PHILADELPHIA â€” The Philadelphia Flyers overcame a plethora of penalties, a goalie change and some shoddy defence to pick up a much-needed victory.
Claude Giroux scored the only goal in the shootout to lift the Flyers to a 5-4 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday night.
Travis Konecny, Sean Couturier, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Brayden Schenn scored in regulation for the Flyers, who won for just the third time in their last 10 games.
“Not textbook in any shape or form, but we found a way to win and that’s most important,” Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said. “We’ve found a way to lose a point or two in games like this (recently), and tonight we found a way to push for a win in the third period.”
Markus Granlund scored twice in regulation, and Daniel Sedin and Brandon Sutter each had a goal for Vancouver, which lost its third straight – all on the road.
“Four goals, that should be enough,” Sedin said. “I think that’s the bottom line in this game. It’s not a league where you have to score four goals to win, but if you do you should win.”
Michal Neuvirth made 11 saves in the third period and overtime and stopped all three shots in the shootout in relief of Steve Mason, who was lifted after allowing four goals on 24 shots through two periods.
“(Mason) would probably admit there’s probably one more save he can make, but at least equal or more than that, it was time to make a change for our team,” Hakstol said. “(Neuvirth) went in and did a good job.”
Neuvirth denied Granlund, Bo Horvat and Loui Eriksson in the tiebreaker.
Jayson Megna and Troy Stecher had two assists each for the Canucks, who have lost 16 of 21 on the road.
“We certainly weren’t perfect tonight, but I thought our battle level was good,” Canucks coach Willie Desjardins said.
Schenn tied it at 4 just 57 seconds into the third period with his 14th goal of the season and 10th on the power play when he took Giroux’s pass from behind the net and shot the puck off Ryan Miller and into the net.
Sutter put the Canucks in front 4-3 with 7:14 left in the second period to cap a high-scoring 3 1/2 minutes. Sutter took Megna’s pass and beat Mason with a forehand shot from in close. It was the fourth goal combined between the teams over a 3:25 stretch.
Philadelphia started the onslaught with 10:39 left in the period when Bellemare ripped a slap shot past Miller’s glove side after Matt Read stripped Christopher Tanev in the circle and fed Bellemare in the high slot.
Couturier gave the Flyers a 3-2 lead 18 seconds later when he finished a 2-on-1 after a deft pass through the crease from Voracek that set up an easy tap-in.
Granlund registered his second goal of the night 1:22 later to tie it at 3 when he capitalized off a faceoff by getting behind Brandon Manning and shooting through Mason’s five-hole.
Granlund got the first tally of the five-goal period when he scored on a power play off a rebound 1:51 into the period.
Hakstol replaced Mason to start the third period.
“I totally understand where he is coming from and I just have to work at it to get better,” Mason said. “At the end of the day, I just have to be better. I am struggling right now and have to find ways to get back.”
The Canucks spent 8:37 on the power play in the first period thanks in part to consecutive double-minor high sticking penalties to Manning and Michael Del Zotto. Vancouver capitalized midway through the period when Sedin shot a wrister over Mason’s glove from the slot on a 5-on-3.
Philadelphia tied it at 1 with 5:30 left in the period on its own power play after Konecny finished off a nifty assist by Dale Weise, who kicked the puck before batting it out of the air to Konecny right in front of the crease.
The Flyers finished with 16 penalty minutes.
NOTES: The teams complete their two-game season series on Feb. 19 in Vancouver. … The Sedin brothers, Daniel and Henrik, began their NHL careers on Oct. 5, 2000, in Philadelphia. They have combined for 2,397 games. . Philadelphia has won nine of its last 11 at home. . Konecny, a 19-year-old rookie, was shifted to his natural position of right wing for the first time this season.
Canucks: Return home for the first of a three-game homestand on Sunday vs. New Jersey.
Flyers: Play the first of a back-to-back on Saturday afternoon at Boston.
Aaron Bracy, The Associated Press