Calgary 4 Ottawa 2
CALGARY — It’s easy to forget that Calgary Flames centre Josh Jooris is a rookie.
Jooris had the game-winning goal, an assist and was a key part of a critical 5-on-3 penalty kill late in the game Saturday night as the Calgary Flames won 4-2 over the Ottawa Senators.
Playing in just his 12th NHL game, Jooris had his fourth goal of the season at 5:37 of the third period, scoring on the power play to give Calgary a 3-1 lead.
Jooris got open in the slot and neatly converted a centring pass from the corner from Curtis Glencross.
“I saw Glennie take a look up and it looked like he knew what he was doing with the puck before he got it,” said Jooris. “When I saw that, I jumped up in the hole and he just found my tape and I just tried to bear down on it.”
In just his second pro season, Jooris spent all last year in the American Hockey League and he started this season there also before being called up by the Flames a month ago.
“Josh is progressing so well with us. His speed, his anticipation. The way that he reads the play. He smells blood around the net,” said Flames coach Bob Hartley. “He has jump in his stride, he knows how to go to the net and that was a great play by Glennie.”
A testament to how much he’s impressed Hartley was when he was sent out late in the game with Calgary up 4-2 but facing a 5-on-3 penalty kill.
“It’s nice that they’re showing that confidence in me right now. I’m just trying my best not to let them down,” said Jooris,
“Those are crucial minutes at the end of the game, a big 5-on-3 there, those are nervous moments.”
It worked as Jooris was able to ice the puck twice in the successful kill.
“Scoring goals is always nice to get the building going but the building almost felt as loud when I got those clears,” said Jooris, who signed as a free agent with the Flames two years ago after playing three years of NCAA hockey at Union College.
In addition to failing to take advantage of that 62-second two-man advantage, Ottawa also squandered a power play it received in the opening minute of the third period with the scored tied 1-1.
Shortly after getting out of the penalty box, Lance Bouma set up Markus Granlund as Calgary took the lead for good at 2-1.
“(The power play) has been a positive for us all season but tonight we got away from it,” said Bobby Ryan, who had one of the Senators’ goals. “The things that we see a lot of nights, we didn’t get pucks to the net very well and the pucks we did come up with, we were staying on the wall too long and letting them get back into situations where they could set up.”
Paul Byron and Bouma also scored for Calgary (11-6-2). The Flames have won six of their last eight including the first two of its five-game homestand, which continues Tuesday against Anaheim.
Clarke MacArthur, with his team-leading eighth goal, had the other goal for Ottawa (8-5-4). The Senators finished up 1-1-1 on their three-game Western Canada road trip. They are not back in action again until Thursday when they host Nashville.
“Ultimately you’ve got to win on the road with the power play a lot of times, and we failed to get that done,” said Ryan. “We had a chance to steal two points and make it a heck-of-a road trip but instead we come back .500 and I don’t think that will sit very well with anybody tonight.”
Down 3-1, Ottawa climbed back to within a goal again on Ryan’s wraparound goal at 7:51 of the third period.
However, Bouma made it 4-2 on a puck-handling mistake by Senators goalie Craig Anderson.
“Our third periods have been our best and last year, we just found a way to come up short in all those games,” Bouma said. “This year, we are on the other end of it and it’s great because the belief is growing in here and we’re having a lot of fun with it.”
Calgary has outscored its opponent 24-11 in the third period.
The Flames got an injury scare halfway through the first period. Captain Mark Giordano, who leads NHL defencemen in scoring, got hit near his left eye by Chris Neil, who caught him with the tip of his stick on the follow-through of a shot.
Giordano missed the remainder of the period but returned to start the second period. However, he was sporting a visor, which he normally does not wear, and the area around his eye was noticeably dark and swollen. He reportedly received four stitches in his eyelid.
Giordano later had the second assist on Jooris’ goal to extend his point streak to a nine games (five goals, nine assists), tying his career high.
Making only his second start in the last nine games for Calgary, Karri Ramo finished with 23 saves to improve to 3-2-1.
Anderson, who was originally drafted by the Flames in 1999 although he never signed, had 21 saves. His record falls to 5-3-3.
Notes: After being a healthy scratch for the first time last game, Calgary’s Brandon Bollig returned and got in a second period fight with Mark Borowiecki… The Flames entered the night with 55 points (15 goals, 40 assists) from their defencemen, which leads the NHL. Tied for second is San Jose and Toronto with 38 points… Calgary’s Paul Byron and Ottawa’s Alex Chiasson both played in career game No. 100…. Calgary is 8-0-2 when they enter the third period either tied or in the lead.