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Laine Scores Twice on Power Play as Jets Top Flames in Pre-Season

By Judy Owen, The Canadian Press

Winnipeg Jets’ Dustin Byfuglien (not shown) fires a shot past Calgary Flames goaltender Eddie Lack, of Sweden, (31) with Jets’ Andrew Copp (9) in front of the net during third period preseason NHL hockey action in Winnipeg, Monday, September 25, 2017. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Trevor Hagan)

WINNIPEG – Patrik Laine made sure the Winnipeg Jets’ power-play unit measured up to its standards on Monday.

Laine scored two of Winnipeg’s four power-play goals — and added three assists — to lead the Jets to their first victory of the pre-season with a 5-2 win over the Calgary Flames.

Laine’s second power-play goal was scored from an angle as he dipped to one knee and fired off a shot past Flames goalie Eddie Lack. His first goal with the man advantage was a one-timer.

“We haven’t used a lot of man hours to practise our power play yet, but we’ve been over some things we want to see on the power play,” Laine said. “I think today, especially we saw those things on the ice and we managed to do the things we wanted to do on the ice and we got rewarded.”

Winnipeg’s top power-play unit featured centre Mark Scheifele, Blake Wheeler and Laine. The trio paid off with the game’s first three goals.

Scheifele scored the first one, followed by Laine’s pair. Nikolaj Ehlers then scored at even strength, Winnipeg’s first even-strength goal of the exhibition season. Dustin Byfuglien finished it off with his own power-play marker late in third. The Jets have nine power-play goals in the pre-season.

Wheeler and Scheifele each picked up three assists.

Calgary’s scorers were Sean Monahan and Matthew Tkachuk, who was playing his firs pre-season game after missing four with a hip problem.

Steve Mason made 26 saves for Winnipeg (1-3-1), while Eddie Lack stopped 29 shots for the Flames (1-4-0).

“Obviously, they have a lot of skilled guys up front,” said Lack, who didn’t have Calgary’s veteran defencemen on the ice to help him out.

“When Laine and Scheifele and those guys get times like that, it’s just hard.”

The game was tied 2-2 following the first period and Winnipeg held a 4-2 lead after two.

Jets head coach Paul Maurice wasn’t worried that his team has one even-strength goal to nine power-play markers through five exhibition games.

“We hit enough posts five-on-five to know it’s there,” Maurice said. “We haven’t yet run the lines, just with injuries now and early in camp giving guys a chance. We still haven’t had a practice yet where we focused on our offensive game.”

Four minutes into the third period, Flames forward Marek Hrivik was on the receiving end of a high hit by defenceman Jacob Trouba. Hrivik headed off the ice and Trouba was handed a match penalty for an illegal hit to the head and five-minute major for fighting with forward Garnet Hathaway. Trouba is facing an NHL mandatory one-game suspension.

Tkachuk, who was on a line with Monahan and Spencer Foo, said he felt pretty good after not playing for five months. Head coach Glen Gulutzan didn’t see anything to concern him.

“Obviously, there’s a ways for him to go,” Gulutzan said. “He’s still got a better level than what he played.”

Winnipeg hosts Ottawa Wednesday, while Calgary plays in Vancouver Thursday.


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