CALGARY, Alberta (AP) – Paul Stastny had a goal and an assist as the Winnipeg Jets held on to beat the Calgary Flames 3-2 on Friday night in the first of three straight games between the teams.
Blake Wheeler and Kyle Connor also had a goal and an assist for Winnipeg. Connor Hellebuyck stopped 25 shots from winning in his league-leading 27th start of the season.
Milan Lucic and Matthew Tkachuk scored in a fourth straight loss for the Flames. Jacob Markstrom finished with 26 saves. The Flames have totaled four goals in their last four games. Calgary is 4-5-0 since Darryl Sutter took over as head coach on March 8.
The teams will meet again in Calgary on Saturday and Monday nights. Winnipeg leads the season series 4-1-1.
With Markstrom pulled for an extra attacker, Tkachuk tipped in a shot by Elias Lindholm to pull the Flames within a goal with 1:59 remaining in regulation.
Markstrom remained out of his net, and with Statsny serving a tripping penalty on Tkachuk, the Flames couldn’t get the equalizer 6-on-4 over the final seconds.
The Jets led 2-0 after two periods before Mikael Backlund’s sharp-angled shot deflected off both Lucic and Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey for Calgary’s first goal at 6:52 of the third.
Stastny scored Winnipeg’s second power-play goal from the slot on a feed from Wheeler at 14:54 to push the lead to 3-1. The Jets have scored two power-play goals in a game four times in their past eight.
While Calgary attempted to kill off a double minor to Lucic midway through the third period, Markstrom’s clearing attempt over the glass gave the Jets a two-man advantage.
Stastny’s redirect of Connor’s shot deflected off Wheeler’s skate and by Markstrom for a power-play goal at 9:13 of the first. A streaking Connor lifted his own rebound over the right pad of Markstrom at 5:33 of the second for his team-leading 17th goal of the season and a 2-0 lead.
Flames defenseman Noah Hanifin put a shot off the crossbar with 4:51 left in the second period.
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