James van Riemsdyk had the fourth hat trick of his career, Nolan Patrick scored for the first time in 25 games, and the Flyers’ power-play ended an 0-for-14 drought.
Put it all together and you have….
A rare Flyers victory Monday.
Patrick scored a pair of second-period goals to erase a 3-2 deficit and spark the Flyers to a 7-4 win over the Minnesota Wild at the Wells Fargo Center.
It was the Flyers' second win in their last 11 games.
Wayne Simmonds contributed a pair of goals for the Flyers, who iced the win when van Riemsdyk scored an empty-net goal to complete his hat trick with 1 minute, 17 seconds remaining.
Patrick, who finished with a career-high four points and a plus-4 rating, ended a 24-game drought as he backhanded a shot from the left circle past Devan Dubnyk to tie the score at 3 with 15:01 left in the second period. It was his first goal since Nov. 10 against Chicago.
“Obviously, it feels good,” said Patrick, who has been on the phone daily with his father, Steve, a former NHL player, to help him get through the slump. “I’ll be honest, it weighs on you quite a bit. ... You just have to believe in yourself and keep trying to do things to help the team.”
After scoring, Patrick glanced at teammate Scott Laughton, who set up the goal with a saucer pass.
“I was wondering if he was going to grab the puck for me or not,” Patrick cracked. “We were just joking around about that. Like I said, it’s nice to get over that slump and get back on the score sheet.”
With 4:32 to go in the second, Patrick gave the Flyers their first lead of the night. Travis Sanheim’s point drive caromed off the end boards, and Patrick jumped on the rebound and put a through-the-legs shot into the net, giving his team a 4-3 lead.
“I practiced that in the summer when I was goofing around on the ice and also at the end of skates,” Patrick said of the tricky shot. “It’s something you really don’t get a chance to do much in games.”
The lead grew to 5-3 as Simmonds, open in front, took a a slick feed from Laughton and knocked in his 14th goal of the season with 5.2 seconds to go in the second.
The line of Laughton (three assists), Patrick, and Simmonds finished with a combined four goals and five assists for nine points.
Dubnyk, who allowed five goals on 20 shots, was replaced by Alex Stalock to start the third period.
With 11:42 remaining in regulation, Minnesota got to within 5-4 when a puck bounced off Ryan Suter and got past Carter Hart (34 saves), who was bumped into by Eric Staal. The goal was waved off for incidental contact, but the Wild won the video-review challenge -- it was ruled that Robert Hagg pushed Staal into Hart -- and the score counted.
Simmonds' 15th goal of the season increased the lead to 6-4 as he scored on a breakaway with 9:17 left.
“I keep saying, ‘We’re working hard, but we’re not working smart.’ I thought we did both tonight,” Simmonds said.
After a timeout by interim coach Scott Gordon, the Flyers overcame a 2-0 deficit with two goals from van Riemsdyk to send the teams into the first intermission tied at 2-all.
Van Riemsdyk, on a new-look power-play unit that used five forwards, tipped in Jake Voracek’s point drive to cut the Wild’s lead to 2-1 with 7:56 left in the first. The goal snapped the Flyers’ 0 for 14 power-play funk.
“It’s a little bit of a curveball for the other team,” Claude Giroux [two assists] said about the unusual five-forward power-play lineup.
With 1:12 to go in the first, Giroux’s shot from above the right circle caromed off van Riemsdyk’s left skate and through the legs of Dubnyk. It gave van Riemsdyk five goals in his last seven games and it knotted the score at 2-2.
“He’s doing what he’s good at right now,” Giroux said about van Riemsdyk. “He’s using his speed and his body. It’s definitely a treat to play with him.”