Sean Monahan shootout hero as Calgary Flames top Winnipeg Jets 3-2 | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Sean Monahan shootout hero as Calgary Flames top Winnipeg Jets 3-2

September 30, 2017 - 10:33 PM

CALGARY - Saving his best performance for last, Mike Smith says he's now ready and focused on the regular season.

Sean Monahan scored the shootout winner and Smith made 39 saves as the Calgary Flames earned a 3-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday night to wrap up their pre-season.

"I felt a lot better tonight," said Smith, who had struggled to an .850 save percentage through his first three appearances.

On a far busier night in net, 14 of the Jets shots came on the power play. At times, it looked like Smith was under siege.

"At the end of the night, I'm there to make saves and whether it's 40 or 20, I've got to be back there and be solid for the team," said the 35-year-old, who played the last six seasons with the Arizona Coyotes.

Smith clinched the win with a stop on Nic Petan after Monahan, Calgary's second shooter, beat Steve Mason on a nifty deke.

"I think this was a great building block for him, he had his best outing by far. His best stop came in the second period when he went post-to-post to jab out a blocker and rob Mark Scheifele from the side of the net. He was outstanding," said Flames coach Glen Gulutzan.

Gulutzan was critical of his veteran-laden line-up after Wednesday night's 3-1 loss in Vancouver. They responded.

"They came into camp in great shape, we pushed them really hard. and now we're going to get back to our routine," Gulutzan added. "This game was good. It had everything we needed to prepare us for Wednesday."

Calgary is in Edmonton Wednesday to open the regular season. For the players, it can't come soon enough.

"It was good to get those games out of the way," said centre Sam Bennett. "We're on an incline now and we're ready for the games to start counting."

Kris Versteeg and Mikael Backlund scored in regulation for Calgary (2-5-0). Mark Giordano had two assists.

Patrik Laine scored both goals for Winnipeg (2-3-2). The 19-year-old Finn finishes the pre-season with five goals and eight points.

After Backlund put Calgary in front 5:07 into the third, Laine tied it 2-2 at 12:06 on a 5-on-3 on a one-timer.

Laine also scored the tying goal in the second when he crossed the Flames blue line, cut into the slot and wired a 40-foot wrist shot under the crossbar.

Calgary opened the scoring on a 5-on-3 late in the first period that morphed into a 5-on-2 when Andrew Copp, after blocking a Giordano slap shot, was left writhing on the ice in pain.

The Flames maintained puck possession with Versteeg finishing off a tic-tac-toe passing play with Giordano and Johnny Gaudreau.

In the Jets net, Mason finished with 31 stops.

Notes: Copp (lower body) did not return to the game... Notable scratches for the Jets included Blake Wheeler and Dustin Byfuglien. Adam Lowry (lower body) is injured... Winnipeg is back in the Scotiabank Saddledome next Saturday for the Flames home opener. Both teams open the regular season on Wednesday with Calgary in Edmonton and the Jets home to Toronto.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2017
The Canadian Press

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