PHILADELPHIA -- One night after allowing four third-period goals in a lopsided loss in Toronto, Steve Mason redeemed himself with a 19-save effort in relief of Michal Neuvirth in the Philadelphia Flyers' 3-2 win over the Minnesota Wild on Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center. Mason's biggest save of the night came with about 5 seconds remaining in regulation when he flashed out his left pad to stop Wild center Eric Staal at the side of the net. The stop allowed Brayden Schenn's third-period goal to stand up as the game-winner. "It is something to build off," said Mason, who entered the game with one of the NHL's worst save percentages (.874). "It's tiring being embarrassed game after game, 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." The Flyers snapped a three-game losing streak with the win, while the Wild lost for the third time in four games. Philadelphia (7-7-2) also received goals from defensemen Brandon Manning and Michael Del Zotto. Nino Niederreiter and Mikael Granlund scored for the Wild (7-5-1). Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said he was happy to see his goalie respond, even it was an unplanned appearance. "I hope it continues to boost his confidence," Hakstol said, "but Mase has nothing to be embarrassed about. 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 had to pick that piece up a little bit." Wild coach Bruce Boudreau appreciated Mason's late save on Staal but did not like his team's overall effort. "It was a great save coming across, but that sense of urgency shouldn't happen just in the last three minutes of the game," Boudreau said. Schenn's power-play goal was his first since Oct. 27 and snapped a seven-game goal drought. It came with Wild captain Mikko Koivu off for tripping Flyers left wing Michael Raffl. With Schenn driving to the net, Flyers right wing Wayne Simmonds put a between-the-legs pass from behind the Wild net onto the stick of Schenn. Schenn, whose goals have come on the power play, lifted a shot over Devan Dubnyk (6-4-1). "I don't know if that's how we'd like to execute it," Dubnyk said, noting defenseman Jared Spurgeon chasing Simmonds below the goal line. "You usually aren't going to go at a guy behind the net there." The Wild had a chance to tie it when Flyers center Pierre-Edouard Bellemare took an interference penalty on Koivu, but they could not manage a shot on the man-advantage. Mason entered the game in the second period after Neuvirth was injured in the opening period. Neuvirth was slow to get to his feet after a scramble midway through the period, but finished the session. The two teams traded second-period goals to enter the third locked in a 2-2 tie. Granlund gave Minnesota its second lead of the game 11:22 into the period with his third goal of the season. Minnesota captain Mikko Koivu did most of the work on the goal, avoiding an attempted check by Flyers captain Claude Giroux, then turning Del Zotto inside out with a move into the slot. Koivu's shot rang off the crossbar and caromed to Granlund, who deposited the rebound past Mason. The Flyers challenged the goal, saying the Wild were offside on the play, but replays showed that Koivu waited for teammate Chris Stewart to exit the zone before touching the puck. Del Zotto redeemed himself when he tied the score with his first goal of the season with 2:15 remaining in the second period. Del Zotto started a rush up the ice with a lead pass to left Raffl, who returned a pass to a streaking Del Zotto, who saw the puck go off his left skate and behind Dubnyk. Both teams came into the game having struggled with slow starts - each had managed to score first just four times this season. The Wild needed just 21 seconds to grab an early lead. After Staal won the opening faceoff, Niederreiter made a bee-line to the net, took a behind-the-net feed from right winger Charlie Coyle, and elevated a shot that rolled up Neuvirth's right shoulder and under the crossbar. The goal was Niederreiter's fourth of the season and the assist was Coyle's sixth. "It was a great first shift," Boudreau said. "After that, we didn't get the puck out of our end for the first period. We didn't win a battle." The Flyers tied the score at the 12:27 mark of the first period on a Manning point shot that snaked through arms and legs before finding its way behind Dubnyk. Manning's goal was his third of the season and came one night after he was made a healthy scratch in Philadelphia's 6-3 loss in Toronto Friday night. NOTES: Wild rookie LW Joel Eriksson Ek left the game just 20 seconds into the contest when he was struck in the chin with a shot but returned for the second period. ... The Wild and Flyers don't meet again until March 23 in St. Paul. ... Flyers D Nick Schultz, who was the second draft pick in the Wild's history (33rd overall in 2000), was a healthy scratch for the Flyers, allowing D Brandon Manning to return to the lineup after sitting out Friday night in Toronto. LW Roman Lyubimov was also a healthy scratch, replaced by LW Michael Raffl. ... Wild RW Cristoph Bertschy returned to the lineup in place of RW Zack Mitchell. ... Wild backup G Darcy Kuemper (1-1-0) is expected to get the start in Ottawa on Sunday night when the Wild conclude their four-game road swing. ... Wild LW Zach Parise missed his fifth straight game with a lower body injury. The Wild are hoping to have him return to the lineup Tuesday night a home against the Calgary Flames or Thursday night at home against Boston Bruins. ... The Flyers continue their four-game homestand Tuesday night against the Ottawa Senators.
Schenn's goal lifts Flyers over Wild
The Sports Xchange | Nov 12