Bryzgalov Yanked In Jets Rout
The Flyers got their first look at Steve Mason, but it was under the circumstances they least wanted it to come under.
A second period melt down for starter Ilya Bryzgalov saw his night end abruptly. It also snapped the Flyers four-game winning streak with a 4-1 loss to the Jets, which also snapped Winnipeg's five-game skid.
The Flyers waltzed into the game three points out of a playoff spot. They were a point behind the Jets in the standings with two games in hand. They're now three points back and sit in 11th place currently with 10 games remaining.
Philadelphia got a hard-working goal in the first period. Controlling the tone of play with a steady forecheck, the Flyers set up an offensive zone draw.
Ruslan Fedotenko won the face off back to Kent Huskins. Huskins fired a wrister on net that Fedotenko got a piece of to deflect it passed Ondrej Pavelec to make it a 1-0 game.
The goal extended Fedotenko's point streak to an impressive five games for someone who plays most of his time on the penalty kill and bottom two lines. It was also his third goal in the last five games.
In the span of 2:06, the Flyers saw their 1-0 lead disintigrate and get turned into a 3-1 deficit to the Jets. It was at the end of the second period where the wheels fell off for Bryzgalov.
With 7:22 left in the second, Bryan Little dropped the puck off to a charging Grant Clitsome. Clitsome blasted it past Bryzgalov, tying the game up 1-1.
Just 27 seconds later, the Jets took the lead and never looked back.
Winnipeg was back on the attack, creating a scramble in front of the net. Kyle Wellwood found the puck and was able to bury it with Bryzgalov on the ice to give Winnipeg the 2-1 lead.
Then just 1:39 later, Evander Kane scored on a similar goal as Wellwood to give the Jets a 3-1 lead.
In a short period of time, all the momentum the Flyers had built up through the first period evaporated. They out-shot the Jets 13-4 in the first period, but got out-played 12-5 in the second period.
The period concluded with another Winnipeg goal, this one ending Bryzgalov's night of misery.
Wheeler earned his second assist of the night, setting up Brian Little for a breakaway. Little fired a snap shot that beat the defeated net minder, giving Winnipeg a commanding 4-1 lead and bringing about the Flyers debut of Mason.
Mason stopped all nine shots in the third period in relief for Bryzgalov.
Perhaps it was the stress of playing 22 straight games, or the stress of having a reliable back-up goaltender brought in to compete for the number one job. Either way, Bryzgalov lost all focus at the end of the second and it may cause the Flyers to give Mason his first start on Saturday.