WINNIPEG, Manitoba — All you need to know about the state of the Flyers these days is that six of their 12 forwards in the lineup Sunday weren’t with the team at the start of the season.
Predictably, their injury-ravaged lineup fell short.
Winnipeg pulled away from a 2-1 lead with four second-period goals in a little over four minutes en route to a 7-3 win over the Flyers at Bell MTS Place.
The Flyers faced just a 2-1 deficit when rookie right winger Joel Farabee was called for a five-minute interference penalty and given a game misconduct midway through the second period.
The Jets scored twice on the ensuing power play and quickly added two more goals after the penalty ended, building a 6-1 lead.
“It was a huge moment in the game,” defenseman Matt Niskanen said. “I felt like we had the potential to get a little momentum back there. It’s a good power play to give five minutes; they popped a couple and we ended up chasing.”
The Flyers finished 0-3 on the road trip and were outscored by a combined 14-5 by Colorado, Minnesota, and Winnipeg. They have lost three straight and four of their last five games.
“Everybody in here feels we can all play better,” said Niskanen, whose team hosts Anaheim on Tuesday. “We’re disappointed in the results of this trip and how we played, and we look forward to going back home and playing better at home.”
Brian Elliott, who was not given much support, allowed six goals on 17 shots and was replaced by Carter Hart at the start of the final period.
Farabee’s major penalty on Mathieu Perreault — the veteran right winger had to be helped off the ice and didn’t return — will be reviewed by the league and he could face disciplinary action.
The Flyers’ penalty kill has been superb for most of the season, but it was not on the Jets’ five-minute power play.
“We get a five-minute penalty with a lot of our penalty-killers not being in our lineup tonight,” coach Alain Vigneault said. “So it obviously made it challenging against a power play that has some big weapons.”
Blake Wheeler (blast past a screened Elliott) and Mark Scheifele (one-timer from the slot) scored to make it 4-1. Logan Shaw (left-circle) and Patrik Laine then scored 16 seconds apart to make it 6-1.
Laine’s goal was a pass that deflected off Shayne Gostisbehere and into the net, giving the Jets four goals in a 4:17 span.
“That was a mountain to climb,” Niskanen said.
Wheeler and Scheifele each finished with a goal and two assists for the Jets, who were coming off a 5-2 loss Thursday to woeful Detroit.
The Flyers, playing 22 hours after a loss in Minnesota, had cut it to 2-1 with 15:45 left in the second as Niskanen scored on a rebound, the Flyers’ first power-play goal in the last seven games. The Flyers then started applying pressure on Connor Hellebuyck, but Farabee’s penalty took away their momentum.
The Flyers used six forwards who didn’t start the season with the club, including five who began the year with the Phantoms: Farabee, Morgan Frost, Nic Aube-Kubel, David Kase, and Misha Vorobyev.
In addition, Carsen Twarynski, who has spent a large part of the season with the Phantoms, and Chris Stewart, a training-camp invitee, were in the lineup.
That left just six of the 12 forwards who played in the opener in Prague: Claude Giroux, Sean Couturier, Jake Voracek, Kevin Hayes, James van Riemsdyk, and Twarynski.
“We definitely miss the guys that are out and you want them back as soon as you can,” Ellliott said. “[But] you don’t want to use that as an excuse. It’s an opportunity for guys to step up, myself included, and we didn’t get it done tonight.”
Van Riemsdyk and Gostisbehere scored their fourth goals in the last eight games, and Hayes (two assists, six shots) had a strong game against his former team.
Other than that, it was difficult to find any positives.
The Flyers will try to regroup at home. They need their top line — Couturier centering Giroux and Voracek — to show the way. The unit produced just one goal on the three-game trip.