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Jets 4, Flyers 1

The SportsXchange

WINNIPEG -- The Winnipeg Jets are back in the penthouse in the NHL's Southeast Division, but the eviction notice could be issued in mere hours.

Powered by four goals in under seven minutes in the second period, Winnipeg knocked off the red-hot Philadelphia Flyers, 4-1, at MTS Centre on Saturday, the Jets' first of six straight games at home.

The Jets (19-19-2) have 40 points, good for first place in the Southeast and an automatic third-place spot in the Eastern Conference.

But the stay could be temporary. Washington took on the Florida Panthers on Saturday night and a Capitals' victory would tie the Jets in points but vault them into top spot in the division on the strength of games in hand.

The Jets trailed, 1-0, through the first period, but Grant Clitsome, Kyle Wellwood, Evander Kane and Bryan Little scored against goalie Ilya Bryzgalov within a 6:28 span in the middle frame.

Bryzgalov was replaced by newly acquired Steve Mason to start the third period.

Ruslan Fedotenko beat Jets' goalie Ondrej Pavelec on a deflection in the first period for the Flyers, winners of four straight coming into the game.

Philadelphia (17-18-3) remained three points out of a playoff spot before Saturday night's games.

Both clubs have a couple of days off before returning to the ice Tuesday. The Flyers wrap up a three-game trip against the New York Islanders, while the Jets host the Buffalo Sabres.

Philadelphia outshot Winnipeg, 30-25.

The Flyers scored the only goal of the first period after a faceoff when defenseman Kent Huskins fired the puck into a crowd in front of the net and it glanced off Fedotenko, bouncing high over the glove of Pavelec at 11:07.

The goal was Fedotenko's fourth of the season.

Philadelphia pressed for more, hemming the Jets in their own end for much of the final eight minutes of the period, but Pavelec was solid. Winnipeg went the last 15 minutes of the first period without a shot on Bryzgalov, who had to make only four saves.

The Jets had an early power play in the second period when the Flyers were caught with too many men on the ice, but the hosts never threatened.

The only shot that did damage was a blast from Toby Enstrom that caught Philadelphia blueliner Luke Schenn in the face. He left the ice immediately, bleeding badly, but returned later in the game.

Winnipeg finally got on the board when Clitsome joined the rush, took a pass from Little and ripped a shot past Bryzgalov at 12:38 of the middle period for his third goal of the season.

On the very next shift, Kane worked the puck behind the net and tried a wraparound that didn't work, but the puck squirted out to Wellwood, who scored his third of the season at 13:05.

Only 99 seconds later, Kane scored his 14th of the year in similar fashion, picking up a loose puck in front of Bryzgalov and roofing it.

Little scored his sixth of the season with only 54 seconds left, whipping a wrist shot from the faceoff dot.

NOTES: Kimmo Timonen left the rink walking with a bad limp Thursday following the Flyers' 5-3 win over Toronto and was a game-time decision Saturday. But the 38-year-old defenseman, who averages 21:24 of ice time, dressed and played the very first shit. Philadelphia was already missing a pile of players, including winger Zac Rinaldo (ankle sprain), Max Talbot (broken leg), Andrej Meszaros (shoulder), Braydon Coburn (shoulder) and Danny Briere (concussion). ... Jets'' goalie Ondrej Pavelec has been a workhorse this season, appearing in 36 of 40 games. He was second in the NHL in shots against (981) and saves (885) entering play this weekend. He also ranked third in minutes played (2,002:10), behind only Pekka Rinne (2,026:43) of Nashville and Ilya Bryzgalov (2,019:25) of Philadelphia. ... Claude Giroux of Philadelphia had taken 939 faceoffs this season before Saturday, most in the NHL. He had won 54.2 percent of his faceoffs. ... Veteran Ron Hainsey entered the game with 99 blocked shots to lead the NHL. It was thought the Winnipeg blueliner, an unrestricted free agent this summer, would be dealt at the trade deadline Wednesday. But the only move the Jets made was the addition of forward Mike Santorelli on waivers from Florida. ... Jets' rookie Zach Redmond returned to the practice ice Friday, only 42 days after he suffered a life-threatening injury when his right femoral artery and vein in his mid-thigh were accidentally cut by a teammate's skate in practice in Raleigh, N.C. "It's nothing short of a miracle considering what he's been through," team doctor Peter MacDonald told the Winnipeg Free Press. The 24-year-old defenseman should be ready for training camp in September.
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