The Flyers put an end to a growing crisis Saturday afternoon.
Getting strong goaltending from Petr Mrazek, they snapped a five-game losing streak and defeated Winnipeg, 2-1, at the Wells Fargo Center.
Claude Giroux and Andrew MacDonald scored for the Flyers as they halted the Jets’ four-game winning streak.
“We had a tough stretch and couldn’t find ways to win,” Giroux said. “It was a good test for us. Winnipeg is a pretty good team, and we played a responsible game tonight.”
The Flyers were coming off a crushing 3-2 loss Thursday in Boston, which scored with 22 seconds left.
“We moved on, and hopefully a game like this will get us going,” Giroux said.
Mrazek (27 saves) has been either very good or very bad in the eight games he has played since being acquired from Detroit.
“He was awesome. He did a great job of tracking the puck,” MacDonald said. “They have a lot of weapons over there. It’s a big team, and he fought through a lot of traffic.”
The Flyers’ defense kept most of the Jets’ shots to the perimeter.
“We played a pretty tight game tonight and I think we should keep building off this,” said right winger Travis Konecny, who was benched and received strong words from coach Dave Hakstol after a third-period tripping penalty led to the Jets’ lone goal.
Winnipeg made the Flyers pay for the penalty as Patrik Laine scored on a one-timer from the left circle, cutting the deficit to 2-1 with 11 minutes, 2 seconds left in regulation. It was Laine’s 40th goal and league-high 18th on the power play.
Mrazek made a key stop on Tyler Myers’ right-circle blast with 4:27 to go, and he denied Paul Stastny in front as the Jets were swarming the net with 54 seconds remaining.
The Flyers, playing their sixth game in the last 10 days, took a 1-0 lead on Giroux’s ninth goal in his last 15 games.
The Flyers had an extra skater because of a delayed slashing penalty on Myers, and Giroux (24 goals) was given an inordinate amount of time to creep closer to the net from the left circle. With Wayne Simmonds setting a screen, a he fired a shot past Connor Hellebuyck with 14:20 left in the first.
A little over two minutes later, MacDonald scored a bizarre goal that wasn’t awarded until it was reviewed a couple of minutes later in Toronto.
Crashing the net, MacDonald tried to lift a rebound over Hellebuyck, but the goalie reached back and swatted it out of the net with his glove. Referee Garrett Rank immediately signaled that the puck did not cross the goal line.
“I got a fortunate bounce off the boards and I was able to just get enough wood on it,” MacDonald said.
A few minutes after Rank waved off the goal, the horn stopped play and the shot was reviewed and it was ruled the puck had crossed the goal line to give the Flyers a 2-0 lead.
Mrazek, meanwhile, resembled the goalie who allowed a total of four goals in his first three games with the Flyers — and not the one who surrendered 18 goals over his next four games.
“I felt pretty good from the beginning,” Mrazek said. “…We played very well defensively, and it’s a big win for us.”
Mrzaek, who appeared sharper after getting a game off on Thursday, made a great glove save to deny Laine from the high slot in the first period, and he turned aside Joel Armia on a shorthanded three-on-one and Josh Morrissey on the rebound with about 18 minutes left in the second. Later in the second, he made a quality stop on Ben Chiarot’s drive with Blake Wheeler in the goalie’s face.
Two nights earlier, the Flyers failed to take advantage of several injuries to key Bruins, but they capitalized on the Jets missing three injured defensemen and star center Mark Scheifele.
“Thirteen games left. Every game matters. Every point matters,” said Mrazek, whose team is now one point behind second-place Pittsburgh and two points behind first-place Washington in the Metropolitan Division.
Matt Read played well in his second straight game, and the struggling Jordan Weal was again a healthy scratch. … Radko Gudas led the Flyers in shots (five) and blocked shots (five)….Giroux needs four points to pass Eric Lindros for fifth on the Flyers’ all-time list. … The Flyers will host Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and amazing Vegas on Monday.