WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- The lasting image may be Dustin Byfuglien’s jig at center ice after his game-tying blast in the third period, but the Flyers returned home with five out of six points on their three-game road trip.
Here are five observations on the Flyers’ 3-2 shootout loss to the Jets.
1. A RESPONSE: Yes, the Flyers blew a one-goal lead in the third period for the second time in 10 days. But their response this time was much better. On Nov. 5 in Carolina, the Flyers lost that one-goal lead with 52 seconds left and crumbled in overtime.
Last night, the Flyers dominated most of the extra five-minute session. They peppered Ondrej Pavelec with numerous shots and were buzzing around his net constantly.
The shootout has never been the Flyers’ strong suit - they have the lowest winning percentage of any NHL team since it was instituted in 2005 - but they did have two separate chances to skate off with their fourth straight win.
The Flyers also responded to Byfuglien’s first period power play goal. It took just 49 seconds. Another five minutes later, they had a lead. They aren’t crumbling in the face of adversity, which is a refreshing change. Last night was the first time all season the Flyers collected a point after allowing the opponent to score first.
2. COBURN FLYING: If there was one player who was tremendous in Winnipeg for the Flyers, it was Braydon Coburn. He was particularly noticeable in overtime, when he launched three point-blank scoring chances on net.
Coburn is tied for the Flyers’ lead in game-winning goals this season. Both of his goals this season are winners and he desperately wanted a third last night against the franchise that drafted him. He could do little more than look up to the rafters after his last, short-side writer was gloved by Pavelec.
Coburn was solid the entire game, actually, and finished with a team-high 24:38. He was plus-1 with 3 shots and three attempts that we blocked.
3. HEALTHY HARTNELL: If you want to make a bold prediction, how about this: Scott Hartnell will finish with more than 25 goals this season. After not scoring for the first 13 games this season, Hartnell now has four points in his last four games thanks to a two-point effort last night.
He finally seems to be fully healthy coming off that abdominal injury at the start of the season and it’s showing.
Including the playoffs, Hartnell hadn’t netted a goal and an assist in one game since March 15, 2012 - a span of 69 games. Maybe it’s the fu-manchu he’s sporting for Movember.
4. LUKE’S STRIDES: Aside from Coburn, Luke Schenn was the Flyers’ next most noticeable defenseman. He played just 16:31, but finished with a game-high nine hits. It was the most active we’ve seen Schenn in the play all season. Playing in front of his family, from neighboring Saskatchewan, he was skating with confidence, sound with his gap control, and had an active stick around Steve Mason.
If Schenn can consistently to play like he did on Friday in the ‘Peg, he won’t be in the press box again this season. In fact, his minutes will be on the upswing, something he said last week he’d like to have happen so he can be more in the flow of the game.
5. PK WOES: It’s never good to give up two power play goals in a game. But having it happen against the 30th ranked power play in the league certainly isn’t going to inspire confidence. Byfuglien was responsible for both goals, the last of which Mason said he didn’t see.
The Flyers’ penalty kill, which entered the game ranked eighth, slid to 12th at 83.1 percent. Not surprisingly, the Jets’ power play jumped up a spot to 29th.
The Flyers have a day off on Saturday but will be back on the ice Sunday, beginning preparations for a quick three-game homestand.
For the latest updates, follow Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @DNFlyers
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