Jets dominate Flames behind Rittich’s 37 saves, four second-period goals

Winnipeg Jets' Dylan Samberg (54), Ville Heinola (14), Dominic Toninato (21), Sam Gagner (89) and David Gustafsson (19) celebrate a goal against the Calgary Flames during second period NHL pre-season game action in Winnipeg on Wednesday, October 5, 2022. (John Woods/CP)

David Rittich made 37 saves and Kyle Connor scored two of Winnipeg’s four second-period goals as the Jets defeated the Calgary Flames 5-0 in pre-season action Wednesday.

Connor and Mark Scheifele each had power-play goals 44 seconds apart to start the middle period. Dominic Toninato also scored during the 20-minute attack.

Nikolaj Ehlers added a power-play goal in the third period and contributed a pair of assists. Sam Gagner also recorded two assists.

Rittich used to play for the Flames, signing as a free agent with the club in 2016. He was traded to Toronto in April 2021 and signed as a free agent with Nashville three months later. The Jets signed him this past summer.

Dan Vladar stopped 13-of-15 shots for Calgary before being replaced by Dustin Wolf midway through the second period. Wolf made eight saves.

The Flames went 0-for-6 on the power play while the Jets were 3-for-5.

Calgary iced a squad close to its projected regular-season roster, including new acquisitions Jonathan Huberdeau and Nazem Kadri, but sat starting goalie Jacob Markstrom.

Winnipeg didn’t play forwards Pierre-Luc Dubois and Blake Wheeler, defencemen Nate Schmidt and Brenden Dillon, as well as starting goalie Connor Hellebuyck.

The Flames had a three-on-one chance early in the first period, but couldn’t beat Rittich. Vladar turned aside a Connor breakaway shot late in the period.

Calgary outshot Winnipeg 10-8 in the opening frame.

Connor began the second-period barrage with a power-play goal at 8:28, followed by Scheifele’s man-advantage marker at 9:12 that sent Vladar to the bench and bumped the lead to 2-0.

Toninato got the puck after stepping out of the penalty box, went in alone on Wolf and beat him close in after a little body move at 12:53.

A clearing attempt by Calgary’s Noah Hanifin was intercepted by Ehlers, who passed the puck to Connor for his second goal of the game at 18:51 that made it 4-0.

Tempers rose in the third period.

Winnipeg went up 5-0 when Gagner sent a pass to the circle for Ehlers, who fired a power-play blast by Wolf at 10:47.

The goal came after Scheifele and Nikita Zadorov got into a tussle. Kadri was later dinged for boarding Cole Perfetti with two minutes remaining.

The teams meet again in Calgary on Friday for their final pre-season game.

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