Better With Popcorn

Flyers fall to Jets, 2-1 in shootout

In the first two meetings between the Winnipeg Jets and Philadelphia Flyers, the two teams erupted for a combined total of 27 goals.

Both games were full of non-stop offense and up-tempo play.

The same couldn’t be said of their meeting on Tuesday night.

After 65 minutes of less than stellar hockey, the Jets managed a 2-1 win after Bryan Little scored the only goal of a three-round shootout.

In general, the game was tough to watch at times. Both teams lacked tempo and rarely engaged in cohesive play. In fact, it took nearly ten minutes before a single shot was recorded on either goaltender.

In general, both teams didn’t look their best.

“I was expecting a game like that, not a very good hockey game,” Jagr said. “It’s not easy to play that game, it wasn’t very pretty.”

They failed to tie plays together, lacked any kind of enthusiasm and spent large portions of time going back-and-forth between each other’s zones.

With the exception of a few brief moments throughout the game, neither team sustained consistent pressure.

In terms of the Flyers, they were experimenting with new line formations.

With Jaromir Jagr returning to the lineup, head coach Peter Laviolette decided to place the veteran superstar on a line with Brayden Schenn and Matt Read.

Jagr’s regular line mates, Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell had a chance to play some even strength minutes with Wayne Simmonds, who typically joins them as the fourth winger on their power play pairing.

The results were less than ideal, which was made evident by the fact that the team failed to register a shot for the first 13 minutes of the game.

Fortunately, they were economical with their chances.

The team managed a power play when Scott Hartnell drew a roughing penalty on Chris Thorburn.

On the ensuing power play, the team registered their first shot of the game and a few moments later they also scored a goal.

The play developed when Brayden Schenn battled for the puck deep in the Winnipeg zone. After pushing it out to the half wall, the play moved to the left side of the zone onto the stick of Matt Carle. Carle skated the puck slowly towards the goal and attempted a shot high on Ondrej Pavelec, which resulted in a rebound at Pavelec’s feet.

The play finished just as it started with Schenn willing the puck into the net.

The team was able to finish out the first with the lead, but the Jets quickly brought the game even in the second.

Two minutes into the period, Ron Hainsey brought the puck into the zone and sent it out wide to Nik Antropov. Antropov waited a moment and sent the puck over to Thorburn who entered the zone with speed and tied the game on a beautiful shot that beat Ilya Bryzgalov over his glove hand in top of the right corner.

It was the final time that a player scored a goal prior to Little’s successful attempt in the shootout.

Following the game, it was clear that no one on the Flyers was heartbroken about the loss.

Most expected the first game after the All-Star break to be a little roug and the team was no different.

“We didn't have our legs under us the first two periods it seems,” Laviolette said. “The first two periods were a little bit hesitant with what we were doing out there.

They weren't very sharp either way. There wasn't many chances. The first 10 minutes didn't help us. They were slow coming after that. We got going in the third period. Gave ourselves a chance to win the game, but we couldn't get it done.”

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