Flyers can't crawl out of hole in loss to Jets



WINNIPEG, ManitobaTen minutes into the hockey game, it was looking pretty grim with the Flyers down 3-0.

Fast forwardwith 2:14 left to play, Peter Laviolettes club only trailed, 5-4.

Imagine where the Flyers would have been Saturday afternoon at MTS Centre if they actually made an appearance during the first 10 minutes of their 6-4 loss to the Jets, which ended an eight-game point streak.

It takes two to play, said Flyer captain Chris Pronger. When youre not ready to compete and play hard, do all the little things, we let them skate around. Thats going to be the resultthe first 10 minutes.

For the second time this season, the Jets had the Flyers heads on a swivel, embarrassing them with a 5-1 lead midway through the game, before Laviolettes club responded.

Matt Read made it 5-3 at 8:32 of the third period with a goal off the post, then the rookie cut the Flyers deficit to one with a second goal going into the two-minute stretch.

Too little, too late.

We didnt do a very good job killing penalties, taking penalties, and soft play, Pronger said. Against a team like that which is playing with confidence, moving the puck around, youre going to get behind. We let get off to a great start. They kind of coasted in from there.

The Flyers werent ready to play at games start and their usually reliable penalty kill collapsed under a barrage of bad penalties, as the Flyers played their poorest road game since being blown out 5-1 in Montreal on Oct. 26.

Weve done a pretty good job in the first period of getting that first goal, Claude Giroux said. Tonight wasnt the case. The first 10 minutes we werent as focused as we should have been.

The Flyers PK units allowed three power-play goals on eight chances.

Lot of specialty team goals, and saying that, it the score could have been double that, and Bob Sergei Bobrovsky made some spectacular saves to keep it where it was at, Laviolette said.

Bobrovsky was a surprise starter. He faced 39 shots, had several quality saves and only one bad goal.

Its frustrating, Laviolette said. We shot ourselves in the foot for the first half of the game. They were quicker to pucks and more disciplined.

When these two teams last met on Oct. 27, they combined for 17 goalsnine of them from the Jets. That was also the Flyers last loss in regulation until Saturday. Winnipeg now has 15 goals on the Flyers in two games.

Halfway into the opening period, the Jets were already one-third of the way to matching their previous output with a 3-0 lead.

Their first two power-play goals, you leave a two-on-one in front of our net, its a pass back-door into the empty net, said Scott Hartnell, who scored two himself. Some of the saves Bob was making out there were incredible and got us fired up. That second period, he was standing on his head.

Like a snow drift, Winnipeg simply buried the Flyers in their own end in the opening period, outshooting them 15-3 at one point as Bobrovsky was under siege.

Bryan Little scored on his first two shots. He got a juicy power-play rebound in the slot at 4:45, then beat Bobrovsky badly from the left circle with a drive at 7:00 to make it 2-0.

Andrew Ladd made it 3-0 at 10:15, again on the power play, as the Jets had Bobrovsky moving around the net. The Flyers came into the game having killed off 15 consecutive penalties over their past three games.

Like I said, specialty teams factored into it tonight, Laviolette reiterated.

The Flyers made some headway at 13:27 with Hartnells first goal, on the power play.
He was screening Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec as Pronger let loose from the blue line. The shot appeared to find nothing but net. There wasnt a sound indicating a deflection but apparently, Hartnell touched it, because the goal, originally credited to Pronger, was later changed.

The Flyers had a chance to close the gap with another power play in the final minutes of the period, but much like their five-on-five play that period, they couldnt mount any kind of sustained offensive attack.

As if you didnt already know how terribly inept the Flyers power play has been much of the season, you were reminded of it near the mid-point of the second period.

Pronger fanned on a point shot, fell down, lost the puck, then whiffed again with his stick in an attempt to stop Jim Slater as he went cruising past him for a shorthanded snapper from the right circle that seemingly iced it, at 4-1.

From there, the Jets got four consecutive power plays, including a rare double-dip as Matt Carle (holding) and Danny Briere (cross-checking) both went off at 8:36, giving Winnipeg a 5-on-3 advantage for a full two minutes.

Pronger, Max Talbot and Kimmo Timonen were within 16 seconds of killing it off when Dustin Byfuglien scored. Then it was 5-1.

After that first period, we continued to take penalties and allowed them to gain momentum, Pronger said.

It wasnt until the latter part of the second period they took a few penalties and started getting our cycle game and forecheck game going and started getting some good chances. We got that second one.

Its tough coming back on team by giving them four or five goals. Its not easy. We gave ourselves a chance at the end, but at some point, theres not just not enough.

Near the periods end, the Flyers had one more shot at making it a game with a two-man advantage of their own for 42 seconds. Incredibly, James van Riemsdyk muffed an empty net shot.

On the re-start, Hartnell scored off a rebound as the first penalty ended, making it 5-2.

Pavelec denied Giroux in the crease, then, as the period ended, Wayne Simmonds scoreda millisecond after the green light went on. No goal.

Beginning with JVRs miscue, it was a trifecta of chances, all for naught.

When youre down that many goals and get chances, you have to put it in, Giroux said. We got to find a way to put it in. Its a good scoring chance.E-mail Tim Panaccio at

Contact Us