After two high-scoring affairs earlier in the season, the Flyers lost 2-1 in a shootout to the visiting Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday, as both teams buckled down for a more defensive game this time around. Bryan Little was the only player to score in the shootout, as the Jets’ forward gave Winnipeg the additional point with the final shot in the third round.
Chris Thorburn tallied and Ondrej Pavelec made 27 saves during regulation for the win, as the Jets ended their three-game losing streak.
Brayden Schenn registered the Flyers’ only goal tonight, as he put home his fourth of the season late in the first period to give Philly a 1-0 lead. Ilya Bryzgalov made 23 shots in the loss. The Flyers’ goalie also made his first saves in a shootout this season, as he denied Kyle Wellwood and Blake Wheeler before Little beat him for the Winnipeg victory.
Jaromir Jagr returned from his groin injury and earned an assist in the Flyers’ loss.
“I was glad to play after 10 days,” said the veteran forward. “Probably better for me to start on a different line. Probably less pressure. Slowing get into the game.”
Jagr dangled his way through the Jets’ defense multiple times, as he started the game on a line with Schenn and Sean Couturier before returning to his usual linemates of Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell late in the third period.
For the decisive goal, Little skated in on Bryzgalov and shot the puck on his forehand in between Bryzgalov’s legs to give the Jets their second point on the night.
“Just a little bit too late to close the five-hole,” Bryzgalov stated about Little’s decisive goal in the shootout, as the Jets won their second game of the season via the breakaway competition.
At the beginning of the game, neither team registered a single shot on net until a Wheeler wrister forced Bryzgalov into the splits for a glove-save with 9:24 left in the first period.
Read nearly got Philly’s first shot on net, but his blast from the slot on Pavelec didn’t count, as the refs blew the play dead due to a penalty on the Flyers. After a faceoff in the offensive zone, Jagr tripped Tobias Enstrom in the faceoff circle, as the defenseman went for the loose puck in the corner.
The Jets failed to convert on the power-play chance and gave Philly their first man advantage of the game seconds after Jagr exited the box. After he was hit by Tanner Glass in the corner, Scott Hartnell, who lost his glove due to the hit, started to check Thorburn behind the net before the Jets’ forward retaliated to earn himself a roughing minor.
With the man advantage, the Flyers not only produced their first shot on net, but they gained the game’s first lead.
After Jakub Voracek registered the Flyers’ first shot on net with 6:24 left in the first period, Schenn muscled the puck past Pavelec. Matt Carle skated deep into the Jets’ zone and released a shot with the boards to his left, which led to a Schenn deflection in front. The Flyers’ rookie then whacked at the puck, which was under Pavelec, as the Jets’ goalie laid on the ice not knowing where the disc was located. The biscuit finally trickled over the goal line by a matter of inches for a Flyers’ lead with 4:49 left in the opening period.
The Jets reacted to the goal by peppering Bryzgalov with several shots from the point through traffic and from in close off of rebound chances, but the visitors couldn’t register a tally before the first 20 minutes closed. The Flyers had the one-goal lead, but they trailed the Jets in shots by a count of 7-6. Philly also trailed in the hits category, as the Jets out hit the Flyers 13-11 in the first period, which included Mark Stuart’s monstrous hit on Couturier in the neutral zone.
In the second period, Thorburn ended his 59-game goal drought to tie the game at a goal apiece. Given ample time in the slot due to a cross-ice pass from Nik Antropov, Thorburn ripped a shot top shelf past Bryzgalov’s glove and inside the near post at the 2:06 mark.
Six minutes later, and after the Jets’ early domination of the middle period, Jagr just missed scoring to end his eight-game streak without a goal. As he and his linemates, Schenn and Couturier, continued to click in Jagr’s first game back from injury, Read threw a pass to Jagr at the top of the circles in the midst of an odd-man rush. After he cocked his stick back for a one-timer, Jagr blasted a shot that beat Pavelec, but hit the crossbar and stayed out of the net.
The Flyers’ offensive onslaught ended abruptly when they were nailed with a bench minor for too many men on the ice with 4:18 left in regulation. Philly killed off the bench minor and looked for the game-winning goal in the final minutes of the third.
Schenn, who potted the Flyers’ only goal in regulation, turned the puck over at the Flyers’ blue line, which led to a Jets’ scoring chance in the final two minutes of regulation. Luckily for Philly, Andrew Ladd’s shot from the side of the net hit the back of the cage, as a sprawling Bryzgalov had his stick covering the bottom of the net.
Ladd’s missed opportunity essentially gave Philly a point in the standings, as neither team found the back of the net for a second time in 60 minutes to send the game into overtime.
Early in overtime, Little clanked a shot off the post, as he missed the game-winner by an inch. Thanks to a cross-ice pass, Little was able to put a nifty move on Bryz to put the goalie on his knees. Beating Bryzgalov high and near side, Little nailed the inside of the post, but couldn’t put the puck over the goal line.
For a third straight game, the Flyers needed a shootout to decide who should get the additional point.
The first shooter in the shootout was Couturier, who missed wide after a forehand-backhand-forehand move.
Next was Wellwood, who was denied by a Bryzgalov’s left leg pad.
Giroux failed to convert on the Flyers’ next chance, as Wheeler’s five-hole attempt met Bryz’s pads to keep the shootout scoreless.
In the third round, Jagr came in wide before his shot was met by Pavelec’s blocker.
It was after Jagr’s shot that Little won the game for the Jets.
The Orange and Black look to extend their point streak to five games, as they host the Nashville Predators on Thursday night.
Notes: The Flyers have lost six straight games at home against the Winnipeg Jets/Atlanta Thrashers, going 0-3-3 in that span…They’ve lost 10 of their last 11 against Winnipeg/Atlanta…Tuesday marked the first time this season Bryzgalov has allowed only one goal against and lost…The first period of tonight’s game was the first time out of all three of the clubs’ meetings this season where each team didn’t produce a goal (1-0 Flyers), while the third period tonight was the first time all season there was a goalless period between the clubs…Tonight’s first period produced 13 shots overall (7-6 WPG)…With the exception of tonight’s overtime, which produced six shots, it’s the lowest shot total for any of the nine periods between these clubs this season…Both Dustin Byfuglien (knee) and Evander Kane (concussion) missed tonight’s game. The pair combined for seven points (two goals, five assists) in the clubs’ first two meetings…Thorburn’s second period goal was his first since his tally against the Buffalo Sabres on March 19, 2011…The Flyers dropped to 0-2-1 against the Jets and to 7-4-2 against the Southeast Division (WSH 1-1-0, FLA 2-0-0, WPG 0-2-1, TBL 1-1-1, CAR 3-1-0)…The Flyers dropped to 29-14-6. The Flyers were 32-12-5 after 49 games last season.