Flames, Jets meet after big wins

CALGARY, Alberta — Both the Calgary Flames and Winnipeg Jets skated to convincing wins over their respective opponents on Monday night.

Now, the Flames (12-8-1) and Jets (12-5-2) will be looking to follow up on those victories when the two Western Conference foes clash at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Wednesday.

Shortly after the Flames thumped the visiting Vegas Golden Knights 7-2 on Monday, the Jets put the finishing touches on their 6-3 triumph over the Canucks in Vancouver.

“The team that forgets about it wins tomorrow,” said Jets coach Paul Maurice after his team practiced in Calgary on Tuesday. “I don’t expect it to look anything like that, but I think it’s going to be a grinder. Both teams are coming in feeling good. Both teams have players that can defend and players who can play hard on the puck — even offensive players that’ll play hard on the puck, so I don’t think anybody’s putting up any of those kind of numbers or that volume of chances.”

Winnipeg forward Mathieu Perreault said he and his teammates are heading into the big Western Conference matchup against the Flames as a confident group.

“It should be a fun game,” Perreault said. “We like where our game’s at right now as well. We usually focus on what we do more than whoever we’re playing, but we’ve got to be aware of the firepower they have over there.”

Perreault praised Winnipeg’s line of Patrik Laine, Kyle Connor and Brian Little, who combined for nine points against the Canucks.

“They’re three great players. So we definitely expect them to be a dominant line for us and they expect that from themselves so it was nice to see them contribute,” Perreault said.

Laine led the way with a hat trick, while Connor scored once and set up three others and Little had a goal and an assist.

Meanwhile, Matthew Tkachuk scored twice and set up two others to lead Calgary’s offensive outburst against the Golden Knights, while Sean Monahan had two goals and one assist.

“We want to be a tough team to beat at home and we want this to be a place where people don’t like coming in to and we want it to be a big advantage for us and I think right now we’re playing well,” said Tkachuk following Monday’s win over Vegas. “We’ll enjoy this win tonight, but we’ve got a really tough one on Wednesday.”

After recording just one assist in his past five games, Johnny Gaudreau broke out of his slump with a goal and three helpers — all in the first period — against the Golden Knights.

“The past few games I haven’t been finding the net,” Gaudreau admitted. “I’ve been getting good looks — hitting posts, crossbars, getting some good chances, but it was nice to capitalize … and get rewarded in that department and get a huge win for our team.”

Calgary coach Bill Peters liked what he saw from his top line of Gaudreau, Monahan and Elias Lindholm on Monday.

“I just know they had a lot of poise with the puck, real good deception and some creativity,” Peters said. “All three of them have the ability to score and all three of them have the ability to make plays, so they’re an unpredictable group to play against. I think they’re very comfortable playing with each other and they complement each other real well.”