By Rob Riches, Sports Talk Philly staff
For about 25 hockey minutes on Sunday, the Flyers showed they were able to hang with one of the league's elite clubs.
Though they fell into an early deficit, they were able to find twine, and generate shots to the net. Nothing was easy, but it felt like they could hang in there with a top-flight club.
Midway through the 2nd period, though, was where it all began to unravel. The Flyers allowed three goals in the 2nd stanza to Brandon Tanev, Dustin Byfuglien and Blake Wheeler, completely taking all the wind out of their sails in a 7-1 loss.
Kyle Connor opened the scoring in the 1st, and Josh Morrissey followed up moments later after a two-game absence. The Jets had managed to score twice, despite finishing the period with only six shots. Yet the Flyers pressed on, and sure enough, Jakub Voracek was able to score before intermission. The Orange and Black headed to the dressing room with nearly thrice as many shots as the Jets — 17 to 6.
Of course, that was about as good as it would get for the Flyers from there. Tanev scored, chasing Michal Neuvirth from the net. Wheeler used his speed to score on a shorthanded breakaway, and Byfuglien cashed in on a power play with a shot through traffic. Frustration began to mount for the Flyers, and Robert Hagg found himself ejected before the 2nd could end after a hit from behind to Connor.
Bryan Little lit the lamp 101 seconds into the 3rd period, and by that point, it was all Jets. Tyler Myers also scored at 8:03 of the period to snap a 20-game scoreless streak, and it became a matter of just getting out of Manitoba with as minimal damage as possible.
Playing in his second game of the season, and first since Oct. 27, Neuvirth allowed three shots on goal, and looked rather shaky as the 1st period went on. Anthony Stolarz made 21 saves in relief, while Connor Hellebuyck made 36 saves for the Jets.
For the Flyers, it was a game that essentially saw a direct antithesis to Saturday's game in Buffalo. Sure, they fell behind 2-0 early, but they did not rattle off six unanswered goals — they just were not able to keep up with a faster-paced team. Travelling that far for a game with such a short turnaround doesn't help matters, either.
With the loss, the Flyers sit at 1-1-0 on their five-game road trip. They next take the ice on Wednesday, heading to Alberta for a matchup with the Flames.