Flyers' win streak snapped after second-period collapse

Flyers' win streak snapped after second-period collapse
April 6, 2013, 5:45 pm
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WINNIPEG, Manitoba – What has defined the Flyers over the last two weeks as their injuries mounted, particularly on defense, has been a resiliency and competitiveness.
 
Come away with a point, a win, whatever, just get it get done.
 
It’s how the Flyers won four in a row and climbed back into the Eastern  Conference playoff picture.
 
Saturday afternoon at MTS Centre, the Flyers' “compete” level lasted one period, as the Jets, losers in five previous games, tattooed them, 4-1.
 
“We came out the way we wanted,” Scott Hartnell said. “We played hard, we played smart, we played physical and were on our toes, doing a lot of great things.
 
“The last 40 minutes, they played like they were playing for a playoff spot and we were already down and out. They took over the game. They were harder on pucks. They were physical.”
 
It marked the first time in six games, since losing to the Rangers 5-2 on March 26, that Peter Laviolette’s club didn’t earn at least a point. The Flyers now trail the Islanders by five points for the eighth and final playoff spot.
 
Four second-period goals -- two of them of the dirty variety -- saw Winnipeg take control of the game.
 
“Maybe we were a little bit too comfortable,” Luke Schenn said. “I felt like we had a good first period. We had a lot of pressure in their end, a lot of shots on goal. It completely turned the other way at the start of the second.
 
“It just goes to show that the way we've had success lately is hard work for a full 60 minutes. If you take some shifts [off],  or in that case the whole period off ... We didn't compete, we weren't physical and didn't bring it that period and we got it handed to us.”
 
Ilya Bryzgalov, who has started 36 of 38 games, was yanked after two periods, as newly-acquired backup goalie Steve Mason, who catches right-handed, made his Flyers debut.
 
The best the Flyers had to offer came in the first period.
 
Ruslan Fedotenko’s late-season scoring run is now a five-game point streak. First, he won a faceoff draw from Alexander Burminstrov, then went to the net to redirect Kent Huskins' drive from the left point. That would be the Flyers' only goal.
 
“We shut it down for the second period,” Wayne Simmonds said. “It wasn’t the defense or the goaltending. It was everybody.”
 
Things fell apart spectacularly that period as the Jets scored four times, potting three goals in just 2:06, while the Flyers stopped skating and left their crease abandoned.
 
“The second period was bad,” Laviolette said. “The third period was competitive, the first period was competitive, and we could have scored three or four goals in that third period, especially early on when we [tried] to climb back in it in the third. The first period we could have had more. The second period cost us.”
 
Winnipeg’s first two goals saw Schenn out of the game, getting by his count, at least seven stitches near his right eye. During a penalty kill, Tobias Enstrom drilled one off Schenn’s helmet which cut him.
 
“I felt like [the puck] went right through my helmet,” Schenn said.
 
On the first goal, Grant Clitsome scored off the rush at 11:38 to tie it, 1-1. The next two goals, however, were dirty.
 
“They had a few plays from behind the net,” Hartnell said. “They had body position and out-muscled us in front. They were able to get it into the net.”
 
Evander Kane had Bryzgalov going back and forth across the crease when he tried a wraparound off Fedotenko’s skate that Kyle Wellwood tapped in.
 
Then at 14:44, with Schenn back in the game, but not on the ice, Kane eluded Oliver Lauridsen in the crease to make it, 3-1.
 
The fourth goal was all on Bryzgalov as Bryan Little ripped one from the circle that should have been stopped.
 
Four goals in just 6:28 to steal the thunder completely from the Flyers.
 
“We didn't compete,” said Schenn, who missed nearly seven minutes. “They got four unanswered and when you play like that, you deserve to probably have things not go your way.
 
“The reason they got so many shots and we didn't is probably because we were sitting back too much. We weren't moving our feet and going away from things that made us successful.”
 
After twice rallying in the third period recently, the Flyers couldn’t do it a third time, even with 13 shots in the final stanza.
 
“We had some chances on the power play to get us back in the game with 10 minutes to go, but you can’t expect every game you will come back from two or three goals,” Hartnell said.
 
“It’s not going to happen. There’s too many good teams in this league.”

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