PHILADELPHIA — Travis Konecny had a goal, an assist and a fight in the first period — known as a “Gordie Howe hat trick” — to lead the Philadelphia Flyers to a 4-1 victory over the slumping Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night.
Asked whether he liked the goal, assist or fight the most, Konecny said, “Just the win, honestly.”
Morgan Frost added a goal and an assist and Ryan Poehling and Tyson Foerster also scored for the Flyers, who have won both games since the All-Star break after losing five in a row. Samuel Ersson made 28 saves. The rebuilding Flyers are a surprising third in the East’s Metropolitan Division.
Ersson said the halt in the schedule came at a good time for Philadelphia.
“I think everybody needed a little bit of a break, and we used that to our advantage,” he said.
Ersson has become Philadelphia’s No. 1 goaltender after Carter Hart took an indefinite leave of absence on Jan. 23. Hart is one of five players from Canada’s 2018 world junior team who have been charged with sexual assault in Ontario.
Kyle Connor scored for the Jets, who have dropped five straight. Winnipeg has fallen to third place in the West’s Central Division.
“Normally, we’re scoring a few more goals than we are right now,” Jets coach Rick Bowness said. “Five on five, we’re still the best team in this league. Right now, we’re not scoring goals. We’re going to stay with who the Winnipeg Jets are. We’re going to keep working and we’ll pull through this.”
Konecny started his big first period by defeating Neal Pionk in a spirited fight 6 minutes, 3 seconds into the contest. He then put Philadelphia ahead 2-0 with his team-leading 24th goal with 5:57 left in the period, with a shot from the slot that bounced off Pionk and past Laurent Brossoit. He ended the period with a secondary assist on Frost’s tally with 1:54 left.
Flyers coach John Tortorella was in no mood to heap praise on Konecny after Philadelphia managed just eight combined shots in the final two periods when they were badly outplayed by the Jets.
Asked about Konecny’s ‘Gordie Howe hat trick,’ Tortorella said, “Yeah, I guess so.”
“Win the game,” he added about his overall evaluation during a terse press conference. “We got two points.”
Ersson made a stellar pad stop with 9.3 seconds left in the first to rob Josh Morrissey and keep the Jets scoreless.
The Flyers took a four-goal lead 2:29 into the second by netting their 11th short-handed tally. The Jets turned the puck over at their blue line. Poehling pounced on it, raced up ice and beat Brossoit from long range for his sixth of the season.
Connor got his first point in six games since returning from a 16-game absence due to a knee injury when he scored his team-leading 19th with 5:12 remaining. Brossoit had 16 saves.
The Jets remained winless in two games since acquiring Sean Monahan from Montreal for draft picks. Monahan had 35 points with the Canadiens.
Winnipeg defenseman Brenden Dillon sat out the first of his three-game suspension for his check on Pittsburgh’s Noel Acciari in Tuesday’s 3-0 loss to the Penguins.
Philadelphia played without defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen (illness).
The Flyers evened their home record to 12-2-2 while completing a season sweep of the Jets. They won 2-0 at Winnipeg on Jan. 3.
Jets: Host Pittsburgh on Saturday night.
Flyers: Host Seattle on Saturday night.
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