Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Flood going with the flow

IceCaps call-up scores his first NHL goal -- but doesn't get puck

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NEWARK, N.J. -- Funny how hockey works sometimes...

Five days ago, Mark Flood was a member of the St. John's IceCaps, wandering through a mall in Hartford with teammate Brett Festerling and thinking of an upcoming AHL game against the Connecticut Whale. And Saturday night he was playing on Hockey Night in Canada for the Winnipeg Jets, setting up one goal and scoring his first ever in a 3-2 OT loss to the New Jersey Devils.

"It's crazy," Flood said in front of a scrum of reporters after Saturday's loss. "I never thought I'd be here doing this right now and playing tonight. But that's the life of a hockey player. You've got to adapt on the fly and go with it.

"It's obviously pretty cool to score, but it doesn't mean a whole lot unless we win the game. It's too bad we lost, but we can take some positives away from this, being down 2-0 in the third against a pretty good defensive team in their building."

Flood's goal came on a blast from the point and in just his eighth career NHL game. Asked if he got the puck after his first career goal, Flood said:

"No. I think that because I'm 27, some of the guys didn't know it was my first goal out there. That's all right. I'm sure somebody grabbed it or grabbed a puck."

As for his future with the Jets, Flood -- perhaps wisely -- is trying to live in the moment. In fact, he wouldn't even allow himself to think about being in the lineup against the New York Rangers today at historic Madison Square Garden.

"I'm just trying to take it day by day here," he said. "I really don't know what's going on tomorrow. If I get in there, that'd be great. But I haven't really thought about it too much yet.

"With (the injured) guys day to day... we just do what we're told, whether we go back down or stay here, whatever it is. We're kind of just taking it day by day right now."

"I thought he played with good poise," said head coach Claude Noel. "He looked comfortable, he played on his off side -- a right-hand shot playing on the left side -- and I thought he played hard, he made good decisions and he had a couple of shots that he tried to redirect that were heady plays and it was a good play on the goal. I'm really happy with him and the other guys as well. They've come up and helped us."

Earlier in the day, the Jets made official the recall of Paul Postma from St. John's. He took 16 shifts and played 13 minutes and 37 seconds while working mostly with Johnny Oduya.

ANTRO UPDATE: Nik Antropov, the Jets' leading scorer, took the pre-game skate but was a late scratch. He blocked a shot with his hand in Thursday's win over the New York Islanders and was thought to be good to go against the Devils, but did not play. Ben Maxwell suited up in his place while Kenndal McArdle, placed on waivers on Friday, was also back in the lineup.

"It's going to be a warm-up decision," Noel said of Antropov's availability for today's game against the Rangers. "We're hoping to have (Mark) Stuart for that game and maybe Antropov. They would be welcome additions for us, no question."

ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @WFPEdTait

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 6, 2011 B4

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