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Jets, Flyers each chasing a fourth straight victory

by Adam Kimelman

FLYERS (7-10-1) at JETS (9-9-2)


Last 10: Philadelphia 6-3-1; Winnipeg 5-4-1

Season series: It's the first of two meetings between the teams this month, with the rematch set for Nov. 29 at Wells Fargo Center. The Philadelphia Flyers won two of three games between the teams last season, but the Winnipeg Jets won their most recent game, 4-1 at MTS Centre on April 6.

Big story: Both teams come in riding three-game win streaks. For the Flyers, despite their early struggles they're three points out of third place in the Metropolitan Division.

The Jets have won four of their past five and their game Friday marks the first of a stretch of four of their next five at home; Winnipeg has won three straight at MTS Centre.

Team scope:

Flyers: Usually when a coach sits out an experienced player, it's to give him a chance to think about where he is with his game and his conditioning. But for Flyers defenseman Luke Schenn, less thinking probably was what he needed to be cured of.

"The old saying is, 'The more you think out there, the more you're going to get yourself in trouble,'" Schenn told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "Instead of going out there and thinking, you should just play."

Schenn was a healthy scratch for three straight games earlier this month, but since he returned to the lineup three games ago, he's has a plus-2 rating with three blocked shots and four hits. In his first 15 games he was a minus-7.

Schenn said he's starting to feel more comfortable with what his role is in coach Craig Berube's defensive system.

"It's more mental decision-making," he said of his early-season struggles. "More read-and-react. Maybe you're more hesitant at times and it makes you seem slower. It's definitely not nerves. At times maybe instead of being aggressive you step back a little bit and you hesitate."

Jets: Three straight wins have gotten the Jets to a .500 record at 9-9-2, but there wasn't much satisfaction over that fact in the locker room.

"That's not very significant for me," coach Claude Noel told the Winnipeg Free Press. "We've been on the wrong side of the [Stanley Cup Playoff] line for two years in a row. And if you look at the Western [Conference] it's going to take a little bit more than .500. It's a barometer you judge things by and I'm glad that we're there. But if you ask me if I'm satisfied that we're there … I wouldn't put it that way."

The real goal is to keep the momentum moving in a positive direction.

"We've got to keep taking those baby steps and move forward," forward Olli Jokinen told the Winnipeg Free Press. "We've fought back to get to .500 but .500 is nothing. It's a starting point and we've got to move forward."

Who's hot: Flyers forward Brayden Schenn has three goals and two assists in his three-game point-scoring streak. … Jets forward Bryan Little has three goals in his past two games, and his 11 goals in 20 games already are more than the seven he scored in 48 games last season.

Injury report: Flyers forward Michael Raffl is questionable due to the flu. … The Jets are missing forward Jim Slater (sports hernia) and defensemen Jacob Trouba (upper body), Paul Postma (blood clot) and Mark Stuart (hip).


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