Patrik Laine’s 40th goal not enough, Flyers top Jets 2-1
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — While the Philadelphia Flyers couldn’t prevent Patrik Laine from scoring his 40th goal, they were able to stop everyone else and end their slide.
Claude Giroux and Andrew MacDonald scored in the second period and the Flyers overcame Laine’s milestone in a 2-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday that snapped a five-game losing streak.
“We needed the two points. Looking at the standings, we needed it,” Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said. “It was a good for us to get headed in the right direction.”
Laine moved into a tie with Washington’s Alex Ovechkin for the most goals in the league when he scored on a one-timer on the power play at 8:58 of the third period. The 19-year-old Finn has 15 goals and six assists during an 11-game point streak.
“Hitting the 40 mark, but skating now. He looks so much better than he did a month ago,” Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice said. “A special young man, 19 years old and still growing into his body. A really competitive guy, wants to score. He’s going to be a good Winnipeg Jet for a long time.”
Trouble is, he got no help, despite Maurice mixing up his lines. Petr Mrazek stopped 27 shots for the Flyers, bouncing back from a stretch of 18 goals allowed in four games.
“I felt pretty good from the beginning,” Mrazek said.
Connor Hellebuyck made 33 saves for the Jets, who saw their four-game winning streak end.
Mrazek robbed Laine with his glove in the first period, then the Flyers took control in the second period, with their second goal coming in odd fashion.
After the officials ruled Hellebuyck had kept the puck out of the goal when he swiped out MacDonald’s backhand with his glove at 8:01, play continued for 41 seconds until the NHL replay unit in Toronto alerted the scoreboard operator to blow the horn.
Play was stopped with the puck loose near center ice. The replay showed it crossed the line just inside the right post before Hellebuyck threw it out.
“Toronto really hasn’t been helping me out too much this year,” Hellebuyck said.
MacDonald picked up his fifth goal, Jakub Voracek earned his NHL-high 58th assist and rookie Nolan Patrick also earned a point against his hometown team.
Earlier, Giroux found a way to stop the Flyers’ woes on the power play by scoring on a delayed penalty.
The Flyers drew boos on their first man advantage and were outshot 2-1 on their second to fall into a 2-for-26 slump. But Giroux then scored his 24th from the left dot after Mrazek had skated off for an extra attacker at 5:40 of the second period.
The up-and-down Flyers were playing the fifth game of a difficult six-game stretch against teams with a combined record of 245-118-37 entering Saturday. Their 0-4-1 skid had followed a six-game winning streak that moved them atop the Metropolitan Division.
The Flyers entered the day third in their division and the Jets were second in the Central Division.
Both teams had to make emergency recalls from the minors before the game.
The Jets played their second straight game without 51-point scorer Mark Scheifele (upper body). Defensemen Dmitry Kulikov and Toby Enstrom were also out after being injured in Thursday’s 3-2 win at New Jersey.
Defenseman Tucker Poolman was called up.
The Flyers announced that defensemen Robert Hagg will miss two weeks and Johnny Oduya was out and day to day with upper body injuries, forcing defenseman Travis Sanheim’s recall.
The Jets did little until Laine struck again. His 76th career goal moved him past Sidney Crosby and into a tie for third with Brian Bellows for the most goals by a teenager in NHL history. He trails Jimmy Carson (92) and Dale Hawerchuk (85).
Next up for Laine: a matchup with Ovechkin on Monday night.
“Maybe tomorrow I will be happier and proud of myself. It’s a great number,” Laine said. “But now it doesn’t feel good.”
NOTES: The Jets had been 7-0-1 in their last eight road games. ... Jets backup and former Flyers G Steve Mason (lower body) was unavailable for a second straight game.
Jets: Monday night at Washington in the fifth of six straight on the road.
Flyers: Host Vegas on Monday night in their final game against a Western Conference team.
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