Ruzicka was playing his third game in a row after being a healthy scratch for 10 of the first 11 games, skating on the left side of the front row with Lindholm and Tyler Toffoli instead of the injured Jonathan Huberdeau (upper body). He teamed with Lindholm on the Flames’ first two goals.
“Pretty easy to fit into that line, easy to play with those guys,” said Ruzicka, 23, who was playing just his 35th career NHL game. “Just do my job, work hard and obviously the points will come.”
Originally from Calgary Josh Morrissey got two assists to continue his strong start. The Jets’ leading scorer has 13 assists, halfway to his career high of 26 set in 2019-20.
“It wasn’t our worst game, but we were facing a desperate club,” Pionk said. “We have to match their intensity no matter the situation.”
Ten seconds into a penalty for holding Flames defenseman Mackenzie Weegar late in the second period, Mikael Backlund broke into a 2-on-1 and sent a perfect pass across the ice to Lewis, who hit a forehand-backhand shot as he crossed the top of the crease to give Calgary a 3-2 lead with 1 :29 to play.
A scrum behind the Flames’ net earned Markstrom a tripping penalty to give the Jets a two-man advantage for 1:19. However, Calgary’s much-maligned penalty kill kept the lead.
The Flames went on the scoreboard at 3:23 of the first period as Ruzicka sent a backhand forward of the net from the corner that ricocheted off Lindholm’s stick in front and squeaked between Hellebuyck’s pads .
Pionk tied the game 1-1 with 5:14 to go when his point shot hit the Flames defenseman Connor Mackey.
Calgary took the lead with 2:38 left in the first period as Lindholm set up Ruzicka with a cross pass that the Slovak buried for his first of the season.
“Tonight he played a very good game and I hope he can build on that as well,” Lindholm said of Ruzicka. “He’s the Adam we’ve been waiting for. … He’s got a lot of skill, a big body and he’s got a lot of points (in junior, in the AHL) and he obviously has a good chance now.
Winnipeg tied the game at 4:23 of the second, taking advantage of a lack of Flames defensive coverage that left Dubois wide open for a tap-in after being carefully set up by Morrissey.
Among Markstrom’s saves was a scoring effort in the first period when he slid through the crease, stacking his pads and spinning his hand to steal. Marc Scheifele.
“That’s pretty cool. The pad stack is old school, Ron Hextall maybe?” said the Flames defenseman Chris Tanev. “Certainly at the time. But a huge stop for us and he did them all night.
After giving up power-play goals in seven straight games, the Flames are a perfect 8-for-8 shorthanded in the past two games, including 3-for-3 against the Jets.
“Sometimes a good kill won’t net you much,” Dubois said. “You just have to take what they give you. Sometimes it’s fair and more and a shot and a one-timer. … I thought tonight, maybe also 5v5, we were trying to play too perfectly.
THE RETURN OF TANEV
After missing five games with an upper body injury, Calgary welcomed veteran defenseman Chris Tanev. However, he did not return to his usual D pairing, instead teaming up with Mackey, who returned after being healthy in the last two games.
Jets: At Seattle on Sunday night to complete a back-to-back on the road.
Flames: Host Los Angeles on Monday night to wrap up a two-game home game.
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