Winnipeg’s goalie, Ondrej Pavelec, played an amazing game stopping 50 of 55 shots, but that would not be enough as the Flyers prevailed 5-4 in OT to rebound from an ugly loss to Pittsburgh on Sunday.
Dustin Byfuglien scored on a power-play goal when he ripped a slap shot past Ilya Bryzgalov 12:31 into the first. A little over 3 minutes later, Claude Giroux scored his 23rd of the season to tie the game up at 1. The Flyers threw several more shots at Pavelec, but none got through and the score was 1-1 at the end of 1.
A little over a minute into the second, Scott Hartnell scored his team-leading 28th goal to take the lead for most power-play goals in the NHL (14). Andrew Ladd would then score two goals separated by 1:34 to put the Jets back on top, 3-2, the first one coming on the man advantage. Maxime Talbot scored on a rebound originally shot by Andrej Meszaros to tie the game back up at 3. Again, the Flyers had plenty of opportunities denied by Pavelec who was having a strong game; he is just the latest of goalies to play well against Philly, reminding us of what we could have. But, once again, the score remained tied at another intermission.
Winnipeg took advantage of their fans mocking Ilya Bryzgalov for something he had said last year. 4:57 into the third, Evander Kane scored a power play goal on a wrist-shot from the point. It was a soft goal let up by Bryzgalov, but the Flyers looked on and moved forward. Jakub Voracek had an opportunity to score late in the third, but he was robbed as Pavelec denied him. The crowd started to roar as a Winnipeg victory seemed so near, then the unexpected happened. James van Riemsdyk skated across the neutral zone as time continued to tick away. Wayne Simmonds drove to the net, and van Riemsdyk, who had already had seven shots saved, hit him with a pass which found the softest place on the ice. 9.7 seconds was all that remained in the third. The game would need extra time, with the game tied up 4-4.
The Flyers were outplaying the Jets, and seemed to have all the momentum. With less than a minute left in OT, Danny Briere controlled the puck, but his stick was held down by a Jets player. Somehow he slipped away, and spotted Jagr who was moving to the slot. The wide-open Jagr scored with 43.8 seconds left.
Bryzgalov saved 22 of the 26 Winnipeg shots. Giroux and Hartnell each had a goal and an assist, and Claude now leads the team with a career-high 70 points, and he’s missed several games at that. It was a good team win, if only because they never gave up. They held on until the end.