Report From Philadelphia Flyers
* The Flyers won their third game in a row… It’s the fourth time this season they’ve won three consecutive games.
* The Flyers have also won four of their last five overall, as well as four of their last five at home, to improve their home record to 14-7-3.
* The Flyers scored a goal on the power play for the fifth consecutive games. They own the NHL’s second-best power play on home ice at 28.7% – Detroit ranks first at 28.9%.
* Schultz’s goal was his first as a Flyer and his first since April 8, 2013, snapping a 125-game goalless streak.
* Michael Del Zotto played 25:21, his second highest ice time this year.
PHILADELPHIA — Nick Schultz‘s first goal in nearly two years was the game-winner in the Philadelphia Flyers’ 5-2 victory against the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday at Wells Fargo Center.
Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Schenn each had a goal and an assist, and Chris VandeVelde and Sean Couturier also scored a goal for the Flyers, who won their third straight game. Goaltender Steve Mason made 36 saves.
Mathieu Perreault scored two goals for Winnipeg, and goalie Michael Hutchinson made 27 saves.
It’s the second straight loss for the Jets, who lost 5-3 to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday. It’s the sixth time the Jets have lost consecutive games since a four-game losing streak in early October. They are 13-5-1 after losses this season.
The game was tied 2-2 early in the second period when Simmonds got the puck in the Winnipeg zone and bounced off a Mark Stuart check to push it ahead to Ryan White. White cut down to the right circle and put a shot on net that Hutchinson stopped, but he couldn’t control the rebound. Petr Straka was banging away at it when it rolled into the slot, and Schultz pinched in and scored through traffic.
“The rebound popped out, and I was just fortunate to put one in the net,” Schultz said. “The top [of the net] was open, and the goalie was down, and I just had the chance for the shot and took it.”
The goal was Schultz’s first in 126 games, dating to April 18, 2013, when he was a member of the Edmonton Oilers. It’s also the fourth game-winning goal of Schultz’s 928-game NHL career, but first since Nov. 2, 2006.
Straka and White had assists on the goal. Straka’s assist was his first NHL point, and White’s was his first point with the Flyers.
Schenn’s 11th goal gave the Flyers a 4-2 lead at 4:12 of the third period. Simmonds made a great individual play to tip a puck past Jets defenseman Toby Enstrom in the Flyers end and then beat him to the loose puck. He got a shot on net off the rush that Hutchinson stopped, but Simmonds beat the Jets’ Zach Bogosian to the rebound, circled behind the Winnipeg net and found Schenn alone in the slot.
It was Schenn’s first goal in seven games, second in 23.
The Jets had chances to get back into the game in third. They outshot the Flyers 13-7, but couldn’t convert on two power plays. They went 1-for-5 on the man-advantage in the game.
Couturier’s empty-net goal with 1:41 remaining closed the scoring.
Perreault’s second goal of the night, his 17th of the season, tied the game 2-2 with 3:03 left in the first period. With the Jets skating on their first power play, Perreault got the puck in right circle and beat Mason to the far side, with Flyers defenseman Luke Schenn and Jets forward Michael Frolik screening Mason.
It was Perreault’s third multigoal game of the season; he had five multigoal games in his first 228 career games.
The Flyers retook the lead on Simmonds’ power-play goal at 11:39 of the first. Jakub Voracek carried the puck down the left side of the Jets zone and centered to Simmonds, who beat Hutchinson with a one-timer from the slot. It was Simmonds’ second goal in as many games after scoring one in his previous 14.
Perreault tied the game 1-1 at 8:20 of the first. Frolik held an Andrew MacDonald clearing attempt in at the Philadelphia blue line and took a shot that Perreault tipped in the slot. Mason stopped the initial attempt, but Perreault scored on the rebound.
VandeVelde opened the scoring for Philadelphia with a goal 7:02 into the game. Flyers defenseman Michael Del Zotto‘s fluttering point shot hit Hutchinson in the left shoulder and dropped to the ice. VandeVelde kicked the puck to his forehand and scored his seventh goal.
“I think it was a good cycle shift,” VandeVelde said. “We got the puck up to the [defenseman] and they went D to D. I think all three of us were in front. I kind of won a battle, kicked the puck to my stick and had an empty net.”