Nikolaj Ehlers scores twice to lift Jets over Flames 3-2 in NHL pre-season action

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WINNIPEG — Nikolaj Ehlers scored two goals, including the game-winner to lead the Winnipeg Jets to a 3-2 victory over the Calgary Flames on Wednesday in a pre-season NHL game at the Canada Life Centre.

Josh Morrissey opened scoring for Winnipeg (2-21) in the first period and Connor Hellebuyck made 16 saves in net for the win.

Andrew Mangiapane and Glenn Gawdin both scored in the second period for Calgary (2-4-1).

Goaltender Dan Vladar stopped 37 shots for the Flames.

Although it looked like Calgary had tied it with Vladar pulled from the net, it was called off due to a high stick after a video review.

Ehlers snapped a 2-2 tie on a power play at 9:14 of the third period.

With Flames defenceman Nikita Zadorov off for interference, Ehlers took a pass from rearguard Nate Schmidt near the blue-line and fired a wrister that beat Calgary. Forward Paul Stastny also assisted.

After falling behind 2-0 by the first intermission, Calgary had tied the game in the second period.

First, forward Gawdin fired a shot past Hellebuyck when he was set up by forward Matthew Tkachuk at the 9:45 mark.

Jets defenceman Nathan Beaulieu then went after Tkachuk and was given an unsportsmanlike penalty. On the ensuing power play, Mangiapane scored on a screened shot for the Flames to tie it up at 11:31. Forward Dillon Dube and defenceman Oliver Kylington assisted.

Ehlers had given Winnipeg a 2-0 lead on an end-to-end rush at 13:23 of the opening period. Ehlers took the puck in his own end, skated the length of the ice, then finished it off with a slapshot over Vladar’s left shoulder from the top of the face-off circle. Forward Kyle Connor and defenceman Neal Pionk assisted.

Morrissey opened the scoring at 7:20 of the first period. Centre Adam Lowry, who pounced on a loose puck out of a scrum, set Morrissey up perfectly. Morrissey then beat Vladar cleanly with a snap shot.

About midway through the period, Vladar had to be sharp after Jansen Harkins was set up alone in front by Lowry.

The Jets, who had just lost back-to-back games on the road to Edmonton and Vancouver on the weekend, snapped their two-game losing streak.

It was the first of a home-and-home series, with the Jets facing the Flames in Calgary on Friday. It was also Winnipeg’s last home pre-season game.

The Jets will not play at home again until Oct. 21 when they host the Anaheim Ducks in their regular-season home opener.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 6, 2021.

Jim Bender, The Canadian Press

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