It was a wild run-and-gun first of four meetings this season between the Jets and the Flyers on Thursday night at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. 15 different players scored a total of 17 goals while Ondrej Pavelec and Chris Mason split time for the Jets stopping 40 shots for the win, while Sergei Bobrovsky and Ilya Bryzgalov split time for the, stopping 17 shots. In the end, the Jets prevailed with a 9-8 victory, their first road win of the season.
Barely two minutes into the game, Chris Thorburn brought the puck into the Philadelphia zone, and as he skated into the corner, threw the puck towards Jim Slater who was directly in front of Flyers netminder Sergei Bobrovsky. It appeared that the puck may have deflected into the net, but after a lengthy review it was determined that Bobrovsky kept the puck out.
The Flyers were the first to draw blood when the timeless Jaromir Jagr sent a beauty of a pass to a streaking Scott Hartnell who re-directed the puck past Ondrej Pavelec, setting Philadelphia ahead 1-0 at 4:10 in the first.
Halfway through the opening period Jets forward Blake Wheeler found himself at the point with the puck. Wheeler smacked a shot towards the goal, which was deflected by former Flyer Randy Jones past the outstretched netminder. The re-direct goal was Jones’ first of the season and tied the game 1-1.
Some great work in the corner by Chris Thorburn and Tanner Glass turned the tides of the game. Thorburn sent the puck to a waiting Jim Slater who slapped the puck from the slot into the Flyers net, giving the Jets their first lead of the game. The goal was Slater’s fourth of the season, good enough for the team lead in that department.
With Flyers defenceman Andreas Lilja sitting in the box for interference, the Jets powerplay went to work for the first time in the game. With seconds left on the man-advantage, Jets defenceman Tobias Enstrom send a wrist shot on net, which was re-directed by Kyle Wellwood, giving the Jets a 3-1 lead late in the first frame.
3:39 into the second period, Tobias Enstrom sent a shot towards the Flyers goal, which was deflected by Tanner Glass past Sergei Bobrovsky to put the Jets ahead 4-1.
The scoring continued on the powerplay when the puck came directly to Nik Antropov’s stick after the faceoff. Antropov was positioned in front of Bobrovsky, with all sorts of time and space. A quick move committed Bobrovsky, and Antropov fired the puck into the Flyers net for the 5-1 lead. The fifth Jets goal of the night brought a change in net for the Flyers as Ilya Bryzgalov came in relief for Sergei Bobrovsky.
With a 5-on-3 man-advantage, Claude Giroux picked up a rebound for the Flyers and fired the puck past Ondrej Pavelec, cutting the Jets lead to three goals 6:25 into the middle period.
The Jets went back to the powerplay at the mid point of the second period. With the Jets powerplay crew moving the puck deftly in the offensive zone, Nik Antropov made the best pass, going between his legs, behind his back, through the crease, to the waiting Evander Kane who flicked in his second of the season. Kane’s goal set the Jets ahead 6-2 at 10:39 in the second.
Just as a penalty to Kenndal McArdle was expiring, a point shot by Flyers defenceman Kimmo Timonen was double-deflected by Scott Hartnell and Danny Briere past Pavelec to get the Flyers within three again.
16:41 into the second period Philadelphia continued to make their charge when Max Talbot scored a weird goal, off his shin pads, off the post, off Pavelec’s back, and into the net. The goal brought Philadelphia within two at the end of the second, as the Jets lead was cut to 6-4.
Early in the third period a Flyers point shot deflected to the side of the crease. Danny Briere was waiting on the right wing, and flipped the puck past the diving Ondrej Pavelec to reduce the Jets lead to a lone goal.
Moments after that goal, another rebound dropped to the stick of Flyers forward Matt Read, who fired the puck past Pavelec and tied the game at six goals apiece. The sixth goal was enough for Claude Noel, who decided a change was needed, pulling Pavelec in favour of veteran netminder Chris Mason.
Mere moments later, the Flyers struck again, taking the 7-6 lead at 3:02 into the third. Danny Briere fed the puck through the crease to James van Riemsdyk who was waiting with a wide-open cage at the side of the net.
28 seconds later Nik Antropov made a great play in the middle of the Flyers zone, feeding Alexander Burmistrov at the side of the net. Burmistrov converted the goal, tying the game once again.
One minute later Mark Stuart grabbed the lead for the Jets once again, jumping into the play and firing the puck past Bryzgalaov for the 8-7 lead.
Ondrej Pavelec returned to the Jets net later in the third period as Chris Mason left the game.
James van Riemsdyk snuck in on the left wing and re-directed a pass from Timonent into the back of the Jets net, tying the game 8-8 with 3:39 remaining in the third.
With barely over a minute left in the game, Blake Wheeler placed a pass directly on the tape of Andrew Ladd who was on the doorstep. Ladd knocked the puck past Bryzgalov to give the Jets the late 9-8 lead.
Immediately after the goal by Andrew Ladd, the Flyers pulled Bryzgalov for the 6-on-5 man-advantage. The final effort was not enough for the Flyers as the Jets hung on for a wild 9-8 win, and their first road victory of the season.