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Flyers Punch Out Jets in Scott Hartnells Return

Feb 23, 2013, 4:14 PM EDT

With their run of 19 games in 34 days behind them, the
Flyers got back on track Saturday, coming back to defeat the Winnipeg Jets 5-3.
It was their first win of the season when trailing or tied after two periods.

The Flyers had to overcome another slow start, falling
behind 1-0 in the first period, then 3-1 in the second. Philadelphia’s power
play would eventually take advantage of the NHL’s worst penalty-killing unit,
converting on three-of-six chances including the game-tying and go-ahead goals.

Claude Giroux cut the deficit to one with an absolute rocket
from the point during a 5-on-3 late in the second period. The captain also
picked up an assist on Brayden Schenn’s second goal of the afternoon, drawing
even with a sweet setup in the slot from Jakub Voracek. Brayden and Jake got
themselves into the box score again on the game winner, Schenn’s feed across
the goal mouth finding Wayne Simmonds left unattended in front of a wide-open

Simmonds earned his second Gordie Howe hat trick of the week, picking
up the helper on Schenn’s first tally, and having a run-in with Chris Thorburn.
The goal was Simmer’s seventh, tying him with Voracek and Matt Read for the
clubhouse lead – Giroux and Schenn now have six. Voracek finished with a trio
of assists, pushing his team-high point total to 22.

Ilya Bryzgalov was called upon to make 34 saves. The win was
his ninth of the season, putting him one behind Montreal’s Carey Price and
Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleurry for the league lead.

Zac Rinaldo broke loose with the puck and tapped it into an
empty net literally as the final seconds ticked off the clock to make it a 5-3
final. He also punished the Jets with 12 hits in his first action since January 22.

The game marked the return of Scott Hartnell, coming back a
few days earlier than expected from a broken left foot. Hartnell joined Giroux
and Voracek on the top line, looking like his old, mischievous self in just under
15 minutes of ice time. He finished a -1 with five shots and two trips to the
box in his first action since January 22.

The Flyers move to 7-4-1 since beginning the season 2-6.
They continue to look strong at home, improving their record to 5-2-1 at the
Wells Fargo Center. Both are a good sign with the Orange & Black
hosting Toronto on Tuesday.