It was another tough start for Winnipeg, as the Jets fell behind in the shot department rather quickly. Just seven minutes in, the home team found itself down by nine shots, trailing 10-1, before finally putting up their second and third shots with nine minutes to play.
Part of Philadelphia’s offensive attack could be attributed to their early power play, in which Connor Hellebuyck had a 30-second span that saw the 25-year-old put together some of his best work of the season.
Winnipeg did, however, pick up the game’s opening goal, as Kyle Connor corralled loose puck in the offensive zone, before walking to the top of the circle and firing his 11thof the season past Michael Neuvirth, handing the Jets a 1-0 lead with 8:22 to play in the opening frame.
With Radko Gudas in the box for roughing Mark Scheifele, Winnipeg’s second power play unit struck as Nikolaj Ehlers set Josh Morrissey up with a perfect one-timer pass. In his first game back from injury, Morrissey blasted a one-timer through a crowd and into the net high glove side, doubling Winnipeg’s lead with 11 seconds to go on the man advantage.
Philadelphia finally got on the board, as Jakub Voracek redirected a Travis Sanheim point shot through Hellebuyck, slicing the Jets’ lead in half. Both Sanheim (Elkhorn) and Nolan Patrick (Winnipeg) picked up assists on the goal, making it a two-point first period for Manitobans.
The Jets ended the second period trailing 17-6 in the shot department but up 2-1 on the scoreboard.
The second period provided Winnipeg with another three goals from Brandon Tanev, Dustin Byfuglien and Blake Wheeler. After beginning the middle frame down 11 shots to the Flyers, the Jets rebounded nicely, nearly knotting the shot game up, finishing the period down 27-25.
Tanev got things going for Winnipeg as he potted his fifth of the season on a Josh Morrissey point shot rebound just seven minutes into the second. With Travis Konecny in the box for hooking, Byfuglien wasted little power play time, as he scored his third of the season just five seconds into the Jets’ man advantage.
Then with Byfuglien in the box for tripping, Wheeler walked into the Flyers’ zone shorthanded, fending off a beastly slash from Shayne Gostisbehere, before collecting his fifth of the year on a nice backhand deke.
The third period saw Winnipeg add to their lead and pad the stats a touch more. Tyler Myers slipped a cross-crease pass to Bryan Little who scored on the Jets’ 27thshot of the game. Myers was then rewarded for his hustle up ice as Patrik Laine found him streaking to the net, where he put his second of the year past Anthony Stolarz.
Hellebuyck finished the game with 34 saves on 35 Philadelphia shots, while the combination of Anthony Stolarz and Michal Neuvirth contributed 28 saves on 35 Winnipeg shots.
The shots remained very even, but the Jets fired at a much higher shooting percentage, finishing off the Flyers 7-1 Sunday afternoon. Winnipeg will resume its homestand on Tuesday evening with a Central Division battle with the 31stplace Chicago Blackhawks, before hosting the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday. Puck drop for both games is set for 7:00 P.M. central, and the games can be viewed live on TSN3.