Philadelphia Flyers 2 Winnipeg Jets 1 – The loss snapped the Jets road winning streak at two after wins against New Jersey and the Islanders to start the six-game trip.
The Jets' record now sits at 12-12-4, while their road record drops to 5-6-1. Ten of the 12 road games have been one-goal games and overall, the Jets have now had 17 games decided by one goal.
It was an 11:30am et start in Philadelphia and the home team had far more jump in the early going than the visitors. Scott Hartnell opened the scoring 48 seconds into the game as the Jets had trouble getting out of their own end.
It was the first time in four games the Jets did not open the scoring. Final shots in the first were 13-2 in favour of the Flyers, and if not for a number of great saves by Ondrej Pavelec, this one would have been over early. His best stop came off Sean Couturier on a shorthanded breakaway.
The Jets also ran into penalty trouble at the end of the period and the Flyers started the second with a 5-on-3 advantage for almost a minute and a half.
It was great penalty killing by the Jets, in particular Bryan Little, James Wright, Mark Stuart and Jacob Trouba. After the kill, the Jets gained some momentum and forced the Flyers into a penalty. But another shorthanded breakaway and this time a goal for Couturier made it a 2-0 game. It was the fifth shorthanded marker the Jets have given up, most in the NHL.
The Jets did outshoot the Flyers in the second 12-10 and had a number of good chances but could not beat Steve Mason, who was terrific.
The Jets were the better team in the third but it was not until 12:53 when Michael Frolik scored to make it a 2-1 game. Mark Scheifele and Stuart drew assists, as Scheifele now has points in four straight games. The Jets did have two power plays in the third but struggled against the aggressive penalty killing of the Flyers, going 0-6 on the day. Jets did go 4-4 on the PK. Final shots were 34-26.
Evander Kane left the game early in the second, the result of a hit from Brayden Coburn late in the first. Kane tried it in the second but left and is listed as day-to-day with a lower body injury.
Pavelec has now given up only seven goals in his last four road games and has dropped his goals-against-average below his career season-low of 2.73.
Stuart and Dustin Byfuglien each had five hits, Little led the way in shots on goal with five with most of those shots being very good scoring chances, while Wright was the best face-off man winning six of nine. Byfuglien ended the night with 27:24 and had a few power play shifts as a forward.
It was Blake Wheeler's 400th NHL game, but despite a couple of chances has seen his goalless stretch hit 14 games. For the second straight game, Olli Jokinen made two trips to the penalty box and has now surpassed the 1,000 mark for penalty minutes in his career.
Head coach Claude Noel felt there were too many players that started slowly but "saying it was because of the 11:30 start would be an excuse."
He was disappointed with the power play. "We can't get anything out of it and haven't been able to through the year. Finding solutions to that issue and that problem is certainly challenging for us."
The Jets will practice in New York the next two days in preparation for Monday's game with the Rangers (TSN Jets and TSN 1290). Saturday is an outdoor practice in Central Park.