Pavel Datsyuk returned after a four game absence to score twice leading the Detroit Red Wings past the Philadelphia Flyers 5-2 Wednesday night.
Stephen Weiss, who was playing in just his second game since returning from a groin injury, scored a goal and added an assist. Tomas Jurco and Henrik Zetterberg had the other Detroit goals.
Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek had the Flyers goals.
Steve Mason was saddled with the loss after allowing three goals on 14 shots.
Jimmy Howard improved to 10-4-4 with a 22 save performance.
When Michael Raffl hurt his foot blocking a shot on Nov. 4, the Flyers said he’d be out 4-6 weeks.
Twenty-two days later, he’s back.
Well, Raffl appears to be back — on Wednesday, he skated on a line with Wayne Simmonds and Scott Laughton prior to Philly’s game in Detroit, looking like a guy that’s ready to play for the first time in eight contests.
More, from the Courier-Post:
In skates, the Austrian looks fine. Without his walking boot or hockey skate, his right foot is still in pain. Doctors told him he wouldn’t be risking further injury if he played as long as he can tolerate the pain.
“It’s actually nicer being in the skate or in the boot,” said Raffl, who had six goals and an assist in his first 12 games. “It’s actually fine in the skate.”
At the time of his injury, Raffl was tied for the team lead in goals (six) and had emerged as one of the Flyers’ best forwards. The 25-year-old Austrian had been promoted to the top line alongside Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek; now, he’ll get a shot playing with Laughton — who’s been getting a steady increase in minutes from head coach Craig Berube — and Simmonds, the team’s current goalscoring leader (with eight).
A night after Flyers GM Ron Hextall called his team’s performance “embarrassing” following a 2-0 loss in New York, Philadelphia responded with a 3-2 home ice loss to the Minnesota Wild Thursday.
Jason Zucker scored the game-winner with 46 seconds remaining in the third. Nino Niederreiter and Marco Scandella had the others for Minnesota, who stretched its’ win streak to four games.
“We didn’t let our guard down,” Flyers’ coach Craig Berube told CSNPhilly.com post-game. “We played well. We took the play to them most of the game. We made two mistakes in the third period we shouldn’t make and it cost us two goals. But if we play like that we’ll win a lot of hockey games. That’s got to be the focus.
“It’s not good enough, we lost. But that’s the way we got to play. That’s the competitiveness we are looking for.”
Mark Streit and captain Claude Giroux had the goals for the Flyers.
“We played the right way and had a lot of chances to score and defensively we played well too,” Giroux said. “It’s obviously frustrating for them to score there in the last minute.”
Darcy Kuemper made 37 saves improving to 9-5-0 on the season while Ray Emery stopped 26 shots in the loss.
Philadelphia lost forward Chris VandeVelde to a lower body injury early in the third period. The team announced post-game that he is day-to-day.
The Philadelphia Flyers got off to an awful start last season, going 4-10-1 in their first 15, and still managed to fight back and make the playoffs.
While they haven’t dug quite so deep a hole this season (7-8-2), as Halford already mentioned this morning, their next 10 games will be a challenge:
Seven of 10 on the road, where the Flyers are 2-6-0 so far.
Nine of 10 against teams that made the playoffs last season. (Only the Islanders missed. And the Islanders aren’t looking like they’ll miss this season.)
True, there are a couple against Columbus, which is really hurting right now. And it’s not like the Rangers have been lights out.
But it won’t be enough to just win the games the Flyers are supposed to win. They need to make up ground, and in order to do that, they need to play considerably better than they’ve been playing.
Consider: the Flyers have been outshot in their last six games, including last night’s 2-0 loss in New York that made GM Ron Hextall so furious. Based on score-adjusted Corsi, Philadelphia is the fifth-worst puck possession team in the NHL, ahead of only Toronto, Calgary, Colorado and Buffalo.
“We kinda sat back,” captain Claude Giroux said of the Rangers game. “We had our chances in the third period. … I know I can play better. We got to find a way to get our game going here.”
Next up for the Flyers? A home date tonight against the Wild, with Minnesota rolling into town on a three-game winning streak.
Kevin Klein and Rick Nash had the New York goals as the Rangers avoided going four straight without a win blanking the Philadelphia Flyers 2-0 Wednesday night.
Cam Talbot made 31 saves for the shutout.
The Rangers held the Flyers to under 10 shots in each of the first two periods.
Post-game both Flyers head coach Craig Berube and GM Ron Hextall were heard voicing their displeasure over a lack of pushback.
Philadelphia has now lost three straight while being out-scored by a 12-6 margin.
Flyers captain Claude Giroux, who was expected to miss the game due to a suspected ankle injury, played nearly 26 minutes registering four shots on goal. Philadelphia defenseman Michael Del Zotto left the game early in the third period with an undisclosed injury.
Steve Mason, who was run over by teammate Braydon Coburn in the final minute of the second period, made 32 saves while seeing his record drop to 3-6-1 on the season.