Claude Giroux tied the game in the second period for the Flyers.
By Sam Bush
The Flyers 2014-15 season is starting to resemble a black hole with losses mounting and execs pitching fits to try to jump-start this moribund team.
And the Detroit Red Wings made things a little blacker Wednesday night in Detroit.
Pavel Datsyuk iscored twice in his return from an injury to lead the Red Wings to a 5-2 victory over the Flyers on Wednesday night.
The Flyers are mired in 13th place in the Eastern Conference with an 8-10-3 record for 19 points.
Datsyuk, who’d missed Detroit’s last four games with a sore groin, sent a slap shot over Steve Mason’s shoulder in the second period to give the Red Wings their third goal and chase the goalie, who was pulled after making just 11 saves.
“I feel good,” Datsyuk said after his 33 career multi-goal game. “I had not played many games, and it feels like I had a lot of energy.”
Datsyuk knocked a rebound past Ray Emery late in the period to send the Wings to intermission up 4-1.
The Red Wings are 6-1-1 in games the center has missed, but “I don’t think you can ever go wrong with having Datsyuk in your lineup,” coach Mike Babcock said.
Tomas Jurco put back a rebound halfway through the second to give Detroit the lead for good and Henrik Zetterberg scored an empty-net goal in the final two minutes.
Jimmy Howard made 22 saves as Detroit won its second straight. Emery finished with nine saves.
Detroit got the game’s first goal midway through the first after Stephen Weiss tapped Darren Helm’s shot past Mason.
Weiss, who scored twice in his return from a long absence in Monday’s 4-3 win over Ottawa, joined Datsyuk and Helm on a three-center line. He said figuring out each other’s tendencies takes a backseat when the Russian star is back on the ice.
“That’s usually the case when you play with No. 13,” he said. “He can put the puck in the net. He was fun to play with.
“Helmer and I are trying to hang on to him as long as we can.”
Claude Giroux tied it for Philly early in the second when he turned a neutral-zone takeaway into an unassisted goal.
Jakub Voracek had a power-play goal late in third for the Flyers.
The road loss was a the sixth straight for the Flyers and players held a brief postgame meeting before reporters were allowed into the dressing room. Voracek said the purpose was simple.
“We just talked about the things we need to get better at,” he said.
Coach Craig Berube said other players could be benched if the team’s fortunes don’t improve.
“We had some guys that aren’t competing, and the result’s in goals against. It can’t happen,” he said. “You need everybody on your team competing at the highest level all the time in this league; otherwise, you will not win.”
The Flyers haven’t won away from home since a 5-3 victory at Pittsburgh on Oct. 22.
Detroit’s Kyle Quincey and Philly’s Sean Courturier each served 5-minute fighting penalties after a second-period dustup.