Backed by Hart’s 40-Save Shutout, Flyers Enter Break on Heels of 4-0 Victory Against Jets
The Philadelphia Flyers shut out the Winnipeg Jets, 4-0, after a solid effort from top to bottom that culminated into Carter Hart’s 1st shutout of the season. The young netminder made 40 saves en route to his 15th win of the season, it was his 4th career shutout, and first shutout since November 2nd, 2021. It was also his 19th career game facing over 40 shots as he improved his record to 15-2-2 in those games.
The Flyers opened the scoring in the first period just seconds after their power play had expired off the stick of Noah Cates. They then doubled their lead after Kieffer Bellows scored his first as a member of the Flyers midway through the second with a perfect set up from Rasmus Ristolainen. He then also set up Owen Tippett on a breakaway to make it 3-0 before Tony DeAngelo added the cherry on top of the cake 3 minutes later in the third period. With only 11 forwards tonight, the Flyers played one of their most complete games and even though the 40 shots against is excessive, a lot of them were from the outside, point shots looking for deflections, or the Jets just trying to get the puck at the net with not much time remaining.
In their final game before the All-Star break, the Philadelphia Flyers visited the Winnipeg Jets for their second game within 6 days after losing 5-3 on home ice on Sunday night. It was announced before the game that Zack MacEwen would miss the next 5 weeks with a broken jaw and that Wade Allison is currently day-to-day after blocking a shot and not returning to their game on Thursday night against the Minnesota Wild.
John Tortorella announced that Kieffer Bellows would return to the lineup and that the Flyers would run an 11F/7D rotation with Justin Braun figuring a return as well. Both Bellows and Braun have been healthy scratches since the beginning of January, with the former having been recalled but not being able to fit into the lineup and the latter sitting out due to the improved play of Nick Seeler and Rasmus Ristolainen.
For the Jets, they brought out Vezina Trophy candidate, Connor Hellebuyck, tonight after giving David Rittich the game on Sunday against the Flyers. They have also lost both games since their last meeting against Nashville (2-1) and Buffalo (3-2) with both clubs looking to end their dry spells tonight. The Flyers entered tonight on a 3-game losing streak and having lost 4 of 5, with their last two defeats being of the overtime variety.
The first 7 minutes brought us a lot of end to end hockey, loose plays on defense, and scoring chances with Carter Hart fending off 8 to Hellebuyck’s 5. Hart also entered tonight’s game a perfect 3-0-0 against the Jets with a sparkling .950 SV%, something the Canadian broadcast made several mentions about to start the game. With 11 forwards at his disposal, we saw John Tortorella start the game with Morgan Frost, Travis Konecny, James van Riemsdyk as one trio, Noah Cates, Patrick Brown, and Joel Farabee as a second trio, and Scott Laughton, Kevin Hayes, Owen Tippett as the third consistent trio. Kieffer Bellows and Nicolas Deslauriers played shifts with Laughton, Frost, and Cates.
With a shade over 7 minutes remaining in the first period, their makeshift 4th line of Frost, Deslauriers, and Bellows were humming in the offensive zone before Tony DeAngelo corralled a loose puck and fired it off the post. The Jets were unable to clear the zone and after Deslauriers rimmed it around the boards for DeAngelo, the offensive defenseman was hooked by Logan Stanley and the Flyers jumped on their first power play of the game with 6:47 left.
With 70 seconds left on the man advantage, DeAngelo set up Konecny with a perfect cross- seam pass that was denied by Hellebuyck as Konecny was still searching for his elusive 25th goal. Shortly after the save, the Jets jumped on the puck and the tired power play skaters and went down the zone for 2 chances, one being a pad save and the other being a rebound opportunity that Saku Maenalanen missed completely.
2 seconds after the power play had expired, Noah Cates scored his 2nd goal in as many games after he followed his loose puck and jammed it through the five-hole of Hellebuyck for his 8th of the season. Owen Tippett found Morgan Frost in the corner and below the goal-line, Frost then sent a pass towards Cates who was heading into the blue paint, and even though it was slightly deflected by the Jets, he followed it and put the Flyers up 1-0.
Noah has a nose for the net. #PHIvsWPG | @cates_noah pic.twitter.com/Fkvy5M4agv
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) January 29, 2023
After the referees missed a blatant penalty on Blake Wheeler who tripped up Cam York right in front of one of the officials, the Jets turned around and entered the offensive zone before drawing a penalty of their own against Joel Farabee for an unsportsmanlike conduct minor after he said a few too many words from the bench about the missed call. Kyle Connor, Nikolaj Ehlers, and Mark Scheifele each had a chance in the early parts of their power play but Carter Hart kept the door shut making saves 13, 14, and 15. The final 80 seconds of the man advantage was a clinic on blocking shots and blocking passing lanes as Nick Seeler, Rasmus Ristolainen, and Scott Laughton did their coaching staff proud with strong defensive efforts, getting in the way, and blocking lanes.
An entertaining first period came to a close as the Flyers entered the first intermission up 1-0, the Jets held a 16-14 shot advantage, with Noah Cates being the lone goal scorer of the first 20 minutes.
