Fly­ers soar higher than Jets in Philly

Per­reault’s pair of goals not nearly enough for Win­nipeg to avoid sec­ond straight loss

Metro Canada (Winnipeg) - - SPORTS - TOM MIHALEK/THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Wayne Sim­monds, Chris Van­de­Velde, Nick Schultz and Bray­den Schenn scored, lead­ing the Philadel­phia Fly­ers to a 5-2 win over the Win- nipeg Jets on Thurs­day night.

Sean Cou­turier added an empty-net­ter as Philadel­phia won for the fourth time in five games while try­ing to make a des­per­ate run at a play­off berth.

Mathieu Per­reault scored twice for the Jets.

Schultz snapped a tie game in the sec­ond pe­riod with his first goal of the sea­son, end­ing a 125-game drought. Petra Straka got his first NHL point on the as­sist, and Ryan White also had his first as­sist of the sea­son on the goal.

Steve Ma­son made 36 saves for his sec­ond win in two games, though his first as a starter since Jan. 8. He had been side­lined with a knee in­jury and got the win against Ari­zona on Tues­day in re­lief of a shaky Ray Emery. With his ex-team­mates about to play in the Su­per Bowl, for­mer New Eng­land Pa­tri­ots star Aaron Her­nan­dez went on trial on mur­der charges Thurs­day, watch­ing from the de­fence ta­ble as pros­e­cu­tors said DNA on a shell cas­ing and se­cu­rity-cam­era video from his own home connect him to the crime.

Her­nan­dez’s lawyer coun­tered that the NFL player had “the world at his feet” and had no rea­son to kill. He re­peat­edly told ju­rors that the ath­lete is in­no­cent and said au­thor­i­ties “locked” in on him as a sus­pect early on, ig­nored ev­i­dence and con­ducted a “sloppy and un­pro­fes­sional” in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Her­nan­dez, 25, is charged in the 2013 shoot­ing death of Odin Lloyd, a 27-year-old semipro foot­ball player who was dat­ing the sis­ter of Her­nan­dez’s fi­ancée. Lloyd’s bul­letrid­dled body was found in an industrial park near Her­nan­dez’s North At­tle­bor­ough, Mass., home.

Her­nan­dez — who had a $40 mil­lion con­tract as a tight end but was cut by the Pa­tri­ots just hours af­ter his 2013 ar­rest — could get life in pri­son if con­victed.

In a sep­a­rate mur­der case that has yet to come to trial, Her­nan­dez was charged last year in Bos­ton with killing two men in 2012 af­ter some­one spilled a drink on him at a night­club.

Pros­e­cu­tors in this trial have sug­gested that Lloyd may have been killed be­cause he knew too much about that crime. But the judge has ruled that pros­e­cu­tors can­not tell the jury about those slay­ings.

Fly­ers de­fence­man Michael Del Zotto, left, takes the puck from Jets cap­tain An­drew Ladd on Thurs­day in Philadel­phia.

GETTY IMAGES FILE

Open­ing state­ments were made Thurs­day as for­mer New Eng­land Pa­triot Aaron Her­nan­dez went on trial for mur­der.

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