The Philadelphia Flyers are putting together a late run that has rekindled thoughts of getting into the postseason. They'll try to extend their longest winning streak of the season on Saturday afternoon and deal the hosting Winnipeg Jets their first six-game slide in three years.
After winning the final three games of their recent homestand, the Flyers began a three-game swing with Thursday night's 5-3 victory at the Toronto Maple Leafs. In addition to winning four in a row for the first time this season, Philadelphia also has points in five straight and is now just three points back of the final playoff spot in the East.
The Flyers saw five different players score in Thursday's win, including one from newcomer Jay Rosehill. He was playing in his first game since being acquired from the Anaheim Ducks on Monday and was credited with the game- winner.
"I'm just trying to make an impact here and I'm real happy with the way things went tonight," said Rosehill. "This was a big win for us tonight because we have some work to do to get in the playoffs."
Brayden Schenn, Luke Schenn, Simon Gagne and Jakub Voracek all scored for the Flyers, while Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 25 shots to help Philadelphia end a five- game losing skid on the road.
Forward Adam Hall also made his debut for the injury-ravaged Flyers, while Steve Mason served as Bryzgalov's backup one day after being acquired in a trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Philadelphia came into the game having recently lost forwards Max Talbot and Zac Rinaldo to injury as they joined defensemen Braydon Coburn, Andrej Meszaros, Nick Grossmann on the sidelines along with forward Danny Briere.
The Flyers suffered yet another injury to their blue line on Thursday with Kimmo Timonen exiting early with an undisclosed injury. He is expected to be a game-time decision today.
The Jets will hope to take advantage of the Flyers' injury troubles and snap a season-high five-game losing streak that has knocked them out of the playoffs. All five setbacks have come in regulation and though Winnipeg and Washington both have 38 points, the Capitals hold first place in the Southeast Division with the tiebreaker. That leaves the Jets 10th overall in the East.
Winnipeg went winless on a three-game road trip, capping the swing with Thursday's 4-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens. Alexander Burmistrov scored his first goal in 18 games, but Ondrej Pavelec allowed all four goals on 24 shots.
"It's not like we don't know what's going on," Jets coach Claude Noel said in regards to the standings. "I don't think you can expect to lose five straight games and expect that things aren't going to change. It's not like players don't know what's going on. We know that if we continue down this road it isn't good. That's why there's urgency. We're running out of games. We know that."
Winnipeg has scored just six times over its losing streak and begins a six- game homestand today. Seven of the Jets' final nine games this season are at home and they'll look to avoid losing six straight for the first time since March 6-14, 2010.
The Flyers have won three straight over the Jets and have taken two of the three games played in Winnipeg since the Jets franchise relocated from Atlanta.