Short-handed Jets get lift from Ehlers to even series with Flames

By | August 3, 2020

The Winnipeg Jets recovered from a gaffe and bad luck to edge the Calgary Flames 3-2 on Monday and draw even in their qualifying-round series.

Adam Lowry led the Jets with a goal and an assist in Game 2 of the best-of-five series. Rookie Jansen Harkins also scored for Winnipeg and Jack Roslovic contributed a pair of assists.

Vezina Trophy finalist Connor Hellebuyck made 28 saves for the win.

Elias Lindholm and Sam Bennett scored for the Flames. Calgary starter Cam Talbot stopped 23 shots in the loss.

Calgary won Saturday’s opener 4-1.

WATCH | Cam Talbot stymies Kyle Connor with spectacular save: 

Cam Talbot gives us an early contender for best save of the postseason, robbing Winnipeg Jets forward Kyle Connor on a breakaway. 0:48

The teams have 24 hours to recover for Tuesday’s Game 3 at Rogers Place. Winnipeg will be the home team for the first time in the series.

The Jets were forced into wholesale line changes Monday in the absence of centres Mark Scheifele and Mason Appleton and winger Patrik Laine.

Scheifele injured his left leg tangling with Calgary’s Matthew Tkachuk in the first period and Laine appeared to hurt his wrist in a third-period collision with Flames captain Mark Giordano on Saturday. Appleton was absent Monday after playing Saturday.

Jets head coach Paul Maurice had accused Tkachuk of intent to injure Winnipeg’s top centre, saying he delivered a “filthy, dirty kick to the back of the leg.”

Tkachuk denied it. No penalty was called and the NHL didn’t hand out additional discipline to him.

But the dispute simmered into Game 2 with the Jets insisting it was a dirty play and the Flames defending their player.

Winnipeg controlled the first half of Monday’s game, leading 2-0 until a defensive-zone turnover by Nikolaj Ehlers and an own-goal by the Jets.

Ehlers’s power-play goal at 10:24 of the third period restored Winnipeg’s lead and ended the team’s 0-for-10 drought with a man advantage in the series.

Calgary couldn’t produce another equalizer with Talbot pulled and Jets centre Andrew Copp serving a slashing penalty.

A Bennett rebound on an attempted wraparound deflected off the skate and stick of Jets defenceman Nathan Beaulieu and under Hellebuyck at 17:29 of the second period to tie it.

WATCH | Flames-Jets series preview: 

In part 5 of 10, Rob Pizzo breaks down the only all-Canadian matchup in the qualification round.  1:11

Lindholm snared an Ehlers pass intended for Josh Morrissey and put a low shot under Hellebuyck’s trapper at 11:29.

Lowry scored Winnipeg’s second goal 40 seconds after Calgary killed off a Jets two-man advantage to start the second period.

He backhand-tipped a mid-air puck over Talbot’s glove at 5:43.

Harkins, Gabriel Bourque and Nicholas Shaw all drew into the lineup Monday for the injured forwards.

Harkins scored the first playoff goal of his career on his first shot of the game.

A backhand feed from Lowry at the Calgary’s blue-line sprung Harkins for a breakaway. The 23-year-old beat Talbot with a quick high wrist shot at 7:18 of the first period.

The Flames were in the Edmonton Oilers’ dressing room Monday.

Red Flames ‘C’ jerseys hung below the massive “Oilers” on the ceiling in a supremely odd optic for followers of the NHL’s Battle of Alberta.

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