Saturday, February 23, 2013

Flyers fall behind early, roar back late to beat Jets

by Bob Herpen
Phanatic Hockey Editor 

Brayden Schenn posted two goals and one assist, as the Philadelphia Flyers scored three times in the third period, helping erase a two-goal deficit, to beat the Winnipeg Jets, 5-3, on Saturday.

Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds added a score and helper each for the Flyers, who claimed their third win in four tries thanks to three power-play tallies.

Ilya Bryzgalov made his 18th start in 20 games, and despite some early struggles with the rest of his teammates, picked up the win with 34 saves.

"We  just  said in the  second intermission,  we have to  be able to thrive in situations like this. Whether we  are up 3-2 or down 3-2, we have to find a way to  win  hockey games  and tonight  we did," Schenn  said. "It  was a huge two points  to  keep on climbing  up in  the standings, clawing  our way back to a
playoff spot."

Philadelphia, which topped a team from Winnipeg in a home matinee for the first time in more than 25 years (1/30/88 4-3 W), was buoyed by the return of Scott Hartnell to the lineup after a 16-game absence dealing with a broken toe on his left foot. He ended up with five shots on goal in nearly 15 minutes  of  ice time  and was a  minus-one with two  minor penalties, but felt a part of things once again.

"I feel a little rusty but I think the timing and stuff will come. I told G [Giroux] and Jake they have been playing so good I just wanted to get them the puck and head to the front of the net, that’s where I make a living," Hartnell said. "I had some chances, especially the first couple shifts there, Jake made a great pass and if I had been playing in all the other games, that goes in the net, but I was just happy to get through and game and no worries right now.”

Jakub Voracek added three assists as the hosts drew even on their current five-game homestand.

Evander Kane, Olli Jokinen and Alex Burmistrov provided the offense for the Jets, who have dropped four of their last six.

Ondrej Pavelec yielded four scores on 38 shots in defeat.

"I  thought we played  a pretty hard game if you take the special teams out of the  scenario," said Jets head coach Claude Noel. "In the areas where the puck wasn't  in  a tough area to  defend, we gave  up pressure in areas where don't normally  pressure and  they came  right back  on our  net off  the rush.  I'm disappointed to say the least."

Philly  was on  the power play when  Schenn finished a 3-on-2 rush with a one-timer  from the slot off a backhanded Jakub Voracek dish to tie the game, 3-3, with 6:18 played in the third period.

Simmonds  put the hosts  on top while on another advantage at 8:57, left alone at the left pipe to shovel home a perfect cross-crease pass from Schenn.

Winnipeg  failed to draw even on the advantage with 3:49 to play, then Pavelec was  called to  the bench for an extra  skater with 1:31 to go and Zac Rinaldo added an empty-net goal which barely beat the buzzer.

"I  think it  was a  good game.  It was  fun to  play. Good  atmosphere," said Pavelec. "We were up 3-2. Just not enough to close the game. We played well in the third, but two stupid penalties cost you the game."

What could have cost the Flyers at the outset was another outbreak of sluggish play to kick off a matinee contest.

Kane  opened the scoring  on a redirection of a Nik Antropov pass at the right post  with  4:48 played in the  first period, He  had a prime chance to double Winnipeg's lead from the same spot six minutes later, but whiffed on the shot.

The Jets were true to their moniker, playing with speed and an edge. They outshot the Flyers 12-1 over the first half of the opening period, until a television timeout provided a breather. From that point, the Orange and Black strafed their opponents to a 16-0 count in the final 9:47 of the period.

It finally paid off when Schenn's  third-chance  whack at a  loose puck in  the crease evened the score with  4:42  left in  the first.  Danny Briere  set up  the play by challenging Pavelec on the left side twice before the puck came loose.

Jokinen  made it  2-1 for  the Jets  at  2:34 of  the second  during a  4-on-4 situation  when he  whirled in the right circle and beat Bryzgalov through the pads.

"You  know, he  caught me on the movement.  I just stopped and in that time he took  the shot,"  said Bryzgalov  of  his difficulty  with tracking  Jokinen's motion.  "I was  not set yet for the  shot because I followed him and I didn't stop fast enough."

Winnipeg  gained  a  two-goal  edge  with  8:47  left  as  Burmistrov  managed to get his stick on a fluttering Grant Clitsome point drive which sailed home.

A  Giroux  blast from  the bottom  of the  left circle  during a 5-on-3 pulled Philly  within a goal  at 14:24, but the Jets survived the rest of the one-man edge.

Notes: The Flyers picked up their first win this season when trailing after two periods (1-7-0)...Schenn  tied a season high with three points, first accomplished on Feb. 9 vs. Carolina  (1G,  2A)...His last two-goal  game happened on  Mar. 29, 2012 at Toronto  in a 7-1 Philly win... Voracek has 12 points (4G, 8A) in the last five games...Kane extended  his  point streak to  six games...Jokinen recorded his first goal since Jan. 31, a span of 10 games...Philadelphia upped their record to 6-3-1 against the Southeast Division, and continue their homestand on Monday against the Toronto Maple Leafs...The original Winnipeg Jets won the last matinee game in Philadelphia between the teams, a 1-0 decision in overtime on November 18, 1989 at the Spectrum, won by Jets forward Doug Smail 91 seconds in.
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