FLYERS END ROAD TRIP FROM HELL TONIGHT IN WINNIPEG

By Jack Ryan

The Flyers have had a hell of a time scoring this season, and tonight they complete a road trip from hell and try to avoid their first seven-game losing streak in eight seasons against the Winnipeg Jets.

Philly (4-6-3) won four of five from Oct. 12-24, and totaled 11 goals in three games from Oct. 21-27. The Flyers dropped the last of those contests 4-3 in overtime, though, and have managed six goals in the past five, allowing 21 total goals during the 0-4-2 stretch.

The Flyers fell 2-1 in OT to Calgary on Thursday and are in danger of going winless on their five-game road trip – the last four coming against the league’s Western Canada teams.

”If we play like this, we’ll be in a lot of hockey games. We’ll compete for a lot of points and that’s what we need,” forward Sean Couturier (above) said Thursday after playing 19 1/2 minutes in his return from missing six games with a concussion.

Philly is in danger of dropping seven straight for the first time since an 0-8-2 slide Feb. 6-23, 2008.

”We’re coming to the end of the road trip here and we need one push,” coach Dave Hakstol said. “We need to pick up where we left off there and when things aren’t going well, you have to find a way. We have to push to get over the hump.”

Nonexistent power-play production has been a major culprit in the Flyers’ offensive woes, as they’re 0 for 16 in the last seven. And they are last in the Eastern Conference with the man advantage at 10.5 percent.

“We’re playing together. We’ve got to keep improving,” forward Claude Giroux said.

A 20-goal scorer each of the last three seasons, the Flyers’ Jakub Voracek is among the NHL leaders with 50 shots but has no goals and four assists. His second goal of the game at Winnipeg on Dec. 21 came 10 seconds into overtime of a 4-3 victory.

Philly has scored 11 goals during a three-game winning streak over the Jets (8-4-2) and earned at least one point in eight of the last nine meetings.

Winnipeg returns from a 2-1-1 trip that ended with Thursday’s 3-2 shootout loss to Ottawa. Andrew Ladd and Dustin Byfuglien scored as the Jets overcame a 2-0 deficit to force overtime.

“It’s good to see us come back to get a point,” coach Paul Maurice said. “You don’t like losing in a shootout. We didn’t lose the hockey game (but) it’s a pretty good trip for us.

“We like our game – we don’t love it, but we’re getting better every night.”

Byfuglien has a goal in two straight games, but the Jets are 0 for 7 on the power play in the last three contests and 2 for 16 in eight.

Among the NHL leaders with 17 points, Winnipeg’s Blake Wheelerhas three assists in two games. He’s been held without a point in four straight against the Flyers.

Steve Mason has gone 4-0-1 with a 1.18 goals-against average as a starter against the Jets.

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