The Winnipeg Jets three-game winning streak ended with a thud in Philadelphia on Saturday afternoon.
Despite goals by Josh Morrissey and Patrik Laine, goals that brought Winnipeg back from a 3-0 deficit, the Flyers scored a huge even-strength goal at 9:34 of the third period to make it 4-2.
That lead held up as the Flyers improved to 21-5-4 at home this season.
Scott Laughton led the Flyers with a pair of goals – both in the first period — while Sean Couturier and Tyler Pitlick also scored. Justi Braun had three assists for Philadelphia as the Flyers won their third straight and their fourth in the last five at home.
Philadelphia led 2-0 after the first period on Laughton’s two tallies then Couturier scored what proved to be the winner at 14:50 of the second period.
However, despite trailing 3-0, the Jets didn’t quit. Morrissey scored at 18:04 of the second to make it 3-1 as Mark Scheifele and Nikolaj Ehlers drew the assists. Then, at the three-minute mark of the second, Laine scored a power-play goal — his 26th goal of the season — from Neal Pionk and Blake Wheeler to make it 3-2 and the Jets were back in the game.
But that’s when Pitlick deflected a shot from the point by Robert Hagg to restore Philly’s two-goal lead and essentially put the game away.
Philadelphia goaltender Carter Hart was the star of the game, making 27 saves. Connor Hellebuyck made 26 saves in the Jets net. Hart is now 16-2-2 at home this season.
The big difference in the game came in the faceoff circle. The Flyers won 58 per cent of the faceoffs including the big one in the Jets zone that set-up Pitlick’s game-changing goal in the third.
Winnipeg fell to 32-26-5 on the season and were still in the playoff hunt. The Flyers are 35-20-7.
The Jets play again on Sunday afternoon in Buffalo. Game time is 2 p.m. CST.