Brodie sparks comeback as Flames overtake Jets
CALGARY, Alberta — The Calgary Flames responded in a big way after a challenge issued by coach Glen Gulutzan.
After losing 3-0 to the Edmonton Oilers in their first game of the season on the road Wednesday, the Flames fell behind two goals to the Winnipeg Jets through one period in their home opener Saturday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
Led by four-point efforts from TJ Brodie and Johnny Gaudreau, the Flames (1-1-0) bounced back with four goals in the second period and one in the third to win 6-3.
“We just challenged our guys in between the first and the second just about what our identity is and what our game is,” Gulutzan said. “We want to get back to our game as quickly as we can and I think the last 30 minutes represents the way we can play. Maybe they forgot about it for 90 minutes, but we’re going to get back to it real quickly.”
Brodie scored twice and set up two others, and Gaudreau had a goal and three assists. Both players tied their career highs with four-point outings.
“Sometimes it just goes your way, but I think we did a good job on the power play, found some goals to get us back in there in the second,” said Gaudreau, who praised Brodie for making a great move to set him up for the winning goal late in the second period. “He did his magic. He walked the defenseman and sent it to me backdoor for a wide open tap-in. It’s a great play by him. Great vision.”
Brandon Tanev, Mark Scheifele and Patrik Laine scored for the Jets (0-2-0). Mathieu Perreault had two assists.
Mike Smith made 25 saves in his first win with the Flames. Jets goalie Steve Mason gave up six goals on 45 shots to suffer his second straight loss.
Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice said his players had a hard time moving the puck in the second period when the Flames took over the game.
“I think they got a little faster, closed some time and space on us and we had a difficult time making the adjustment that you’ve got to go hard and fast in this league and they won’t slow down for you,” Maurice said. “We got a little bit slow — got real slow with the puck and ended up having to play in an area that we’re not real good at right now.”
Tanev opened the scoring at 8:35 of the first period with a short-handed goal before Brodie tied it 1:33 later when he blasted a point shot past Mason at the end of Calgary’s power play.
Scheifele put the Jets back up by a goal at 12:12 when he one-timed a pass from Blake Wheeler past Smith during a Winnipeg man advantage.
Laine then scored his first goal of the season at 15:54 when he swatted a loose puck in front of the Calgary net past Smith.
“That first period’s exactly the way we want to play,” defenseman Tyler Myers said. “It feels good to play like that as a group. It seems like when things don’t go our way, we start to thread a needle or making a really fancy play. We have to realize what gives us success as a group.
“We can take a look at that first period and try and build off of that, but we’ve got to break that habit of trying to do something more when things get a little tight.”
Brodie scored at 8:42 of the second period before Ferland notched Calgary’s second power-play goal four minutes later.
Brodie continued his solid play as he made an outstanding move to get past Perreault in the Jets’ zone before passing across the ice to Gaudreau for a tap-in goal at 17:02.
Just 1:36 later, Versteeg converted a great pass by Sean Monahan from behind the net to put the Flames up by two goals.
Mikael Backlund then tipped in Dougie Hamilton’s point shot 16 seconds into the third period to round out the scoring.
NOTES: Although newly signed RW Jaromir Jagr didn’t suit up for the game, he received a loud ovation from fans during the pregame festivities. ... After sitting out Wednesday’s 3-0 loss in Edmonton to the Oilers on Wednesday, RW Curtis Lazar drew back into Calgary’s lineup and recorded an assist. ... Calgary’s other scratches were C Freddie Hamilton and D Brett Kulak. ... After being scratched for Wednesday’s 7-2 loss at home to the Toronto Maple Leafs, Jets C/RW Nic Petan played against the Flames and on a line with C Adam Lowry and C/LW Shawn Matthias. ... Winnipeg scratched C Marko Dano, D Tucker Poolman and D Ben Chiarot.