Postgame Reactions: Winnipeg Jets Still Dominate Philadelphia Flyers
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The Jets resumed play tonight after a long week of being idle from the All Star break. With time running out in the season, the Jets are looking to pull off an exceptional run at the playoffs starting with a win on the road in Philadelphia against a team that they have had no trouble handling in the past few years.
The injury-depleted Jets started off slow and didn't record a shot on net until well after the ten-minute mark of the first period. Luckily for the Jets, the Flyers didn't record their first shot until the latter part of the period.
The Flyers struck first off of a power play goal by Brayden Schenn. It looked as though Ondrej Pavelec got a piece of it, but couldn't stop the puck from trickling in behind him.
After a period that saw the Jets struggle to take advantage of opportunities, Chris Thorburn struck early in the second to tie the game up at one. It was Thorburn's first goal in 59 games, the last one dating all the way back to last season.
Pavelec, the arguable MVP for the Jets, kept the game tied throughout the rest of regulation as he made phenomenal saves including a point-blank glove save on Sean Couturier. Pavelec continued his dominant performance all the way into the shootout where he stopped all three of the Flyers' shooters.
Bryan Little, who hit the post with time winding down in the third period, ended the game in the shootout as he blew one by the five-hole of Ilya Bryzgalov.
The Jets won by the final score of 2-1 in the shootout. It is their sixth straight win, and tenth of the last 11 against the Flyers.
The Jets defensemen arguably played their best game of the season as they consistently put on physical pressure and blocked just about every shot the Flyers took. When the defense started to bend, Ondrej the Giant stood tall. Pavelec stopped 27 shots and was stout all game long.
The most noticeable forward for the Jets was Blake Wheeler, who continues to go to the net strong and use his physical body to brush off defenders.
One thing that caught my attention was the lack of urgency on the power play. The Jets are noticeably missing Dustin Byfuglien's big shot from the blue line. Byfuglien has been out of the lineup since mid-December with a lower-body injury.
Besides Byfuglien, The Jets were also missing two other impact players: Evander Kane and Alex Burmistrov. Tim Stapleton and Mark Flood were also scratched from the lineup. In lieu of Kane and Burmistrov were two IceCaps call-ups: Aaron Gagnon and Spencer Mahacek. Hopefully Byfuglien will return to the lineup this weekend as the Jets have three games in four nights all on the road.
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