Penalty Kill Shines In Flyers 2-1 Win over Jets

PHILADELPHIA -- The Flyers penalty kill unit was on its best all season it seemed.

Despite bad penalties surrendering six power opportunities for the Winnipeg Jets, the penalty kill unit came through big all six times. The unit even tallied a goal as the defensive effort led the Flyers a 2-1 win over Winnipeg.

"(The Jets) power play shoots a lot of pucks," Sean Couturier, who had a short-handed goal, said. "They've got good shots back there and we just wanted to keep pressure on and not give them time to set up their shots. We did a good job putting on that pressure to not let them set up."

The win also snapped a short two-game skid that followed a seven-game point streak. The win couldn't have come at a better time as the Flyers embark on a six-game road trip that starts in Nashville on Saturday.

"It’s important, especially going on a big road trip like this," Claude Giroux said. "And we’re not going to be at home so we just got to get the ball rolling a little bit."

The Flyers didn't waste any time getting the ball rolling with the 11:30 a.m. start.

Just 48 seconds into the game Scott Hartnell banged home a shot off a bad deflection just seconds after stepping onto the ice. His fifth tally of the season gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead.

"It’s nice, your first shift just going right in the slot and there’s a nice little present waiting for you there," Hartnell said. "I’ll take it.

"It was a big start for us - we needed to have a big start. We got the crowed into it which is awesome."

The Flyers kept the pressure on the Jets throughout the first period, out-shooting the Jets 13-2. But the second period brought some struggles as they gave Winnipeg two more short-handed opportunities.

Couturier was extra aggressive on the penalty kill.

In the first period he had a chance on a short-handed breakaway, out-racing Grant Clitsome for the loose puck. Couturier skated in on Ondrej Pavelec but the netminder made the sprawling save to his right to stop Couturier.

Couturier got a second chance in the second period and capitalized. He picked off a pass at the blue line and raced in alone on Pavelec, putting the puck between his legs and giving the Flyers a 2-0 lead.

Winnipeg cut the lead in half midway through the third period thanks to Michael Frolik. Frolik got his stick on a loose puck and put it past Steve Mason to make it a 2-1 game.

It was the only goal Mason allowed. He stopped 25 saves in the game, another strong effort from the Flyers top netminder.

"Obviously [Steve] Mason was our best player again tonight, and we got a big win," Hartnell said.

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John Russo
Editor; Featured Writer
Twitter: @Roose_TCL@TCLFlyers
Email: russo@thecheckingline.com