Jets eye 3rd straight victory in early matchup with Flyers
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Winnipeg Jets will aim for a third straight win when they visit the Philadelphia Flyers for a Black Friday matinee at the Wells Fargo Center.
The Jets ended a four-game slide with Monday's win in New Jersey and then added a road victory Wednesday evening against the New York Islanders. The consecutive wins came at the start of a season-long six-game road trip and improved Winnipeg's away record to 5-5-1.
Winnipeg recorded a 3-2 regulation win against the Islanders, as Mark Stuart, Andrew Ladd and Devin Setoguchi all tallied in the second period for the visiting Jets. Al Montoya bested his former club by posting 28 saves for the Jets. Montoya played two seasons for the Islanders from 2010-12.
"We gave them some life late, but we managed the game well when it counted most," Jets head coach Claude Noel said. "Al made some big stops for us and we found a way to hold on."
Winnipeg has won two straight against the Flyers and is 5-2-1 over the last eight games in this series. Philadelphia had also lost six straight home games against the Atlanta/Winnipeg franchise before posting a 5-3 decision against the visiting Jets on Feb. 23.
Friday's encounter is the second of two scheduled meetings between the Jets and Flyers this season. Philadelphia visited Winnipeg on Nov. 15 and the Jets earned a 3-2 shootout win.
Ondrej Pavelec earned the win for the Jets with 32 saves through regulation and overtime in that meeting earlier this month and expects to get the start today. Pavelec is 7-3-1 with a 3.24 goals against average in 12 career outings against Philly.
The Flyers will aim to end a two-game slide when it takes the ice on Friday. Philadelphia dropped consecutive tests at Florida and Tampa Bay after winning all three outings on a three-game homestand from Nov. 19-23. The Flyers also had a 6-0-1 record in the seven games prior to the recent losses against the Panthers and Lightning.
After dropping a 3-1 decision against the Panthers on Monday, the Flyers were dealt a 4-2 setback Wednesday night in Tampa. Victor Hedman scored twice for the Lightning, who nearly coughed up a three-goal lead in the final two minutes of regulation, but held on to top the Flyers and spoil Vincent Lecavalier's return to Tampa.
Lecavalier spent 14 seasons with the Lightning and the former No. 1 pick of the 1998 draft totaled team records of 1,037 games played and 383 goals, along with 491 assists and 874 points. He was honored by the hosts with a lengthy video tribute in the first period, which drew a standing ovation.
With the Flyers down 3-0 heading into the final two minutes of the third period, Lecavalier scored on the power play to cut the deficit to two. Mark Streit tallied for Philly just 40 seconds later to make it a 3-2 game, but Tyler Johnson would seal with win for the Lightning with an empty-net marker with 34 seconds left.
Ray Emery made 31 stops for the Flyers. Emery is 3-4-0 this season after posting a 17-1-0 record for Chicago during last year's lockout-shortened campaign.
"There's no excuse for not being motivated," Emery said. "We could have found tons of stuff to get motivated over."
Steve Mason expects to start for the Flyers on Friday. The goaltender is 2-0-1 with a sparkling 0.88 GAA in four career tilts against Winnipeg.
The Flyers played Wednesday without forward Matt Read, who is questionable for Friday's tilt with a lower-body injury. Read has eight goals and three assists in 23 games this season.
11/29 09:08:33 ET