In their final game before the All-Star break, the Philadelphia Flyers ventured up to Winnipeg, Manitoba, for a tilt against the Jets.
“These games always worry me. I think every coach in the league, when you get close to the break, always worry about the last game. Or they look ahead. We had a long schedule here this month, a lot of travel, a lot of hockey games. I just hope our guys get about their business and play as hard as possible.”John Tortorella; 1/28/2023
Noah Cates opened up the goalscoring in Winnipeg. The Flyers weren’t lucky enough to capitalize on their man advantage, but Cates jammed the puck home past Connor Hellebuyck right when the power play ended. His second goal in consecutive games, Cates has also been the first goalscorer in both games.
Earlier in the day, it was reported that Zack MacEwen will miss five weeks after undergoing surgery for the broken jaw he sustained in Minnesota on Thursday. With MacEwen out of the lineup, Kieffer Bellows filled in. Bellows made an instant impact after playing his first game since December 17th, 2022. Lurking around Hellebuyck in the second period, Bellows received a pass from Rasmus Ristolainen and scored his first goal as a Flyer while doubling his team’s lead.
Owen Tippett made it 3-0 in the opening minutes of the third period. Receiving a breakout pass from Ristolainen, Tippett found himself on a breakaway and sniped a shot past Hellebuyck. With Tippett’s goal and Ristolainen’s second assist of the game, both players are on their own three-game point streaks.
Tony DeAngelo joined in on the scoring just minutes after Tippett’s tally. Finishing an odd-man rush alongside Scott Laughton, DeAngelo scored his second goal in as many games. Hellebuyck would be pulled after DeAngelo’s goal, ending his night, and the Flyers would cruise to a 4-0 victory.
Hart’s First Shutout of 2022-2023
Saving 40/40 shots on goal, Carter Hart recorded his first shutout of the 2022-2023 season and the fourth of his career.
The Jets led in shots, 40-33, but Hart stopped every offensive chance that was created. A Jets offense that has three 20+ goalscorers couldn’t find a way to light the lamp. The Jets pounced on Hart at times, but each opportunity was proven unsuccessful.
Speaking on his shutout, Hart mentioned that it was nice, but the team should be feeling good about themselves for beating a tough opponent.
“Obviously nice. It’s a big two points against a good hockey club. Going into the break, we should feel good about ourselves. Just gotta checkout for a little bit, relax, and get back to work here after the break and be ready.”Carter Hart; 1/28/2023
Offensive Risto (+)
As mentioned above, Ristolainen is on a three-game point streak (1G, 3A), and has seven points in his last seven games. Since scoring his first goal of the season against the Ducks, Ristolainen has been shining on the Flyers’ blue line, both offensively and defensively.
“It was a very poor and slow start for me early in the year and last couple months. I think my game has been getting better every game. I like where it is now. But more important, I think as a team we’re playing very well, taking big wins on the road here.”Rasmus Ristolainen; 1/28/2023
Team Effort (+)
Every forward line and defensive pair contributed to the 4-0 rout over Winnipeg. A whole team contribution, the Flyers played a simple game which lead to their victory.
“Right from the opening faceoff, I just thought we played simple and everybody contributed.”John Tortorella; 1/28/2023
Against one of the NHL’s top teams, the Flyers’ positioning and defense caused struggles for a loaded Jets offense. Everybody contributed on both ends of the puck, which slowed down the Jets. The Flyers penalty kill unit also put in the work, going 3/3.
“It’s great we scored four goals, I liked our checking. I thought our positioning was good. That’s a really good offensive team, that’s a big team. I thought our sticks were good. That’s the part of the game that I liked.”John Tortorella; 1/28/2023
The Flyers will be back in action on February 6 when they take on the New York Islanders at the Wells Fargo Center. With no scheduled games next week due to the All-Star break, Kevin Hayes will be representing the Flyers during All-Star weekend in Sunshine, Florida, next Saturday and Sunday.
(John Woods/The Canadian Press via AP)