The Flyers lost 3-2 to the Jets in a shootout to see their three-game win streak come to an end Friday night. (USA Today Images)
WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- They should have won. And they would have won were it not for Steve Downie.
His inane hooking penalty late in the third period gave the Jets a power play, which they converted into a tying goal en route to a 3-2 shootout victory at MTS Centre that snapped the Flyers’ three-game winning streak.
Downie’s hooking call cost Flyers goalie Steve Mason a chance at winning his sixth game. At least the Flyers got a point of it, but it should have been two. Mason had 36 saves.
It also ruined what should have been a three-game road sweep for Craig Berube’s team.
The Jets were all over the Flyers in the third period and had them in full retreat.
Bryan Little won it in the shootout.
Mason had a 2-1 lead until Downie’s unnecessary hooking penalty late in the third period that resulted in Dustin Byfuglien’s second power-play goal.
That penalty could have easily cost them a win. They survived.
After a terrible start in which they couldn’t get the puck into the Jets’ zone for nearly four minutes, the Flyers gave up a power-play goal, then got their first shot of the game at 6:20.
Ondrej Pavelec made the save to stop play and the Flyers scored five seconds later on the ensuing faceoff as Scott Hartnell got Pavelec to overcommit on a wraparound. Just like that, it was 1-1.
“I never really tried a wraparound before,” Hartnell said, “so I guess I'm one for one.”
The goal ignited the Flyers because they dominated the rest of the period, getting a power-play tally from Wayne Simmonds -- his first goal in 11 games -- to give the Flyers a 2-1 edge.
Simmonds scored out of a classic multi-player scrum.
“We had three or four whacks at it,” he said. “It was just sitting there for me to put it in.”
From there, the game settled down into a defensive battle, almost with both Mason and Pavelec being the ultimate difference makers for their clubs.
The Jets had the Flyers pinned in their own zone for the opening 3:59 of play.
To compound that, Claude Giroux went off for hooking, further keeping the play in the Flyers’ zone. Winnipeg ended up scoring on Byfuglien’s shot from the right circle. The Flyers did, however, recover nicely.
Nick Grossmann went off the ice early in the first period with a left arm issue, but returned midway into the stanza. Grossmann missed nearly the entire third period in Ottawa on Tuesday. Berube claimed he was “resting” him.
Mason made two remarkable saves. One early in the second period on a nifty backhander from Zach Bogosian in the slot that prevented a 2-2 game, and another in the third period when he snared a shot off the wing from Andrew Ladd.
Another season’s first. The Flyers scored a power-play goal for the third consecutive game.
Downie got away with one, maybe two penalties in the third, and still couldn’t help himself on the third try of the same shift with 5:54 left in regulation. That led to the tying goal by Byfuglien.
Forward Michael Raffl is now officially a healthy scratch after his bout with the flu. Defensemen Hal Gill and Andrej Meszaros also sat out.
Luke Schenn had six hits even before the third period. Both he and Hartnell had very strong games. … Kimmo Timonen led all skaters with 15:14 ice time going into the third period. … Zac Rinaldo had a season-high 1:34 on the penalty kill after two periods. ... The third began with a one-goal difference, as has been the case nearly all season when it wasn’t tied.