Flyers turn quick start into win
The Philadelphia Flyers used strong goaltending and opportunistic scoring to get just their second win in six games.
Michael Raffl and Sean Couturier scored 34 seconds apart in the first period on Philadelphia’s initial two shots, and the Flyers beat the Winnipeg Jets 5-2 on Thursday night.
Mark Streit, Wayne Simmonds and Brandon Manning also scored for the Flyers, who had 12 players register points.
“Our goaltending was good and we scored timely goals,” Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said.
Blake Wheeler and Dustin Byfuglien had the goals for the Jets, who opened a seasonhigh five-game, nineday road trip with just their second loss in the last six.
“We missed out on a bunch of really good chances and left some offense on the table, but you have to give them some credit for that,” Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice said. “They deserved to win based on their compete level.”
Couturier got Philadelphia on the board 9:13 in when he capitalized on a Winnipeg turnover and beat Connor Hellebuyck high to the glove side from close range.
Raffl doubled the lead just over a half-minute later with his third of the season after a stellar play by Matt Read. Read raced up the right wing and dived past Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey, poking the puck to a wideopen Raffl in the crease and Raffl finished with a shot over Hellebuyck’s blocker.
“Just an extra effort play,” Hakstol said of the assist. “Those are things you have to have. It was a great play. Does that give the bench a shot in the arm? Absolutely.”
Steve Mason made 30 saves to improve to 6-0-1 in his career against Winnipeg.
“Mason made some good saves at key times,” Hakstol said.
Hellebuyck stopped 17 shots.
Mason was strong early in the third period when he came up with point-blank stops on Mark Scheifele and Nikolaj Ehlers two minutes apart.
“They’re big saves and we needed it,” Mason said. “That was a hardworking game, start to finish.”
The Philadelphia goalie rebounded from Tuesday’s 3-2 shootout loss to Ottawa in which he let in the tying goal with 1:59 left in regulation and then refused to address the media afterward.
Winnipeg outscored the Flyers 2-1 in the second period to pull to 3-2 entering the third.
Byfuglien netted his first goal of the season, beating Mason from the short side just under seven minutes into the second. Philadelphia went back up 3-1 with 7:02 remaining on Streit’s one-timer from the point that ricocheted off Hellebuyck’s glove.
Wheeler brought the Jets back within a goal by finishing a pretty tic-tactoe passing display with Ehlers and Scheifele.
Simmonds scored 5:46 into the third period to give Philadelphia a 4-2 lead. Andrew MacDonald’s initial shot from the point deflected off Jets’ Marko Dano and to Simmonds right in front, and the Flyers winger spun around and shot past a surprised Hellebyuck.
Rookie Patrick Laine didn’t register a point after coming in leading all players with 12 goals and all rookies with 17 points.
Manning scored into the empty net with 48.6 seconds to go.
The Flyers won despite getting outshot 3222. Philadelphia entered leading the NHL in shots and shots per game.
“You don’t get points for outshooting teams,” Hakstol said.
Flyers D Shayne Gostisbehere was a healthy scratch. He was replaced by MacDonald . ... The Flyers improved to 1-3-1 against Canadian teams this season . ... Scheifele recorded his 22nd point. He entered tied for the league lead in points.