Del Zotto scores 2nd goal in OT to lift Flyers past Wild 4-3
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Philadelphia Flyers had lost five straight road games, including three during a tough West Coast trip. An unlikely source put an end to those travel woes Thursday night.
Defenseman Michael Del Zotto gave Philadelphia a celebratory flight home.
Del Zotto scored his second goal of the game — and just his third of the season — with 37 seconds left in overtime to send the Flyers to a 4-3 win over the Minnesota Wild.
Sean Couturier scored his fifth goal in nine games and Ryan White also scored to help Philadelphia win its second straight after losing three in a row on its road trip to Anaheim, San Jose and Los Angeles.
“We thought we were playing some pretty good road hockey even before the Christmas break happened; then we went out to California,” said forward Brayden Schenn, who had two assists. “It’s something we’ve got to establish. Obviously you’ve got to win lots of games here on this road trip and on the road in the second half to be successful.”
Steve Mason made 31 saves for the Flyers, who are 17-15-7 this season and just 8-10-3 on the road. They’ve played seven of their last 11 games on the road, but following this one-game trip to Minnesota, Philadelphia returns home for a three-game homestand.
“A little better, a little shorter and a little more fruitful,” Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said.
A game after posting a hat trick against Columbus, Zach Parise scored with 6:24 left to tie it for the Wild. Marco Scandella and Jason Zucker also scored for Minnesota, which has one win in the last four games.
Devan Dubnyk made 32 saves for the Wild, which were coming off a season-long four game trip.
“We looked a little tired, a little slow, myself included,” said Zucker, who has five goals in the last 11 games. “That’s the way it goes sometimes, it’s a long year but I think the guys really responded well.”
Philadelphia entered this one with the league’s second-worst offense at 2.19 goals per game.
Del Zotto and White scored 52 seconds apart in the second period for a two-goal lead. Del Zotto ended the game in overtime on a one-timer from Jakub Voracek. He hadn’t scored since Nov. 27, a span of 13 games.
“I haven’t had a ton of bounces go in for me or anything like that, so it was nice to be able to contribute offensively and help the team win in that department,” Del Zotto said.
Following White’s goal, Minnesota coach Mike Yeo called a time out to jumpstart his team.
Zucker scored unassisted on a breakaway with 4:02 left in the second. The Wild then outshot Philadelphia 13-6 in the third.
“I think it showed the second half of the game that it’s all mental,” Yeo said. “Once we addressed it, the guys, I thought, started to feed off each other’s energy. It takes a lot of character to come back with the schedule that we’ve had.”
The Wild have gone 6-5-1 at home since beginning the season with an 8-1-0 mark on home ice.
NOTES: The Flyers lost defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere to a lower-body injury in the second period. Hakstol had no update on his status after the game. ... Minnesota honored Philadelphia D Nick Schultz with a video tribute and standing ovation during the first period. Schultz is the Wild’s all-time leader in games played with 743. The former Minnesota second-round draft pick is two games away from 1,000 for his career. ... Wild C Mikko Koivu played two days after he was hospitalized with an undisclosed injury in Minnesota’s 4-2 win at Columbus. Koivu hasn’t missed a game this season. ... Flyers F Jordan Weal was a healthy scratch in his first game with the team after being acquired in a trade Wednesday that sent Vincent Lecavalier and Luke Schenn to Los Angeles.