Flyers-Jets: What you need to know

Flyers-Jets: What you need to know
February 12, 2013, 11:30 am
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Flyers at Jets – 8 p.m., CSN
MTS Centre, Winnipeg

The Flyers got off to a brutal start to their six-game road trip after being completely outplayed in a 5-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday night.

Power play struggles, turnovers and a lack of offense are all issues that continue to plague the Flyers in this lockout-shortened season and have yet to be resolved.

The Flyers can put Monday’s loss behind them rather quickly, as they are back in action Tuesday night against the Winnipeg Jets.

Flyers: 5-7-1 (Fourth in Atlantic Division, 11th in Eastern Conference)

Jets: 5-5-1 (Third in Southeast Division, 10th in Eastern Conference)

Last meeting
The last time these two clubs faced each other, Claude Giroux had a goal and two assists to help the Flyers take down the Jets in a 5-4 overtime victory on Feb. 21, 2012, in Winnipeg. Wayne Simmonds sent the game to OT after posting the equalizer with just 10 seconds left in regulation. Former Flyer Jaromir Jagr scored 4:16 into the extra frame to give the Flyers their first win over the Jets in five games.

The Flyers haven’t enjoyed much success against the Jets lately. They’ve lost 10 of the last 12 in the series and were outscored 21-18 while going 1-2-1 versus Winnipeg in 2011-12.

Previous games
The Flyers opened their season-long, six-game road trip with a 5-2 loss to Toronto on Monday. Simmonds and rookie Tye McGinn each scored for the Flyers, who fell to 1-6 on the road this season. Ilya Bryzgalov was pulled in the second period after making 10 saves on 14 shots. Brian Boucher, who was recalled from the Phantoms on Sunday, made nine stops and allowed one goal – to former Flyer James van Riemsdyk – in relief of Bryzgalov.

Al Montoya turned aside 33 shots to register his third NHL shutout in Winnipeg’s 1-0 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday. Alex Ponikarovsky provided all the offense to help the Jets win for the second time in six games and snap a three-game losing skid.

Coots sent home
Sean Couturier has been sent back to Philly to recover from a bout with the flu. Couturier took morning skate with the Flyers on Monday, but did not play against Toronto.

To fill Couturier’s roster spot, the Flyers recalled Harry Zolnierczyk from the Phantoms late Monday (see story). Zolnierczyk registered three goals and three assists in 37 games with the orange and black last season. In 46 appearances with the Phantoms this year, Harry Z has nine markers and eight helpers.  

Keep an eye on...
The Flyers need Giroux to start contributing offensively. The 25-year-old, who finished third in the NHL in scoring with 93 points last season, has been held scoreless in four of the last six games and has just three goals and four assists through 13 contests this season.

Since a 3-for-3 performance on the man advantage in a 5-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Feb. 2, the Flyers’ power play unit has converted on just 1 of 12 attempts.

While the PP unit has faltered, the Flyers have been very strong on the penalty kill. Over the past six games, the Flyers have killed 25 of their last 27 shorthanded situations.

Most of the Jets’ offense comes from their defense. Winnipeg enters Tuesday leading the NHL in scoring by defenseman with 34 points. Tobias Enstrom (two goals, 11 assists) has 13 of those points.

Jets captain Andrew Ladd has seven goals in his last nine games against the Flyers. Bryan Little (two goals, four assists), Dustin Byfuglien (two goals, four assists) and Blake Wheeler (six assists) each had six points apiece in the 2011-12 season series versus the Flyers.

Did you know?
In seven games away from the Wells Fargo Center this season, the Flyers have mustered only 15 goals – with seven coming in their lone road win over the Florida Panthers on Jan. 26.

Flyers: Scott Hartnell (left foot) and Andrej Meszaros (left shoulder) remain sidelined.

Jets: Byfuglien, who has missed the last five games with a lower-body injury, is expected to make his return to Winnipeg’s lineup against the Flyers.

Ondrej Pavelec (flu) missed the Jets’ matchup with the Senators on Saturday. Zach Bogosian (right wrist) and Antti Miettinen (upper-body) are both on injured reserve and are out indefinitely.  

Sound off
Who do you think will lead the Flyers in scoring this season?

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