The Winnipeg Jets were coming off a 3-2 victory against the Calgary Flames on Monday and looking to take a series. The effort was present throughout the entirety of the third game, however, the Calgary Flames were the ones who prevailed in the end.
The Winnipeg Jets and Calgary Flames were both at the top of their games early into the first period. Nikolaj Ehlers scored his second goal of the series with aid from a smart play set up by Dimtry Kulikov and Nathan Beaulieu.
The Calgary Flames were then quick to respond as Elias Lindholm evened the scoring. Erik Gustafsson and Sean Monahan were awarded assists on the game-tying goal. The 1-1 tie was maintained until the end of the period with the Flames leading in shots on goal, 17-13.
Winnipeg Jets defensemen Tucker Poolman took a shot to the face from Mikael Backlund while on the defensive. As a result, Poolman was taken to the dressing room alongside a trainer to tend to his bleeding wounds. He would return later to the game while sporting a visor for the night’s remainder.
The Calgary Flames then took a 2-1 lead on a goal by Mikael Backlund, his second of the series. Andrew Mangiapane recorded an assist on the play for Calgary.
Milan Lucic believed he had added to the Flames lead on a shot that deflected off the stick of Nikolaj Ehlers, changing the direction of the puck and confusing Connor Hellebuyck in the process. Fortunately for the Jets, Flames forward Dillon Dubé was in the blue crease at the time, leading to the goal being called back as a result of goaltender interference.
Although the goal was called back, the Calgary Flames capitalized on the man advantage, this gaining them a 3-1 lead. The power play goal came from Sean Monahan and was assisted by Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk.
Andrew Copp was able to bring the Jets deficit down to one with a smooth backhanded goal just nine seconds after the Flames doubled their lead. Copp was assisted by Neil Pionk as well as Blake Wheeler.
Andrew Copp has clearly taken advantage of the extra ice time he has been given due to the absence of Canadian Make Scheifele, the Jets star centre, now out with an injury. He will have to continue to do so on Thursday if Mark Scheifele has not returned to the ice by then.
The Calgary Flames once again extended their lead at the 7:12 mark as Matthew Tkachuk was left all alone in front of Connor Hellebuyck to score his first goal of the series.
Winnipeg Jets forward Matthew Perreault took a hit from Sam Bennett and was unable to put weight on his leg, requiring help to get off the ice from the training staff. Perreault would not return to the game.
As the injuries continue to pile up for the Winnipeg Jets, head coach Paul Maurice’s job becomes all the more difficult. Due to the bench getting shorter, Maurice will have to write up new line combinations while still trying to see which can still be effective.
The Calgary Flames entered the second period with a 4-2 lead over Winnipeg in Edmonton.
Down two to begin the third and dealing with multiple injuries, the Winnipeg Jets had a tall order set ahead of them.
Milan Lucic was able to get back on the scoreboard after having his first potential point called off. This would give Calgary a 5-2 lead early on. Dillon Dubé and Mark Giordano were both handed assists on the power play goal.
The Winnipeg Jets pulled Connor Hellebuyck for the extra attacker, but Johnny Gaudreau, from Sean Monahan, scored the empty-net goal which really put things away. Sean Monahan finished the night with two assists to go alongside one goal.
Final Score: Calgary Flames (6) – Winnipeg Jets (2)
Looking Ahead To Game 4
If the Winnipeg Jets do not get the win in their next game on Thursday, they will be eliminated from the NHL’s Stanley Cup Qualifiers. Their compete level has never wavered through the three games played in this series. However, the abundance of injuries the team has been dealing since the first game may be too much of a hurdle to overcome.
There is still a high amount of talent up front as seen in the likes of Blake Wheeler, Kyle Connor and Nikolaj Ehlers with Connor Hellebuyck in goal. However, they are going against a completely healthy Calgary Flames team that was on full display on Tuesday night.
Nevertheless, the Jets showed they are capable of winning without their stars playing in game two of the series. They will have another chance to do so if the injured players do not return on Thursday.
The Winnipeg Jets and Calgary Flames will play their fourth game at 10:30pm ET. The game is available for viewing on Sportsnet Ontario, NHL.TV and NHL Network. It also can be heard via radio on TSN 1290 and Sportsnet 960.