The Philadelphia Flyers will be looking for their third straight victory when they host the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday afternoon.
The Flyers continued to strengthen their position in the playoff standings with consecutive wins over the Columbus Blue Jackets. After a convincing 5-1 home win on Tuesday, the Flyers followed up with a 4-3 overtime victory Thursday, thanks to the game-winning goal from Kevin Hayes with 1:09 left.
“It’s going to be a fun run if we play the right way,” Hayes said. “I thought we played the right way the last two games. Four points against a division opponent that was above us and now is beneath us.
“Two or three weeks ago we were battling just to get in the wild card and now we’re battling for home ice.”
Flyers goaltender Brian Elliott was stellar in the third period on Thursday as they rallied from a 3-1 deficit. In the ultra-competitive Metropolitan Division, every point is crucial.
“We had these couple dates circled and now we’ve got to look ahead and circle a couple more, take care of business when we need to, and we’ll put ourselves in a good spot,” said Elliott, who made 28 saves. “We want to keep playing. We don’t want to sit back and watch other teams play. We want to determine our own destiny.”
After recently struggling through a 13-game drought without scoring, captain Claude Giroux has reversed the trend with four goals and eight assists during a current seven-game point streak.
Philadelphia now returns home, where it owns an impressive 20-5-4 record.
The Jets are coming off a convincing 5-1 win over the visiting Ottawa Senators as Mark Scheifele scored three power-play goals. Scheifele produced the hat trick after going 12 games without scoring.
“Not at all, really,” Scheifele said of whether it was a relief to score again. “It’s not about goals, it’s not about assists. It’s about playing the right game. You get your chances. You watch your games over, so you know what to fix, you know what to work on, and that’s what it’s all about. You continue to work on your game whether you’re scoring or not.
“The main focus is winning games here and if it’s taking a hit or doing whatever, that’s what we need down the stretch.”
Even with the recent skid, Scheifele still has 26 goals and appears to be back on the right track as the Jets make a playoff push.
“It’s always nice to score,” Scheifele told the Winnipeg Sun. “I’ve been definitely getting the chances so it’s nice to pop one in. But it was a big team win for us and a good start to the road trip.”
The Jets are just as dangerous on the road as they are at home with a 16-11-2 road mark and a 16-14-3 record at home. Overall, the Jets are looking for their fourth straight win overall.
“We 100 percent believe that we’re going to be a playoff team this year,” Nik Ehlers told the Winnipeg Sun. “That’s what we’re working for every single summer and the whole regular season. And you saw it last year. You get in and everybody’s got a chance. So it doesn’t matter if we’re in on a wildcard or first in our division. It’s a matter of getting in and see what happens.”
–Field Level Media