4:23 into the second period, Pierre-Luc Dubois was called for a cross-checking minor after he went after Travis Konecny, and gave him a couple shots before the referees finally called him on the third shove. The Flyers fired one shot on goal but the Winnipeg Jets’ penalty kill that ranked 3rd heading into tonight’s game was ultra aggressive in the latter half and kept the Flyers on their toes and towards the outside. The Jets got all the momentum afterwards with an offensive zone shift that lasted over 90 seconds as they continued to pepper Hart with shot after shot. By the midway point of the game and period, Hart had made 21 saves and several of the ten-bell variety.
After a very strong offensive zone shift by Kevin Hayes, Noah Cates, and Scott Laughton with Travis Sanheim and Cam York aiding the offense from the back end, the eventual line change that involved Rasmus Ristolainen and Kieffer Bellows struck with the Jets tired and flat-footed. The hulking defenseman, who has now extended his point streak to 3 games and has recorded 6 points in his last 7 games, just threw the puck towards Hellebuyck, and the rebound was loose and open for Noah Cates to potentially jam it home but his chance was denied. Ristolainen, who had made his way behind the net at this point, corralled the loose puck and sent a backhand pass to Bellows in the slot who ripped one top shelf past Hellebuyck for his first goal of the season, and incidentally his first as a Flyer.
Back in the lineup and already making an impact. 🎯#PHIvsWPG | @BellowsKieffer pic.twitter.com/WhngwnyLSo
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) January 29, 2023
The Jets called a timeout with 7:06 remaining in the second period after the Flyers jumped on several turnovers after making it 2-0. On the very next shift, Adam Lowry jumped on a breakaway attempt that was thwarted by Nick Seeler at the last second. Carter Hart made a save on the ensuing rebound before covering it up to a sea of jerseys in and around his crease, shoving, pushing, and getting all angry. In back-to-back shifts with a commercial break sandwiched in between, the Jets rang the crossbar twice with temperature and speed cranked up all the way after the timeout.
After Lowry deflected a puck off the crossbar, the Flyers were able to regroup and headed down the other way, Kevin Hayes set up a streaking Konecny on a breakaway. The pass was a little too hard to control but he corralled the puck and had his initial shot stopped, he then followed the rebound and went for the wrap around attempt that hit the side of the post. The puck was loose for a few seconds with van Riemsdyk barring down but Hellebuyck was able to recover and poke the puck out of his crease to keep their deficit at 2.
Then with 4:30 to go in the period, Neal Pionk and Owen Tippett were called for coincidental minors, giving us our first taste of 4-on-4 hockey. Scott Laughton was all over the Jets defense during the 4-on-4 play when he first had his pass attempt to Ristolainen in the slot blocked off by Josh Morrissey, then he followed a turnover in the offensive zone by beating the sleeping defenseman for the puck, before Ivan Provorov set him up with a chance in and around the crease that Hellebuyck got his sprawling pad on and covered for the whistle.
Another entertaining period in the books after the Flyers doubled their lead with a goal from Kieffer Bellows at the midway point of the second frame. The Flyers outshot the Jets 12-7 – Winnipeg had 2 shots in the final 10 minutes – in the period and held a 27-23 advantage heading into the final 20 minutes of regulation.
The Jets had 4 shots in the first 30 seconds of the period, the best coming from Kyle Connor in the slot after Nate Schmidt’s slap shot was padded aside, but the rebound opportunity was thwarted by a diving Hart as Connor was came close to scoring his 25th of the season.
Almost like poetic irony, as the Hockey Night in Canada broadcast was pumping the Jets to score the next goal to make this game a lot closer after the shots were evened out to 28 apiece, Rasmus Ristolainen sent a perfect outlet pass from below his own goal-line to Owen Tippett, who walked in all alone on Hellebuyck before ripping a snapshot past the glove for his 14th of the season and first in 9 games, 3:11 into the period.
Grip it. Rip it. Tippett. #PHIvsWPG | @TippettOwen pic.twitter.com/G0hvxKlafb
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) January 29, 2023
Then just 3:37 after Tippett’s goal, Tony DeAngelo made it 4-0 for the Flyers after they went from defense to offense in a blink of an eye. Kyle Connor’s shot was stopped by Hart but the rebound went off his shoulder, off the glass, and around the boards for Scott Laughton to corral and head the other way. Laughton had DeAngelo opposite him, sent him a saucer pass that he had to control before shooting it top shelf for his 8th of the season and 2nd in as many games after tying the game late in Minnesota. Connor Hellebuyck was pulled right after for David Rittich at the 6:48 mark of the third period.
FLYERS ARE UP BY FOUR (4!!!!) AFTER A GOAL FROM TDA 🔥 pic.twitter.com/HkgRdhSbuc
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) January 29, 2023
Justin Braun was called for an interference minor with 12:23 remaining in the third that was fortunately killed off by the Flyers after another strong penalty killing effort. Then with 7:28 left on the clock, Noah Cates was called for a delay of game minor after sending the puck into the stands. Another penalty, another kill, as the Flyers protected their goaltender and shielded him from most of the debris fired his way with the lone exception coming off a slap shot from Nikolaj Ehlers from the the point.
The Flyers were able to buckle down with the Jets trying to send wave after wave towards Carter Hart. The young netminder was fantastic tonight as he not only improved his record to 4-0-0 against the Jets and added to his 1.50 GAA and .950 SV% he had before the game, but he recorded his first shutout of the season and made 40 saves to boot.
The Flyers will not return to the ice for 9 days between the All-Star break and their mandatory bye week. Their next game will be home on February 6th at Wells Fargo Center against the New York Islanders.