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Jets top Flames for 3rd straight win

Apr 29, 2022; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Winnipeg Jets left wing Evgeny Svechnikov (71) is checked by Calgary Flames defenseman Oliver Kylington (58) in front of Calgary Flames goaltender Dan Vladar (80) in the second period at Canada Life Centre. Mandatory Credit: James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports

Mason Appleton scored the game-winning goal and goaltender Connor Hellebuyck continued his mastery of the Calgary Flames as the host Winnipeg Jets claimed a 3-1 victory on Friday.

Hellebuyck, who made 32 saves, has a sparkling 12-4-1 career record against the Flames.

Blake Wheeler and Brenden Dillon also scored for the Jets (38-32-11, 87 points), who go into their season finale on Sunday at home against the Seattle Kraken riding a three-game winning streak.

Matthew Tkachuk scored for the Pacific Division-champion Flames (50-21-11, 111 points), who lost only twice in regulation in their last 14 games (10-2-2) of the regular season. Goalie Dan Vladar stopped 40 shots — his season high — for a team that did not rest any regulars but lacked any zip while playing three road games in four nights well after clinching their spot.

Calgary, which posted its second-highest point total in a season in franchise history, will face the first Western Conference wild-card team in the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Tkachuk opened the scoring at 3:19 with his 42nd goal of the season. After stealing the puck at his own blue line, Tkachuk buried his own rebound after he was thwarted on a breakaway.

The Flames scored first a league-best 54 times this season.

However, Wheeler evened the scoring with 12.1 seconds remaining in opening period. After passing the puck to Nikolaj Ehlers while on a rush, Wheeler readied for the return feed and buried a one-timer from the left circle for his 16th of the season.

Appleton converted a rebound to put Winnipeg ahead at 6:06 of the second period. Josh Morrissey’s point shot was stopped, but Appleton was on the spot to net his eighth goal of the season.

Dillon’s empty-net goal with 19.6 seconds on the clock, his third goal of the season, rounded out the scoring.

–Field Level Media