By Lewis Gould
Brayden Schenn (above) scored the tiebreaking goal at 8:43 of the third period, and Brandon Manning and Michael Del Zotto also scored to help the Flyers snap a three-game skid with a 3-2 win over the Minnesota Wild last night at the Wells..
Steve Mason finished with 19 saves after replacing Michael Neuvirth, who stopped six of seven shots before leaving after the first period due to an apparent injury.
“It’s tiring being embarrassed game after game,” said Mason, who was in goal in a 6-3 loss at Toronto the previous night. “So you just try to find something to build off of. I just have to keep working here. You get two points here and you focus on the next task at hand and that’s exactly what I’m going to do.”
Mason’s last stop was a left pad save on Eric Staal in the closing seconds.
“It was a great save coming across,” Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said, “but that sense of urgency shouldn’t happen just in the last 3 minutes of the game.”
Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said Mason, who had not won since Oct. 25, needed a game like this.
“I hope it continues to boost his confidence, but Mase has nothing to be embarrassed about,” Hakstol said. “He shows up and he battles hard every day. Things might not have gone as well as he would have liked early on, but that’s the game. When one part of the team isn’t going great every other part has to pick that piece up a little bit.”
Nino Niederreiter and Mikael Granlund scored for the Wild, who lost for the third time in four games. Devan Dubnyk had 33 saves.
On the go-ahead score, Wayne Simmonds put a between-the-legs pass from behind the net onto Schenn’s stick and Schenn waited for Dubnyk to go down before firing the puck over him for his third of the season — all on the power play.
The goal snapped Schenn’s seven-game scoring drought and came with Wild captain Mikko Koivu in the penalty box for tripping Flyers left wing Michael Raffl behind the net. The Wild entered the game with the NHL’s fifth-ranked penalty kill, but the Flyers, ranked second on the man-advantage, connected.
Dubnyk said the Wild missed an assignment on Schenn’s goal. They’ve now allowed three power-play goals in the past three games.
“You usually aren’t going to go at a guy behind the net there,” Dubnyk said, referring to defenseman Jared Spurgeon chasing Simmonds behind the net.
The Wild had a chance to tie it when Flyers center Pierre-Edouard Bellemare took an interference penalty on Koivu, but Minnesota did not record a shot on the man-advantage and fell to 2 for 25 on the road this season.
The Wild grabbed a pair of one-goal leads in the opening two periods, only to see the Flyers tie the score.
Niederreiter, who had 20 goals last season, opened the scoring just 21 seconds in when he lifted a pass from right wing Charlie Coyle over Neuvirth’s right shoulder. Neuvirth stopped the next six shots before pulling himself out of the game after the first.
The Flyers tied it with 7:33 left in the period as Manning wristed a shot from the blue line past a screened Dubnyk for his third.
With Mason in, the Wild scored on their fourth shot of the second period to take a 2-1 lead. Koivu started the play by carrying the puck into the offensive zone and making an outside-inside move on Del Zotto. Koivu backhanded a shot off the crossbar and Granlund deposited the rebound for his third.
The Flyers tied the score again with 2:15 remaining in the second on a strong rush up the ice by Del Zotto, who passed it to Michael Raffl and then saw Raffl’s return pass go off his left skate and behind Dubnyk.