling around the net,” said Maurice.
Bryan Little and Blake Wheeler have accounted for five of Winnipeg’s seven
goals this season, with Little leading the way with three markers.
The Jets are playing the second part of a five-game homestand tonight. They
have only hosted Calgary once in Winnipeg since relocating from Atlanta prior
to the 2011-12 campaign, dropping a 5-4 shootout decision against the Flames
on Nov. 18 of last season. However, the Jets won the next two meetings in
Calgary to take the season series with a 2-0-1 record.
Calgary, which relocated from Atlanta after the 1979-80 campaign, had won four
straight against the Jets before losing two meetings to end last season’s
The Flames played Friday night in Columbus and had a two-game winning streak
snapped after dropping a 3-2 decision. Calgary did fight hard to get back in
the game, scoring twice in the third period after falling behind 3-0 in the
Matt Calvert gave the Blue Jackets a three-goal cushion less than eight
minutes into the second period, but Mason Raymond and Josh Jooris, making his
NHL debut, scored in the third period for the Flames. Calgary’s Mark Giordano
hit the post with less than two minutes remaining, but the Flames couldn’t get
“We put on quite an effort, but we just couldn’t get that tying goal,” said
Flames head coach Bob Hartley.
Karri Ramo gave up three goals on 26 shots for the Flames, who are 2-2-0 on a
five-game road trip that ends tonight.
Jooris, an undrafted free agent, was recalled Thursday from Adirondack of the
American Hockey League and he scored in his first foray into the NHL. Giordano
hit Jooris with a stretch pass and the 24-year-old beat Columbus goaltender
Sergei Bobrovsky on a breakaway.
“He’s a good young man. He wants to learn. He brings a lot. He’s responsible
defensively and he gave us a big goal,” Hartley said of Jooris.
Meanwhile, a much more heralded Flames rookie is still looking for his first
point of the season. Johnny Gaudreau, the 2013-14 Hobey Baker Award winner as
the NCAA’s top men’s hockey player, has failed to reach the scoresheet in five
games this season and was a healthy scratch on Friday when he was replaced in
the lineup by Jooris. Gaudreau, a 21-year-old Boston College product, did
record a goal in his only NHL game last season, scoring against Vancouver in
Calgary’s final tilt of 2013-14.
Gaudreau could be back in the lineup Sunday after Jooris suffered an upper-
body injury against the Blue Jackets.
In other news, Calgary defenseman Deryk Engelland missed Friday’s game due to
a lower-body injury and is questionable for Sunday’s test.