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Blake Wheeler, Jets beat Flames 4-1 in NHL pre-season

WINNIPEG — Blake Wheeler was glad the Winnipeg Jets cranked up their effort before running out of time on Sunday. Wheeler and Joona Luoto had third-period goals 72 seconds apart as the Jets defeated the Calgary Flames 4-1 in exhibition play.
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WINNIPEG — Blake Wheeler was glad the Winnipeg Jets cranked up their effort before running out of time on Sunday.

Wheeler and Joona Luoto had third-period goals 72 seconds apart as the Jets defeated the Calgary Flames 4-1 in exhibition play.

“It was just kind of one of those games where you just get through it,” said Wheeler, who also had an assist. “We turned it on a little bit in the third, so that was good.”

Jack Roslovic scored 50 seconds into the game. Nikolaj Ehlers added an empty-goal with 1:36 remaining in the third.

Flames forward Adam Ruzicka had tied the game 1-1 at the six-minute mark of the third.

Laurent Brossoit made 22 saves for the Jets (2-1-1). Cam Talbot stopped 25-of-28 shots for the Flames (2-2-1).

Brossoit was playing in his second pre-season game. Both were wins and he's only allowed two goals.

“I was working on a lot of stuff over the summer,” Brossoit said. “I just feel pretty stable and pretty confident right now.”

Talbot welcomed a full game in net, despite Roslovic using a rebound off a Tucker Poolman shot from the point to open the game's scoring.

“It was huge,” Talbot said of his playing time. “I felt really comfortable throughout the entire game.

“Once you give up a goal early like that, sometimes you can try to do a little too much and get away from your game. I thought I was tracking the puck pretty well the rest of the game.”

Winnipeg forward Logan Shaw provided some highlights in the scoreless second period.

Shaw fired a shot that Talbot quickly stretched out his pad to save, then he broke up Calgary forward Austin Czarnik's breakaway that came after teammate Logan Stanley's giveaway.

With Jets defenceman Dmitry Kulikov in the penalty box for boarding Flames forward Glenn Gawdin, Ruzicka tied it up by flipping the puck over Brossoit's stretched pad.

Gawdin, who slid into the corner and hit more of his shoulder than his head against the boards, said after the game he was fine.

Wheeler regained Winnipeg's lead with a fortunate re-directed puck.

Jets defenceman Anthony Bitetto's shot went off the skate of Oliver Kylington and the puck slid over to Wheeler, who deposited it into an open side of the net at 9:43.

Luoto then deflected in Stanley's shot at 10:55 to stretch the lead. Ehlers sealed the win at 18:24.

Winnipeg had Mark Scheifele and Wheeler back together on the top line with Ehlers.

That benefited Calgary's young players, Flames head coach Bill Peters said.

“They got some good shifts against a real good line in the Scheifele line so it's an eye-opener,” Peters said. “Now it gives you an idea where you have to be to be able to play in this league.”

Calgary left a lot of veteran forwards at home, but its defence included T.J. Brodie, Michael Stone and Andrew MacDonald on his professional tryout contract.

The Jets travel to take on the Flames again Tuesday.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 22, 2019.

Judy Owen, The Canadian Press




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