Flames start fast, hand Jets 1st loss in 3 games
Frolik, Colborne, Backlund combine for 6 points in opening 20 minutes
Flames head coach Bob Hartley says the lucky bounces Calgary enjoyed Wednesday night don't come without hard work.
Michael Frolik had a goal and two assists Wednesday night as Calgary scored three times in the first period and cruised to a 4-1 victory over the visiting Winnipeg Jets.
The Flames took a 1-0 lead at 5:38 when Colborne curled out front and had his bouncing pass intended for Mikael Backlund carom in off the goal stick of Ondrej Pavelec, which was laying on the ice.
Calgary enjoyed more good fortune in taking a 2-0 lead nine minutes later. Backlund fanned on a slapshot but the wayward direction the puck travelled was right to Frolik at the side of the net and he backhanded it in the open side.
"They were lucky but you make your own luck. Look at the first goal. Off the goalie stick on the ice but we're around the blue paint, we're active, we're at the net and that's what we've been preaching since day one," Hartley said. "It's nice that our guys get rewarded for those efforts."
As the Backlund and Frolik came together to celebrate Frolik's 15th goal, and fourth in his last two games, they had a chuckle about how the play turned out.
"A missed shot and I just went to the net and luckily it went right to my stick," said Frolik. "It was a lucky bounce but that's how it goes in hockey. Sometimes you try and work so hard and things go the other way. But when you're feeling a little more confident, the puck ends up finding you."
Joe Colborne had a goal and an assist and Backlund chipped in with two assists as the Flames won consecutive games on home ice for the first time since December.
Sean Monahan and Mark Giordano also scored for Calgary (30-35-5).
Drew Stafford scored for Winnipeg (29-36-5). The Jets, who had won two straight, have yet to string together three wins in a row this season.
It's a couple of bonehead plays coming back into our end that end up in the net. You're not going to win too many hockey games when you throw 20 minutes like that at anybody.- Jets coach Paul Maurice on his team being down 3-0 after the 1st period
Calgary made it 3-0 at 18:20 when Johnny Gaudreau threaded a pass through the slot to Giordano, who neatly set up Monahan in the slot.
Jets coach Paul Maurice was not happy with his team's start.
"It's a couple bonehead plays coming back into our end that end up in the net. You're not going to win too many hockey games when you throw 20 minutes like that at anybody," Maurice said.
Winnipeg got on the scoreboard at 10:23 of the second, taking advantage of a mistake by Joni Ortio. The Flames goalie lost the puck to Blake Wheeler behind the Flames net and before he could scramble back into position, Stafford one-timed in his 19th goal.
Ortio finished with 28 stops in his sixth-straight start. Pavelec had 17 saves in defeat.
The Flames lost Dennis Wideman (upper body) in the first period when he went down heavily after colliding with Colborne behind the Jets net, seconds before Frolik's goal. It was his third game after returning from a suspension.
Hartley said the team will know more in the next day or two but based on preliminary indications from the medical staff, "It doesn't look very good."