The Philadelphia Flyers saw their four-game win streak snapped today in Winnipeg with a 4-1 loss to the Jets. Evander Kane and Bryan Little each had a goal and an assist, while Blake Wheeler registered two assists in a four-goal second period for the Jets. Ruslan Fedotenko was the lone Flyer to beat Ondrej Pavelec, as the goaltender made 30 saves for the win.
Ilya Bryzgalov made 12 saves on 16 shots against before being pulled after the conclusion of the second period. The goaltender didn’t receive too much help in terms of his defenseman clearing out rebounds in front or preventing the Jets from getting to the crease with ease, as the softest goal he allowed all day came on an odd-man rush.
Steve Mason took Bryz’s spot to start the third period, as the former Columbus Blue Jacket made his Flyers’ debut in the loss. The 2009 Calder Memorial Trophy winner stopped all nine of the shots Winnipeg threw at him in the final 20 minutes of the contest.
With a one-goal lead to start the second period, an injury to Luke Schenn is what changed the momentum in Winnipeg’s favor during the middle frame.
While on the penalty kill, Schenn was able to block a Tobias Enstrom slap shot from the point. Unfortunately, the blast hit Schenn on the side of his head just under his helmet. The blue liner dropped to the ice immediately and skated off to the locker room shortly after he returned to his skates. Although he was bleeding immensely while he was exiting the ice, Schenn returned to action before the end of the second period.
Schenn may have avoided a serious injury and didn’t miss too much of the action, but the Jets did manage to grab the momentum in his absence and never looked back.
“The second period was bad,” Peter Laviolette said following the defeat. “The first period was competitive. The third period was competitive. It was the second period that cost us.”
With their slow start and inability to regain the momentum after Schenn’s injury, the Flyers could have simply lost this game by already assuming they had two points before the tilt started. In addition to Philly entering the game on a five-game point streak, the Jets entered today’s contest on a five-game losing streak.
“We lost this game in the second period,” Claude Giroux said after the tilt. “We came out flat. That kind of stuff can’t happen, especially this time of year.”
The Orange and Black started the contest slowly, but gained the momentum after Fedotenko opened the scoring by tipping a shot past Pavelec 11:07 into the affair.
After Fedotenko won a faceoff in the Jets’ zone, he was able to redirect a Kent Huskins’ shot from the point past Pavelec for his fourth goal of 2013 to give the Flyers the first lead of the contest.
Philly was able to apply pressure on the Jets for the remainder of the first period, but couldn’t add on to their lead despite producing the final six shots on net in the first stanza.
The second period belonged to Winnipeg, as the hosts put four shots past Bryzgalov in a 6:28 span late in the frame.
Grant Clitsome ripped one from the slot past Bryz’s glove 27 seconds before Kyle Wellwood cleaned up a rebound from a Kane dunk attempt to put the Jets ahead with 6:55 left in the middle period.
Kane potted one of his own 1:39 after he set up Wellwood’s goal to extend the Jets’ lead to two goals late in the second period.
Mike Santorelli possessed the disc in the corner to Bryzgalov’s right before the forward rushed to the crease and tried to jam one past Philly’s goaltender. Bryz made the original save, but left a rebound in front that wasn’t cleared by a single Flyer and led to a shot for Kane. Winnipeg’s skater clanked one off the middle pipe for his 14th of 2013.
Little essentially killed any hopes the Flyers had for a comeback in the third period, as the 12th overall pick in the 2006 NHL Draft made it 4-1 Winnipeg in the final minute of the second stanza.
On an odd-man rush with Andrew Ladd, Little carried the biscuit into Philly’s zone and positioned himself to sell the idea he was going to dish it cross ice to the Jets’ captain. Little’s move froze Bryzgalov before the forward beat the netminder between his left hip and armpit with 54 seconds left in the second period.
In hopes for a change of momentum, and since the Jets’ fourth goal was rather soft, Laviolette decided to give Mason his first action as a Flyer, as he pulled Bryz after 40 minutes.
Besides a bout between Jay Rosehill and Chris Thorburn, there wasn’t too much action in the final 20 minutes of regulation.
Both teams went 0-for-2 on the man advantage in the final period, as the Flyers showed flashes of a potential surge to work their way back into the contest, but ultimately couldn’t find the back of the net again to lose 4-1.
The Orange and Black will have a few days off before they visit Nassau Coliseum on Tuesday to take on the New York Islanders.
Notes: The loss snaps Philly’s five-game point streak and is the first time they lost in regulation since their 5-2 defeat to the New York Rangers on March 26th…Today’s third period was the first time Bryzgalov wasn’t in net for the Flyers since the third period of Philly’s 5-4 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on March 7th. He has started the last 22 games starting with his shutout against the Islanders on February 18th…Fedotenko is on a five-game point streak. He has three goals and two assists in his last five games…Huskins’ assist in the loss was his first point as a Flyer. The helper snapped his 17-game streak without a point…Today was Brayden Schenn’s 100th NHL game. He was minus-1 with a shot on net and four hits. It was his 91st game as a Flyer…Today was Santorelli’s 200th NHL game. In his second game as a Jet he had an assist in 11:18 TOI. He has played in 32 games for the Nashville Predators and 166 games for the Florida Panthers over his career…The Flyers will finish the 2013 regular season 2-1-0 against the Jets and dropped 8-5-1 against the Southeast Division with the loss (WPG 2-1-0, WSH 2-1-0, CAR 2-0-0, TBL 1-2-0, FLA 1-1-1)…The Flyers dropped to 17-18-3 after the loss. They were 23-11-4 after 38 games last season.