Fly­ers turn quick start into win

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - By Aaron Bracy The As­so­ci­ated Press

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.

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