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Sports: Kyle Connor scores twice, Winnipeg Jets snap five-game winless skid

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CALGARY — Kyle Connor scored twice including the game-winner at 15:09 of the third period on Saturday as the Jets snapped a five-game winless skid with a 4-2 comeback victory over the Calgary Flames.

  Kyle Connor scores twice, Winnipeg Jets snap five-game winless skid © Provided by The Canadian Press

Set up on a cross-ice pass from Blake Wheeler, Connor sent a one-timer into the top corner inside the near post before Jacob Markstrom could get across. Connor's 14 goals ties him for fifth in the NHL.

Paul Stastny and Andrew Copp, into an empty net, also scored for Winnipeg (10-7-4), which salvaged the final game of its three-game road trip. Wheeler had two assists. The Jets return home to host the Arizona Coyotes on Monday.

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Matthew Tkachuk and Elias Lindholm scored for Calgary (12-4-5), which lost in regulation for the first time in eight games (5-1-2). The Flames wrap up a three-game homestand on Monday against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

After being pulled for surrendering four goals on 14 shots on Friday night in Minnesota, Connor Hellebuyck bounced back nicely for the Jets with a 34-save performance to improve to 7-5-4.

Markstrom had 24 stops to fall to 8-4-4.

The Jets had a great chance to take the lead when with the score tied 2-2 and under five minutes remaining in the second period. Milan Lucic was assessed a major penalty for boarding and a game misconduct for a heavy hit along the end boards that temporarily shook up Jets defenceman Dylan DeMelo.

Kyle Connor scores twice, Winnipeg Jets snap five-game winless skid

  Kyle Connor scores twice, Winnipeg Jets snap five-game winless skid CALGARY — Kyle Connor scored twice including the game-winner at 15:09 of the third period on Saturday as the Jets snapped a five-game winless skid with a 4-2 comeback victory over the Calgary Flames. Set up on a cross-ice pass from Blake Wheeler, Connor sent a one-timer into the top corner inside the near post before Jacob Markstrom could get across. Connor's 14 goals ties him for fifth in the NHL. Paul Stastny and Andrew Copp, into an empty net, also scored for Winnipeg (10-7-4), which salvaged the final game of its three-game road trip. Wheeler had two assists. The Jets return home to host the Arizona Coyotes on Monday.

But Calgary continually bottled up the Jets and prevented them from being able to set up. With just over a minute remaining in that power play, the Flames drew a hooking penalty on Neal Pionk, which ended the extended five-on-four during which Winnipeg generated only two shots.

Down 2-0 early, Winnipeg cut into the deficit at 16:26 of the first when the Jets turned a stretch of sustained pressure into a goal with Connor knocking in a set-up from Wheeler.

The Jets tied it 2-2 at 4:50 of the second on a goal that left Flames goaltender Markstrom visibly upset, believing there was goaltender interference. With the puck in the crease, Stastny knocked both Markstrom's pad and the puck into the net at the same time. Calgary did not challenge the call.

The Flames jumped out to an early lead with Tkachuk deflecting in Johnny Gaudreau's centering pass 26 seconds into the game. It came on the Flames' fourth shot as they immediately went on the attack from the drop of the puck.

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It was the NHL-leading 17th time Calgary has scored first (12-2-3).

The Flames surged in front 2-0 at 7:42, needing just seven seconds against the NHL's 30th-ranked penalty kill to convert with Lindholm poking the puck in.

Gaudreau also assisted on that goal. His two assists in the period extended his point streak to six games (five goals, five assists).

Lindholm's goal extended his point streak to seven games (two goals, seven assists).

Notes: Calgary was a perfect 3-for-3 on the penalty kill and are now 26-for-27 over the last eight games. The Flames entered the night ranked third in the NHL on the PK... Winnipeg had been 0-3-0 on the back-end of back-to-back games... The Flames led the Western Conference standings after 20 games for the first time since 1993-94.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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