Jets-Flyers Preview

The Associated Press

After getting off to a poor start on the road, the Winnipeg Jets are finally putting together solid performances in their opponents' buildings. That's been the case for the past few seasons when they take the ice in Philadelphia.

The Jets have won three in a row away from home for the first time since relocating to Winnipeg, and they'll try to extend that run as they go for a seventh straight road victory over the Flyers on Saturday.

Winnipeg allowed an average of 4.4 goals in opening 1-3-1 away from home, but it has cut that number to 1.3 in the last three on the road. The Jets (7-8-1) last won four consecutive road games Nov. 12-Dec. 5, 2009, while based in Atlanta.

They opened a season-high five-game trip with a 2-1 win over Buffalo on Tuesday before beating Carolina 4-3 on Thursday.

Blake Wheeler's second goal of the game with 4:54 remaining provided the difference against the Hurricanes, who rallied to tie the game three times.

"It was big just to find a way to win," said Wheeler, who ended a six-game goal drought. "It wasn't necessarily our 'A' game. ... That's the way you get the job done in this league. You've got to find a way to win when you don't have your best game."

Andrew Ladd had a goal and two assists in his 500th NHL game, and Evander Kane also scored for Winnipeg. Ladd has scored five of his team-leading nine goals in the last five contests.

He scored twice in a 3-2 loss to the Flyers (8-10-1) on Feb. 12, his second straight two-goal game in the series - both losses for the Jets. While those defeats came in Winnipeg, the Jets have taken the last six meetings in Philadelphia and are 10-2-1 in the past 13 overall matchups.

The Flyers have taken a bit of a step back at home, losing two of three after opening 3-1-0 there. They failed for a third time to win three straight for the first time this season Thursday, falling 5-2 to a Florida team that entered on a five-game losing streak.

Philadelphia, which opened a five-game homestand after playing a season-high six in a row on the road, never recovered after falling behind 3-0 just over halfway through the first period. The Flyers trailed 4-0 after two before Luke Schenn and Jakub Voracek scored in the third.

"I've seen this happen a million times," defenseman Kimmo Timonen said. "Coming off a road trip, the hardest game is the next one at home. It's tough mentally."

To make matters worse, the Flyers learned before the game that forward Matt Read will miss six weeks with torn rib cage muscles. Read is tied with Voracek for the team lead with seven goals, and he's also a key contributor on special teams.

"He's a guy that does everything," coach Peter Laviolette said. "He can play point on the power play. He can play left wing, center, right wing. He kills penalties. He's a valuable piece to the puzzle."

Voracek has four goals and five assists during a four-game point streak and leads the Flyers with 19 points.

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