Lecavalier ends drought as Flyers beat Penguins

PITTSBURGH - This is not an April Fools' Day joke: Flyers goalie Steve Mason recorded a road victory and Vinny Lecavalier scored a goal Wednesday night.

Both were a long time in the making.

The Flyers, with Brayden Schenn scoring a pair of goals, registered a 4-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Consol Energy Center, their first road win since Feb. 15 in Buffalo.

Lecavalier scored his first goal since Jan. 3, and Mason recorded just his second road victory this season. The other was Dec. 6 in Los Angeles.

Actually, it shouldn't be too surprising that the struggling Flyers beat the playoff-bound Penguins - who are tied with the Islanders for second place in the Metropolitan Division - in Pittsburgh.

Remarkably, the Flyers are 13-2-1 (11-1-1 in the regular season) at the Consol Energy Center since it opened in 2010.

Poll

Which rebuilding team will reach the playoffs first?

"Wish we had more games here," coach Craig Berube cracked after the Flyers went to 3-0 overall this season against the Penguins, who visit the Wells Fargo Center on Sunday.

The Flyers, who ended a nine-game road losing streak, have not had a perfect record against Pittsburgh since they went 7-0 in 1983-84.

It was also the Flyers' seventh straight victory over the Penguins, who played without injured center Evgeni Malkin and had just five defensemen because of injuries and salary-cap problems.

"Solid team effort, from the goalie on out. The most important thing is, it was nice to give Mase some run support on the road," said Schenn, using a baseball analogy. The Flyers had scored two goals or fewer in Mason's previous 19 road games this season.

"I think we were great tonight," said Mason, who had an ice pack on his surgically repaired right knee. "I wasn't really called upon to do anything spectacular and that's a credit to everyone in front of me. They really took their time and space away."

Sean Couturier and Brandon Manning had brief possession as they charged into the zone, and Schenn picked up the loose puck in the slot and beat Marc-Andre Fleury to put the Flyers ahead, 2-1, with 7 minutes, 17 seconds left in the second period.

"A couple of lucky bounces at the feet and the puck popped right to me," said Schenn, who had his fourth two-goal game of the season. He has 41 points, equaling a career high, and 16 goals. "I'll definitely take those."

Early in the third period, goals by Schenn - a power-play redirection off a Jake Voracek feed - and Carlo Colaiacovo made it 4-1. Colaiacovo was inadvertently hit in the mouth by Blake Comeau's stick just after he scored, but he returned to the game.

Sidney Crosby's 300th career goal, a rebound he put to the short side, gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead just 3:29 into the game. It gave Crosby 80 points, tops in the NHL. Voracek is tied for second with 77 points.

Since Pittsburgh was just 1-7-2 in the last 10 home games in which it scored first against the Flyers, the visiting team didn't seem concerned by Crosby's 31st goal in 51 career games against the Orange and Black.

Lecavalier scored on a rebound - his first goal in 28 games - to tie the score at 1 with 2:46 left in the opening period.

Center Pierre-Edouard Bellemare took the initial shot on a set play off a faceoff.

"We just needed to win the puck back," Lecavalier said. "We had two guys going to the net, one low taking the Ds and [Bellemare] up high. It was a great play by Belly."

Before the win, Lecavalier talked about breaking his scoring drought and going into the offseason in a positive mind frame.

"I want to finish strong. I'd like to get one. It's all about confidence and seeing the net," he said. "When you haven't scored in a long time" it weighs on you.

The Flyers are 10-20-10 on the road. They'll finish the road portion of their schedule Saturday afternoon in Carolina.

 


scarchidi@phillynews.com