By Sam Bush
Andreas Athanasiou tied the game midway through the third period and had the only score in the shootout, helping the DetroitRed Wings snap a five-game losing streak with a 3-2 victory over the Flyers.
Tomas Tatar also scored for Detroit, which ended a 12-game regular season losing streak in Philly dating to Jan. 25, 1997. The Red Wings did win the first two games of the 1997 Stanley Cup Final in on their way to a four-game sweep.
“I’d focus more on this year,” Blashill said. “The other one has not a whole lot to do with this team.”
The Red Wings had lost three contests during their skid by one goal.
“I thought we played well at times in those five games, but we weren’t getting results,” Blashill said. “You play good, you have to find a way to get results. And we found a way tonight.”
Sean Couturier and Claude Giroux scored and Jakub Voracek had a pair of assists for the Flyers.
In the shootout, all three Flyers skaters — Travis Konecny, Giroux and Voracek — missed.
“It’s a valuable point (lost),” Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said.
After Gustav Nyquist and Frans Nielsen misfired for Detroit, Athanasiou beatSteve Mason on the backhand. Athanasiou pumped his fist along the side boards as his teammates came out to congratulate him.
“It’s definitely a good feeling to end the losing slump and get back on the right track,” Athanasiou said. “You can see the spirits are already high.”
Couturier made it 2-1 off a setup by Voracek 6:51 into the third period. After his wraparound attempt was denied by Jimmy Howard, Voracek sent the puck back in front of the net and Couturier poked it home for his fourth goal of the season but first in 11 games.
Athanasiou tied it with 8:47 left when he raced past Flyers defensemen Brandon Manning and Radko Gudas before deking around Mason with a forehand shot.
“I saw a little space,” Athanasiou said. “Fortunately enough, I got through.”
Said Hakstol: “The pace and speed he attacks with is hard to handle.”
Mason, making his first start since Oct. 29, made 33 saves.
“I thought (Mason) was excellent,” Hakstol said.
Howard made consecutive starts for the first time this season after making 26 stops in Detroit’s 2-1 home loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday. He stopped 23 shots.
The Flyers recorded a 4-3 overtime win over Detroit last Tuesday in Philadelphia.
Giroux gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal 6 1/2 minutes in. Voracek sent a cross-ice pass to Giroux and the Flyers captain went to his knees as he one-timed it high over Howard’s left shoulder.
The Red Wings answered just over two minutes later when Tatar netted his second goal of the season after a Flyers miscue. Brandon Manning attempted to clear the puck from next to his own goal but it was blocked by Henrik Zetterberg, who set up Tatar from behind the net for the point-blank shot.