Four different players scored while Cam Talbot posted the shutout, as the Calgary Flames beat the Winnipeg Jets 4-0 Thursday in Edmonton to clinch their Western Conference qualifying round series.
Dillon Dube, Sam Bennett, Sean Monahan and Rasmus Andersson all scored for the Flames, who beat the Jets in four games to become the first Western-based squad to win a qualifying-round set. They will start the Stanley Cup playoffs as early as Tuesday.
Talbot made 31 saves for his third career playoff shutout against a Jets team that was decimated by injuries. Winnipeg lost top level forwards Mark Scheifele and Patrik Laine in the first game of the series, as well as Mason Appleton. They were also without center Bryan Little due to an injury sustained during the regular season.
Dube opened the scoring with his first playoff goal. Dube was denied on his first rebound opportunity after Erik Gustafsson's point shot was stopped, but slipped home his second chance just 3:21 into the game. It was the first time in the series that Calgary scored first.
The Jets pushed for the equalizer in an even opening period, but suffered a huge blow when Bennett doubled the lead with 0.7 seconds left in the first period by pouncing on a rebound during a wild scramble.
Monahan and Andersson added empty-net goals 19 seconds apart late in the third period to round out the scoring. Monahan and Bennett both had two-point nights.
Although the result seemed one-sided, Talbot was full measure for the shutout. He made a crucial first-period save on Kyle Connor, a clutch stop on Adam Lowry in the second frame and then big stops on Nikolaj Ehlers and Connor while the Jets were down by two goals.
Goalie Connor Hellebuyck stopped 30 shots for the Jets, who were Stanley Cup contenders a year ago but had a summer of upheaval and a disappointing season.
The Flames won't find out their first-round playoff opposition until the qualifying round is complete, but it will be one of the Vegas Golden Knights, St. Louis Blues, Dallas Stars or Colorado Avalanche -- who upset them in the first round in the 2019 playoffs.
--Field Level Media