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Flyers rally in third period to defeat Jets

by Adam Kimelman

PHILADELPHIA -- The alarm clock went off for the Philadelphia Flyers with just over seven minutes left in the first period, and it was just in time for them to rebound from another slow start to rally for a 5-3 win against the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday.

With 7:17 left in the first period the Flyers were trailing 1-0 and were being outshot 12-1. But in that final 7:17, they scored a goal to tie the game, registered 16 shots, and never looked back.

"The first 10 minutes weren't pretty," Danny Briere said. "After that we took over the game. We didn't give them much. It was pretty amazing the way we stuck with the game. It was 11-1, 12-1 in shots, and then after that we just started coming. It was a complete effort after the first 10 minutes."

Wayne Simmonds' power-play goal at 8:57 of the third period snapped a 3-3 tie and gave Philadelphia its first win of the season when trailing after two periods (1-7).

Brayden Schenn took a pass from Jakub Voracek on the right side in the Winnipeg zone and drew three defenders to him. That left Simmonds alone on the back door, and Schenn found him with a cross-slot pass for a tap-in goal.

"I didn't have to do much," Simmonds said. "Jake and Schenn made a great play there. I just screamed for the back door, and it was an empty net, so I just put it in. It was a great pass by those guys."

Schenn had his first two-goal game of the season and added an assist, Claude Giroux had a goal and an assist, and Voracek had three assists to extend his point-scoring streak to five games. Zac Rinaldo added an empty-net goal at the buzzer, and had a game-high 12 hits in 14:18 of ice time.

The Flyers' power play, 3-for-12 in its past three games, scored three times on six chances Saturday.

The game started as well as the Jets could have hoped, with Evander Kane's goal 4:48 in giving Winnipeg the lead. Dustin Byfuglien's shot from the right point went wide of the net, but Nik Antropov retrieved it and passed from behind the goal to Kane, who was wide open on the right post and flipped it over Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov for his sixth of the season and third in four career games in Philadelphia. It extended Kane's point streak to six games.

It was the third straight game and 11th time in 20 games the Flyers had surrendered the game's first goal.

"Obviously we weren't playing too well," Simmonds said. "We knew that and we needed to get something going. We had to get our legs and minds going, and I think after that we outshot them 15-0. That was the start of it."

The Jets were dominating the game, until suddenly, they weren't.

"We just weren't able to hold on to the game," Jets coach Claude Noel said. "That's the disappointing part. This scenario's happened more than once and nobody will be more disappointed than the players."

Jokinen's spin-and-fire goal 2:34 into the second put Winnipeg ahead 2-1, then Burmistrov's beautiful leaping deflection of a Grant Clitsome point shot at 11:13 of the second made it 3-1.

Clitsome got the puck at the blue line in the center of the Philadelphia zone and fired a low shot that Burmistrov leapt over, but left his stick low, where he was able to change the direction of the shot enough to get it past Bryzgalov.

Giroux got the Flyers to 3-2 with a 5-on-3 goal at 14:24 of the second. Penalties on Byfuglien and Jim Slater two seconds apart put the Flyers on a two-man advantage, and Giroux's blast from the top of the left circle went past Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec for his sixth of the season.

Schenn tied the game at 6:18 of the third on another power-play chance. Giroux carried the puck into the Jets' zone, and as he was checked pushed it ahead to Voracek. Voracek carried it to the goal line and backhanded a pass to Schenn in the slot. His one-timer beat Pavelec to make it 3-3.

After Simmonds' power-play goal put the Flyers ahead, Rinaldo's empty-net goal with less than a second remaining closed the scoring.

"This year we haven't been very good in the third period," Giroux said. "To have the whole team come out and play with a lot of jam and a lot of intensity, it was a lot of fun. And to get a win, that's when you can build on it and I think we played a really good game."

The Jets saw their three-game road win streak snapped, and lost for the first time on their current five-game trip (2-1-0). Noel said special-teams failures were the culprit -- besides their poor penalty kill, they went 0-for-4 on the power play, including missing a chance to tie the game on a man-advantage with 3:49 left in the third. Winnipeg has gone eight games without an extra-man goal, going 0-for-21 in the process.

"We had a couple chances that never got around," Noel said. "Some of those plays don't get made around the net and they made a couple passes tape-to-tape that's in the back of your net. You look at some of the scenarios that we create. We give them a 5-on-3 for almost a full two minutes on a play [that's] sort of tough to take. What do you want me to say? The penalty killing and the power play are an ongoing thing and the story of our team. … I thought we played a pretty hard game if you take the special teams out of the scenario."

The Flyers received a boost before the game when Scott Hartnell returned to the lineup four weeks and one day after surgery to repair a broken first metatarsal in his left foot. He was second on the team with five shots in 14:54 of ice time.

"I did feel a little rusty but the timing and stuff will come," Hartnell said. "I told [Giroux] and Jake they were playing so good, I just wanted to get them the puck and get to the front of the net. That's where I make a living. I had some chances, Jake made a great pass, and if I'm playing all the games that goes in the net. I'm just happy to get through the game. No worries right now."

More than any offensive output, Hartnell's presence was welcomed by a team coming off a listless 5-3 loss to the Florida Panthers on Thursday.

"It was a huge lift," Schenn said. "Not only is he an energy guy, he's a leader in our locker room. It's always nice having a guy like that who scores goals and is physical. He brings a lot to the table so it's always nice to have guys like that."

Now the Flyers (9-10-1) can look toward getting to .500 for the first time this season when they face the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday.

"I don't know if it is getting back to .500," Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said. "You have to be so many games over .500 in order to make the playoffs and get a chance to compete for the [Stanley] Cup. So we need to get there at some point and it's good to be home here with some games and get some rest, like we do today and tomorrow, and use that to our advantage."


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