Gaudreau, Backlund score PPGs as Flames beat Jets 4-1


EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) – Johnny Gaudreau and Mikael Backlund scored power-play goals to lead the Calgary Flames for a 4-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday night, at the opening of its qualifying series.

Tobias Rieder had a short-handed goal and Andrew Mangiapane added a goal for Calgary. Cam Talbot stopped 17 shots.

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"I was very happy with our teamwork" Gaudreau said. “It was a very good complete game, from power play to penalty, goal scored, 5 on 5. I thought we did a great job tonight. "

Andrew Copp scored in the middle of the first period to give Winnipeg minutes after Jets lost Mark Scheifele to a leg injury. Patrik Laine left the game at the start of the third after a collision with Flames captain Mark Giordano.

Connor Hellebuyck ended with 29 defenses for the jets.

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Game 2 of the best-of-5 series is Monday.

The potential loss of co-leader Scheifele, who marked the season, would be devastating for WinnipegThe Stanley Cup prospects.

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"We don't know how serious this is" Winnipeg said Captain Blake Wheeler. "We don't know what will happen. ,,, Arguably your best offensive player who spends so many minutes, especially in the middle, a huge chunk of what we do and what we need to do. No matter what happens, you can't replicate what it brings to our schedule. "

Scheifele clumsily entered the boards at 5:41 the first time. He seemed to tuck his left leg under him as Flames striker Matthew Tkachuk put his arm around Scheifele's back. Tkachuk's skateboard seemed to be in contact with Scheifele's, but no penalty was taken on the piece.

Tkachuk was convinced that he did not cause Scheifele's injury.

"Absolutely not," he said. “He was turning around, I went in and my left skateboard had a little speed. I was moving and probably going a little too fast for me. My leg just crashed, it looked like it jammed it. His body was going to one side, but when I hit him, his legs stayed that way. I feel bad."

Jets coach Paul Maurice saw this differently.

"It was a dirty and filthy kick in the back of the leg," said Maurice. “He went behind the back of the leg. He could have cut his Achilles (tendon). He could have ended the man's career.

"It is absolutely disgusting and disgusting."

Wheeler summoned Tkachuk for revenge in the Flames attacker's next turn. Tkachuk thanked him and the two exchanged punches.

Just 31 seconds after that message, Adam Lowry threw a backhand from behind the net in front of Copp to shake TalbotGlove for the initial leadership.

But Winnipeg otherwise, he had little offense with a power play kept goalless in seven chances.

"You cannot say enough about how well we played in our (defensive) zone tonight," he said Talbot, which started ahead of David Rittich. "I didn't need to do tons of Grade A bailouts. Guys in front of me checked hard. We always had a third guy stoned. We took their speed quickly and really didn't give them anything in the ice beyond their goal."

Gaudreau drew at 7:06 of the second, making a Sean Monahan pass and shooting HellebuyckGlove.

Rieder gave the Flames the lead on a backhander in a short hand breakaway with 7:09 remaining in the second.

Backlund made it 3-1 on the high, on the blocking side of Hellebuyck, with 1:46 in the middle of the period.

"I thought the second period was one of the most dominant periods in recent memory, even at the end of the season," said Tkachuk. “Many guys played hard, many players played physical, many guys wore them. … I also liked our general play on the third. "

Mangiapane closed with 1:41 in the third.

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