The Afterburners: Winnipeg Holds On; Defeats Flyers

The Winnipeg Jets are officially on a roll after winning their third game in a row against the Eastern Conference leading Philadelphia Flyers by a 6-4 margin.

The Jets got off to another quick start as Bryan Little scored less than five minutes into the opening stanza on Winnipeg’s first powerplay. Little expanded Winnipeg’s lead only a few minutes later as he was able to squeak a soft goal past net-minder Sergei Bobrovsky, giving Winnipeg a swift 2-0 lead.

The offensive outburst did not end there as Andrew Ladd notched his sixth goal of the 2011-12 season and within the games first ten minutes, Winnipeg seemed to be running away on the scoreboard.

Scott Hartnell would soon after score on a Flyers powerplay, cutting into Winnipeg's lead to end what was an otherwise dominating period for the Jets.

Winnipeg struck again midway through the second with a pair of special teams goals from Jim Slater (SHG) and Dustin Byfuglien (PPG), giving the Jets a 5-1 lead.

It didn’t take long for the wheels to fall of the carriage as Winnipeg seemed to do everything in their power to let Philadelphia stick around. The Jets - lead by Evander Kane - would take multiple penalties and play a lethargic brand of hockey for the remaining thirty minutes, giving the Flyers an opportunity to claw back into the game.

Hartnell marked his second powerplay goal of the day late in the second. Rookie sensation Matt Read followed up with two third period markers to make it a 5-4 game with only precious minutes to spare.

All doubt of an epic collapse was then expunged, as a Nikolai Antropov empty netter would clinch the win for the Jets.

During the recent home stand, Winnipeg's victories over three Conference opponents in Tampa Bay, Washington and now Philadelphia has sparked their current winning streak.

Today’s win now gives Winnipeg 19 points on the season as they sit alone at 13th in the East, only two points out of the playoff picture.

The Jets will now be able to enjoy some much needed rest as they do not play again until this Wednesday when they head to the Verizon Center to take on the division leading Washington Capitals.



 

1st Period: 04:45 Winnipeg PP Goal, Bryan Little (3) (Blake Wheeler, Dustin Byfuglien); 07:00 Winnipeg ES Goal, Bryan Little (4) (Blake Wheeler, Evander Kane); 10:15 Winnipeg PP Goal, Andrew Ladd (6) (Kyle Wellwood, Dustin Byfuglien); 13:27 Philadelphia PP Goal, Scott Hartnell (7) (Chris Pronger, Claude Giroux)

2nd Period: 05:49 Winnipeg SH Goal, Jim Slater (6) (unassisted); 10:20 Winnipeg PP Goal, Dustin Byfuglien (4) (Andrew Ladd, Kyle Wellwood); 16:09 Philadelphia PP Goal, Scott Hartnell (8) (Daniel Briere, Chris Pronger)

3rd Period: 08:32 Philadelphia ES Goal, Matt Read (7) (Scott Hartnell, Claude Giroux); 17:46 Philadelphia ES Goal, Matt Read (8) (Claude Giroux, Matt Carle); 18:46 Winnipeg EN Goal, Nikolai Antropov (4) (unassisted)

Shots: Winnipeg 40, Philadelphia 31

3 Stars: 1. Dustin Byfuglien 2. Bryan Little 3. Scott Hartnell

10 Thoughts

  • While it wasn’t quite as high scoring, both teams combined for 10 goals tonight. If you add the 17 from their last meeting, that’s 27 in two games! That has to be a record.
  • Mike Tyson once said in regards to the sport of boxing, "Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face mouth". Winnipeg has been punching teams in the face mouth lately, scoring a combined 15 goals in their past three games. It seems that since the Columbus debacle, the light has turned on and they have become a force offensively.
  • Further to that point, I think that the skills competition held at the MTS Centre last Tuesday was a huge turning point for this team. They seemed loose and in good spirits that night and have looked much the same during their winning streak.
  • Claude Noel has finally found the formula to produce wins with this team. The Jets have been successful in playing a simple brand of hockey. Get pucks deep, chip and chase, win board battles and force defensive zone turnovers. It was evident again tonight in the first 30 minutes as Winnipeg completely had their way with the Flyers.
  • Philadelphia had a 6-1-1 road record coming into this game while Winnipeg was merely 4-3-0 at home. Today’s performance is how you send a message to a strong road team.
  • Coming into today’s action, the Flyers had only given up four (4!) powerplay goals on the road. Winnipeg hung three on them today and is now running the leagues 5th most effective powerplay at a 19.7% success rate.
  • Any time that you want to start covering Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell, it would be greatly appreciated. The tandem has combined for 9 points (5G, 4A) in their two appearances versus Winnipeg this year. Like I said, any time guys.
  • Eric Fehr made his Winnipeg debut tonight, subbing in for the scratched Tim Stapleton. Fehr was held off the score sheet but managed three shots in just over 7:00 minutes of action.
  • Big props go out to Zach Bogosian who played 31:00 minutes of hockey tonight. Over nine (9!) of those minutes were on the penalty kill. That’s unconscionable.
  • Dustin Byfuglien scored the game winner tonight and added two helpers in Winnipeg’s win. He now has 5 points in his last 3 games and has been a huge part of the Jets recent success, regardless of what fans may think.

Ed. Note: Story updated after last night's action


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