Thanks to a second period stretch featuring four goals on five shots, the Winnipeg Jets spanked the visiting Philadelphia Flyers 7-3 from Bell MTS Place Sunday afternoon in an inter-conference matinee.
Blake Wheeler, Mark Scheifele, Kyle Connor and Neal Pionk each had multi-point games, while Jets’ goaltender Connor Hellebuyck was sharp in net, turning aside 29 shots for the home team, collecting his 16th win of the season – good for a share of the league lead.
Nikolaj Ehlers opened the scoring for Winnipeg on a set faceoff play five minutes into the opening period. Jack Roslovic provided a winger win, sending the puck directly to Ehlers, who hammered it past Brian Elliott for an early 1-0 lead.
With 8:11 to play, Luca Sbisa blasted a point shot from the top of the circle that beat Elliott high, glove side, adding to Winnipeg’s lead. Despite being outshot 9-8 in the opening frame, the Jets walked off the ice with a two-goal lead through 20 minutes of play.
The second period saw Philadelphia claw back into the game, albeit momentarily. With Mark Scheifele in the box following a phantom hooking minor, Matt Niskanen scored for the visitors on a rebound to cut Winnipeg’s lead in half. However, it was a hard hit on forward Mathieu Perreault that changed the Jets’ fortunes.
Joel Farabee crushed Perreault behind the Jets’ net on what the referees determined was worth a five minute major for interference and a game misconduct. Winnipeg scored twice as a result of the extended power play, followed by two more goals immediately after the penalty expired.
Both Wheeler and Scheifele scored slap shot tallies on the man advantage, before Logan Shaw and Patrik Laine found the twine just 16 seconds apart. Shaw wired a wrist shot in-and-out of the net top corner, before Laine banked the puck off a defender’s skate and into the net while on a two-on-one.
The Flyers got one back with just 28 seconds left to play as James van Riemsdyk hammered home a loose puck in a goal mouth scramble. Through 40 minutes of play, the Jets led the Flyers 6-2, despite continuing to be outshot 21-17.
Carter Hart played the third period for Philly, turning aside the majority of the shots he faced. He did, however, allow a power play goal by Kyle Connor midway through the period, as the Jets’ forward collected his 14th of the season on a deflection off a Neal Pionk point shot.
Shayne Gostisbehere collected his fifth goal of the season midway through the period, but that would be it for the Flyers’ offence, as the hometown Jets finished off the visitors 7-3.
Winnipeg continues its three-game homestand with contests against the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday, before taking on the Chicago Blackhawks Thursday evening. Puck drop for both games is scheduled for 7:00 PM central, while each game can be viewed live on TSN3.