The Flyers will head into their longest break of the season on a very good note.
Behind a 40-save performance from Carter Hart, the Flyers blanked the Jets, 4-0, Saturday night at Canada Life Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Hart's first shutout of the season was supported by goals from Noah Cates, Kieffer Bellows, Owen Tippett and Tony DeAngelo.
Cates scored his third goal in the last five games to hand the Flyers a 1-0 first-period lead. Bellows added to it in the second period with his first goal as a Flyer before Tippett and DeAngelo closed the door in the final frame.
Three Flyers had multi-point efforts as Rasmus Ristolainen (two assists) joined Cates (one goal, one assist) and Tippett (one goal, one assist).
The Flyers (21-21-9) snapped a three-game skid that featured two overtime defeats and started with a regulation loss to Winnipeg in Philadelphia.
John Tortorella's club split its two-game regular-season series with the Jets (31-19-1). This was a pretty good response to last Sunday, when the Flyers surrendered three goals to Winnipeg in the first 8:31 minutes of the game. The final result was a 5-3 loss and a snippy Tortorella postgame.
In the rematch, Tortorella had to roll with 11 forwards and seven defensemen (more on that below).
It worked out well.
The last time the Flyers won in Winnipeg was Nov. 7, 2015, when Michal Neuvirth pitched a shutout and got goals from Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn and Matt Read.
• The Flyers saw some real progress from the holiday break to this extended break.
They went 10-4-2 with 3.25 goals per game.
No, they might not be a playoff team, but they needed to take some kind of step forward after a third double-digit skid.
Points in 12 of 16 games with contributions from various young players is something they can build on moving forward.
They've found a way to go 21-21-9 without one game from Sean Couturier, Cam Atkinson or Ryan Ellis.
• Hart was once again excellent when facing a high volume of shots.
The 24-year-old has had three games of 40-or-more saves this season. He has won all three and yielded a combined four goals.
- 48-save win over Panthers
- 48-save win over Devils
- 40-save win over Jets
Hart faced 16 shots in the first period Saturday night and the Flyers were much better this time in the opening 20 minutes against the Jets.
The Flyers knocked the 2019-20 Vezina Trophy winner out of the game in the third period. Winnipeg netminder Connor Hellebuyck was pulled after surrendering his fourth goal as he finished the night with 26 saves.
• Ristolainen has seven points (two goals, five assists) and a plus-6 rating in his last seven games.
He has been an everyday type of defenseman since mid-December (nine points and plus-7 in 21 games).
• With the Flyers banged up, Bellows and defenseman Justin Braun entered the lineup.
Tortorella was missing two forwards. Zack MacEwen underwent surgery Saturday back in the Northeast for a fractured jaw, while Wade Allison was out with a lower-body injury.
As a result, Bellows saw his first action with the big club in 40-plus days. For the veteran Braun, it was just his second game since the calendar turned to 2023.
Bellows' goal came on a beautiful shot from in close. The 24-year-old's biggest strength is his shot.
• The Flyers go on an eight-day stretch without a game.
Kevin Hayes will represent the club at the All-Star festivities next Friday and Saturday in Sunrise, Florida.
The team is back in action Feb. 6 when it welcomes the Islanders (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).
More: 'You did that for me!' — the point behind All-Star Hayes' point to the sky
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