CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Brandon Bollig and Raphael Diaz scored their first goals of the season to help the Calgary Flames beat the struggling Winnipeg Jets 5-2 on Monday night.
Leading by one heading into the third period, the Flames struck on the power play at 4:24, making it 3-1 when Diaz let a rocket go from the blue line that found the top corner.
Signed as a free agent in the offseason, Diaz scored his first goal in a Flames uniform. His previous goal came against Calgary on March 28, 2014, with the New York Rangers.
Bollig made it 4-1 at 7:23, converting a pass from Joe Colborne for his first goal in 61 games. Bollig was acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks in a trade at last year’s NHL draft.
David Jones, Mason Raymond and Sean Monahan also scored for Calgary. Winners of seven of their last nine games, the Flames moved into third place in the Pacific Division. Calgary is two points ahead of Vancouver, although the Canucks hold three games in hand.
Blake Wheeler and Bryan Little had the goals for Winnipeg, which owns the NHL’s best road record (14-8-5). The Jets have come out of the All-Star break and lost four straight in regulation. They are back in action Tuesday in Vancouver.
Jonas Hiller made 17 saves to improve his record to 16-14-2.
Rookie goalie Michael Hutchinson stopped 23 shots for Winnipeg but fell to 14-7-2. Ondrej Pavelec stopped all four shots he faced in relief.
Calgary broke a 1-all tie 2 minutes into the second period on a perfectly placed shot by Raymond.
Picking up a loose puck and bursting into the Jets end, Raymond snapped a 20-footer inside the far post. His seventh goal of the season was his first in nine games and just his second since Oct. 19.
The goal came right after a missed opportunity for Winnipeg’s Mark Scheifele, who went around Diaz and then Dennis Wideman only to miss the net with his backhand. Scheifele is mired in a bad slump, with one goal in his last 20 games.
Winnipeg opened the scoring 1:09 into the first period. After cycling the puck in the corner, Little sent a centering pass to Wheeler, who zipped a shot over Hiller’s shoulder.
The lead was short-lived. Calgary tied it 3 minutes later on a good individual effort from Jones, who bowled his way to the net from off the wing and watched his backhander trickle through Hutchinson’s pads.
The long breakout pass came from Mark Giordano. Playing in his 500th NHL game, he leads all defensemen in scoring with 43 points (11 goals, 32 assists).
NOTES: Sven Baertschi was inserted for Calgary in place of Mikael Backlund (ill). … Continuing his recovery from shoulder surgery, Flames 2014 first-round pick Sam Bennett practiced with the main group for the first time. He wore a yellow non-contact jersey. … Calgary placed David Wolf on injured reserve after he cut his leg in his NHL debut Saturday.
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