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Steve Mason makes 30 saves, Flyers defeat Jets

Winnipeg loses in regulation for first time in six games

by Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers think the Steve Mason of last season finally has arrived this season.

Mason made 30 saves in a 5-2 win against the Winnipeg Jets at Wells Fargo Center on Thursday.

Sean Couturier and Michael Raffl scored 34 seconds apart in the first period for Philadelphia (8-7-3), and Mark Streit, Wayne Simmonds and Brandon Manning also scored.

Dustin Byfuglien and Blake Wheeler scored for Winnipeg (9-8-2), which lost in regulation for the first time in six games, and Connor Hellebuyck made 17 saves.

 

WATCH: All Jets vs. Flyers highlights

 

The Flyers are 2-0-1 in their past three games, and Mason is a big reason. Since replacing an injured Michal Neuvirth to start the second period of their game against the Minnesota Wild on Saturday, he's allowed five goals on 78 shots (.936 save percentage). In his first 10 games, he was 2-5-2 with a 3.56 goals-against average and .874 save percentage.

Video: WPG@PHI: Mason makes a sliding kick save on Thorburn

"Just have to keep working here," said Mason, who was 23-19-10 with a 2.51 GAA and .918 save percentage last season. "Not getting too far ahead of ourselves. Just taking it day by day and trying to put some quality hockey here into a consistent stretch."

Mason was at his best during the second and third period. He got a piece of Nikolaj Ehlers' breakaway at 7:25 of the second with the Flyers leading 2-1. Early in the third period, with Philadelphia defending a 3-2 lead, he made two big saves, stopping Mark Scheifele on a wrist shot from the right side at 2:53 before a glove save on Ehlers at 5:04.

Simmonds scored his ninth goal at 5:46 of the third to put the Flyers ahead 4-2.

Video: WPG@PHI: Simmonds pads lead with rebound goal 

"They're big saves and we come back and get a goal pretty shortly after the one glove save there [in the third]," Mason said. "Those two points right there are huge. The glove save [on Ehlers] prevents it from being a tie game. The goal [by Simmonds] puts us up by two, gives us a little bit of breathing room."

The Jets outshot the Flyers 32-22, but it was the 17 missed shots that coach Paul Maurice said was the difference.

"Most of our good offense was going over the net, beside the net," he said. "We missed the net on a bunch of really good chances. … I just felt we left some offense on the table, some pucks we could have moved better."

The Flyers scored on their first two shots of the game, with Couturier taking advantage of a Jets defensive-zone turnover at 9:13, and then Raffl finishing a 2-on-1 rush with Matt Read at 9:47.

Byfuglien scored his first goal of the season, at 6:57 of the second, to make it 2-1, but Streit's point shot at 12:58 of the second glanced off Hellebuyck's glove and into the net to make it 3-1.

Video: WPG@PHI: Streit powers one in past Hellebuyck's glove

Wheeler finished a nice passing play with Ehlers and Scheifele to get the Jets within 3-2 at 17:19 of the second.

Winnipeg entered Thursday leading the NHL with 25 third-period goals but scored none against Philadelphia, which got two of its own and key saves from Mason when needed.

"He played an incredible game and made a lot of key saves for us," Streit said.

Manning scored an empty-net goal with 49 seconds remaining.

 

Goal of the game

Jacob Trouba made a long diagonal pass from the Jets blue line to Scheifele just outside the Flyers blue line. Scheifele entered the zone and made a seam pass to Ehlers, who sent it back to Wheeler through the slot for an easy tap-in with 2:41 left in the second period.

Video: WPG@PHI: Wheeler finishes tic-tac-toe passing play

 

Save of the game

Mason got just enough of Ehlers' breakaway wrist shot with his right arm at 7:25 of the second period to direct it wide of the net. Ehlers took the puck from Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov at the Jets blue line, broke in alone on Mason, and faked a slap shot before shooting from between the hash marks.

Video: WPG@PHI: Mason robs Ehlers with slick glove save

 

Unsung moment of the game

Mason got stuck behind the net when he got tangled with Jets forward Brandon Tanev while attempting to play a dump-in. Tanev had a chance to stuff the puck into an open net, but Manning dove into the crease for a stick save.

 

Highlight of the game

Read beat Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey to the puck on the 2-on-1 with Raffl and dove to make the pass that set up the goal at 9:47 of the first period.

Video: WPG@PHI: Raffl finishes Read's diving feed

 

They said it

"We didn't play a full 60 (minutes). We took a couple shifts off and we were running around and chasing a puck. They scored on their opportunities. We've been pretty good at this throughout the year so far. All we can do is go to the tape and learn from our mistakes." -- Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien

Video: WPG@PHI: Byfuglien hammers one-timer past Mason

 

Need to know

Scheifele's assist on Wheeler's goal was his 199th in the NHL. He has 22 points, tied with Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning for the League lead. … Jets forward Chris Thorburn played in his 700th NHL game. … Flyers forward Travis Konecny played two shifts in the third period totaling 1:26.

 

What's next

Jets: At the Boston Bruins on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; SN, NESN, NHL.TV)

Flyers: Home against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday (1 p.m. ET; SN, CSN-PH, SUN, NHL.TV

 

Video: Mason shines in Flyers' 5-2 win against Winnipeg

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