PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia center Zac Rinaldo said the Flyers were embarrassed by the way they started Saturday’s game against the Winnipeg Jets.
They weren’t, however, displeased with how they finished.
Wayne Simmonds scored a go-ahead goal about halfway through the third period and Philadelphia erased an early deficit and beat Winnipeg 5-3.
Brayden Schenn scored two goals and Claude Giroux added one for the Flyers, who scored three on the power play. Evander Kane, Olli Jokinen and Alexander Burmistrov scored for the Jets, whose road-game winning streak ended at 2.
“The first 10 minutes weren’t pretty,” Flyers center Danny Briere. “But after that, I thought we took over the game. We didn’t give them much. That was pretty amazing, the way we stuck with the game.”
As they did in each of their past two games, the Flyers came out flat. Jets left wing Evander Kane camped out beside goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov and scored the first goal - the third game in a row, and fifth in six in which the Flyers fell behind 1-0.
At one point in the first period, they trailed the Jets in shots, 12-1.
The Flyers bounced back before the first period was over, peppering Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec with 16 unanswered shots.
Pavelec finished with 34 saves.
“It’s the same story,” Giroux said. “Just our intensity, the way we play — we’re not winning battles, we’re not skating. I think tonight was a good test for us. Those games at home, we’ve got to win them. Tonight was huge.”
In a surprise move, Flyers left wing Scott Hartnell, who had missed the last 16 games with a broken foot, was a last-minute addition to the lineup. He finished with five shots on goal.
Simmonds — who added an assist — seemed to spark Philadelphia when he fought Jets tough guy Chris Thorburn at 9:07 of the first period. Moments after the tussle, Schenn scored to tie the game.
Olli Jokinen and Alexander Burmistrov scored the next two goals, giving the Jets a 3-1 lead. After Giroux scored on the power play from the point for the Flyers, Winnipeg still carried a 3-2 lead heading into the final period.
The Flyers went 3-for-6 on the power play, and killed all four of Winnipeg’s advantages.
“I thought we played a pretty hard game, if you take the special teams out of the scenario,” Jets coach Claude Noel said. “The problem is, is that you can’t. The way we’d been working on the penalty killing, the success we’ve had on the last few games, it was disappointing to see it turn that way.”
Schenn scored his second goal at 6 minutes, 18 seconds of the third period, before Simmonds broke the 3-3 tie. Rinaldo added an empty-net goal in the game’s final second to seal the Flyers’ victory.
Bryzgalov, who started his league-high 18th game of the season, made 36 saves.
Before Saturday, the Flyers were 0-7 when trailing after 2 periods.
“We just said in the second intermission, we have to be able to thrive in situations like this,” Schenn said. “Whether we are up 3-2 or down 3-2, we have to find a way to win hockey games, and tonight we did. It was a huge two points to keep on climbing up in the standings, clawing our way back to a playoff spot.”
The Jets had their modest two-game road winning streak snapped.
“It’s very disappointing, you have a 3-1 lead in the second, 3-2 in the third and you’ve got to be able to lock those down,” Kane said. “You can’t sit back, no matter how many goals you’re up in the NHL, because teams can come back and will come back, if you relax and just try to play defense. You have to stay on them and try to get that next (goal) and push them out of the game.”
Notes: The Flyers placed defenseman Andrej Meszaros on long-term injured reserve before the game to allow cap space for Hartnell’s return. . Rinaldo registered a team-high 12 hits. ... Flyers right wing Jakub Voracek has 22 points in his last 20 games. ... Simmonds had his second “Gordie Howe Hat Trick” (goal, assist, fight) in 3 games. ... Hartnell played 14:54 in the game.