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POSTGAME 5: Great Scott!

Laughton leads Flyers with a pair of goals in 4-2 win over Jets

by Bill Meltzer @BillMeltzer

HERE'S WHAT HAPPENED
Continuing their winning ways at home and taking aim at the upper reaches of the Metro Division, the Philadelphia Flyers skated to a hard-fought 4-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets at the Wells Fargo Center in a seesaw match on Saturday afternoon. 

Scott Laughton struck twice in the first period to send the Flyers to intermission leading 2-0. In the second period, Sean Couturier built a 3-0 edge but Josh Morrissey got back in the final two minutes of the frame to cut the gap to 3-1. Patrik Laine scored on the power play early in the third period to make it a 3-2 game but a Tyler Pitlick goal restored a two-goal margin at 4-2.

Carter Hart was a tower of strength in goal for the Flyers. He stopped 27 of 29 shots and had little chance of stopping either one that got past him. Connor Hellebuyck took the loss with 26 saves on 30 shots.

Three Stars:
1st: Scott Laughton (2g)
2nd: Patrik Laine (1g)
3rd: Sean Couturier (1g)

TURNING POINT
The Jets erased a 3-0 deficit to climb back within a single goal. Although Philly dominated puck possession in the third, they were but a single turnover or bad bounce from seeing Winnipeg tie the game, but it was a double-doink deflection that Pitlick got the first of two deflections and the puck went into the net.Video: WPG@PHI: Pitlick earns goal after puck pinballs

MELTZER'S TAKE
1) On Laughton's first goal, a great rush by Ivan Provorov under pressure helped make it possible. Laughton found a seam and sniped one to make it 1-0 at 2:06. The second goal started with a 3-on-1 Flyers rush as Sean Couturier exited the penalty box. Laughton had plenty of space to wheel over the middle in the offensive zone, and Tyler Pitlick took a D with him to the net. The puck found its way into the net. 

2) Winnipeg was on its heels early but started to generate more attack over the latter part of the first period. Hart was very sharp. Per Natural Stat Trick, scoring chances were 10-4 in Winnipeg's favor (high danger chances were 3-2 Winnipeg). Expected goals were 0.67 Winnipeg, and .0.47 Flyers but actual goals were 2-0 Philly and that's what mattered most in the frame.

3) The ice was tilted -- the wrong way for the Flyers -- early in the second period. Hart had to come up big several times as Winnipeg racked up 10 shots in the first 5:39 of the period (they had 15 overall). A strong shift by the Flyers' fourth line helped to stabilize things, and Philly finally got some forecheck going. A few other shifts in the D-zone were largely contained to the perimeter. Laughton painfully blocked a shot but soon returned to the ice.  

4) At 14:50, Voracek made a good play to keep a puck alive near the Winnipeg net, and Couturier potted a goal. With 1:56 left in the second period, a scrambled coverage came back to bite the Flyers and Morrissey was able to skate right down Broadway to take a feed from the dangerous Mark Scheifele and fire home a shot that Hart had little to no chance of stopping.

5) With the puck on its edge, a Laine power play one-timer at 3:00 of the third period made it a 3-2 game. The top line did everything but score -- the post got in the way of a Couturier tap-in -- in generating a massive scramble around the Winnipeg net and an eventual power play at 7:21. Philly generated seven of the period's first eight shots, but Winnipeg the only goal. Then, on their 10th shot of the frame, Philly struck paydirt on Pitlick's goal at 9:34.

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING
* The Flyers earned their third straight win and sixth victory in their last eight games, going 6-2-0.

* Scott Laughton posted his first two-goal game this year and the fifth two-goal game of his career today... He also matched his career-high in goals (12) which is the third straight season he has posted 10 or more goals.

* Sean Couturier extended his point streak to six straight games (4g-2a)... He also takes over the scoring lead on the Flyers with 54 points.

* Justin Braun posted his second three-assist game in the last two weeks, and the third of his career.

* The entire Flyers team will officially greet fans on Sunday at the annual Flyers Wives Carnival at the Wells Fargo Center (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.). Tickets still remain HERE.

* The Flyers are back on the ice on Tuesday when the San Jose Sharks come to town. Puck drop is 7 p.m. on NBCSP & 97.5 The Fanatic. 

THEY SAID IT

Video: Hear from Flyers coach following win over WPGVideo: Hear from Braun, Laughton and Hart after win over WPG

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