The Philadelphia Flyers saw their three-game winning streak snapped in Winnipeg, as the Jets beat the Orange and Black 3-2 in a five-round shootout. Bryan Little had the decisive goal in the shootout, while Dustin Byfuglien had a two-goal game. Olli Jokinen had two assists, as Ondrej Pavelec stopped 32 in regulation and four in the shootout for the win. Scott Hartnell and Wayne Simmonds found the back of the net for Philly, while Steve Mason had 38 saves in the loss.
After 65 minutes couldn’t find a winner, the contest came down to a shootout. Devin Setoguchi beat Mason in the opening round, while Pavelec robbed Vincent Lecavalier with a big glove save. Andrew Ladd didn’t find the back of the net in the second round, while Claude Giroux’s five-hole attempt on Pavelec eventually dribbled its way over the goal line to equalize the shootout at 1-1. Jokinen and Blake Wheeler couldn’t beat Mason, while Matt Read and Brayden Schenn couldn’t solve Pavelec before Little beat Mason for the winner. Pavelec’s final save came on Kimmo Timonen.
The Flyers were 5:37 away from going 3-0-0 on their three-game road trip. However, grabbing five out of a possible six points isn’t too bad for this club at the moment. Philly also left the contest with a few positives. Although they blew a one-goal lead late, they also overcame a 1-0 deficit just 5:36 into regulation. After tying the game just 49 seconds later, Simmonds put the Orange and Black up by one with 8:15 left in the opening frame. That doesn’t sound all that impressive, but for a team that was clearly struggling with confidence just a few weeks ago, it shows that the squad has turned a corner in that area.
Along with fighting off the early deficit, the tandem of Luke Schenn and Braydon Coburn looked good in the loss. Schenn was physical all night long and knocked several Jets off the puck, while Coburn was all over the place in overtime. The former Atlanta Thrasher had several scoring chances in the extra frame and moved throughout the offensive zone to create opportunities for teammates. One of the biggest problems all season has been the Flyers’ blue line not being able to jump up in the play and create on offense. Hopefully Coburn’s play in overtime can help spark his ability to provide offense over the next few games.
Mason looked great in net again tonight and Craig Berube’s system seems to be working so far, as the team allowed only three goals over the three-game road trip and five goals in their last four games. If the goaltending and defensive play we’ve seen in recent games holds up all season, the Flyers should be a playoff team with ease.
The game opened with Byfuglien’s first of the tilt. After he drew a hooking minor out of Giroux, Byfuglien beat Mason’s blocker from the circle to the goalie’s left.
Philly erased the lead quickly with Hartnell’s third of the season. In a faceoff to the right of Pavelec, Jakub Voracek was able to knock the puck from the dot to below the goal line, where Hartnell jumped on the loose disc and beat Pavelec to the far post. With his shot, Hartnell hit the Jets’ netminder in the back and had the biscuit go over the goal line by the slimmest of margins to tie the game.
Minutes later, Sean Couturier drew a hooking call of Adam Pardy, which led to Simmonds power-play tally. A shot from Timonen at the point was denied by Pavelec, but led to a rebound in the slot. Hartnell fought to keep Byfuglien from clearing the puck, which led to the puck gliding to Simmonds at the top of the crease. The forward slammed it home for his second of the season and a one-goal lead halfway through the opening stanza.
The scoring remained the same until late in the third period, as both teams had 22 shots through 40 minutes. The third period was dominated by Winnipeg, however, as the hosts had 13 shots to Philly’s four. One of the Jets’ 13 shots on goal was Byfuglien’s equalizer.
With Steve Downie in the sin bin for hooking, Byfuglien walked across the blue line for a second before blasting a slap shot by Mason’s glove, as the goaltender was screened by a few players in front. The score remained 2-2 after time ran out in the third period.
The extra five minutes belonged to the Flyers, as they outshot Winnipeg eight to three. The puck was in the Jets’ defensive zone for almost the entirety of overtime, but Philly couldn’t find a way to solve Pavelec.
The Orange and Black start a three-game homestand on Tuesday, as they host the Ottawa Senators.
Notes: For the first time all season, the Flyers grabbed a point in a game where they allowed the first goal. They are 0-7-1 in the games where they trail first and are the only team in the league to not record a win when allowing the first goal…Mason is 2-0-2 in his last four starts. He has posted a save percentage of .923 or better in each of his last four games and has a save percentage of .952 overall in his last four starts…Since the infamous loss to the Washington Capitals on November 1st, the Flyers are 4-1-2…Philly’s power play was 1-for-3 tonight to extend their streak of converting on the man advantage to three games. It’s the first time the Flyers have scored a power-play goal in three straight games since they scored one in each of the last five games in March…Hartnell now has four points (two goals and two assists) in his last four games. He had his first two-point game tonight since he had a hat trick against the Montreal Canadiens on April 15th…Voracek extended his point streak to four games with an assist on Hartnell’s goal. He has two goals and three assists in that span…Simmonds extends his point streak to three games with tonight’s goal. He has a goal and two assists in that span…The Flyers dropped their first meeting of the year against a Central Division team and dropped to 1-3-1 against the Western Conference…The Flyers fell to 7-10-2 on the season. They were 8-10-1 after 19 games last season.