Zepp gets win in NHL debut as Flyers beat Jets 4-3
WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) Rob Zepp was more than willing to work overtime for his first win.
Zepp made 25 saves in his NHL debut and Jakub Voracek scored 10 seconds into overtime, sending the Philadelphia Flyers to a 4-3 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday night.
Zepp, who was called up from Lehigh Valley of the American Hockey League, became the oldest goalie to win his NHL debut since 41-year-old Hugh Lehman accomplished the feat in 1926.
''As calm as you try to be, when you wait this long and you get out on the ice, I'm not going to lie I didn't feel like myself in the first 10 minutes,'' said Zepp, who spent the previous seven seasons in Germany.
''And it was a little complicated too because (the Jets) were flying out there. I don't remember much from the first 10 minutes but I was able to get my feet under me and play more of my game.''
Zepp got the victory when Voracek and linemate Claude Giroux forced a Dustin Byfuglien turnover behind the Winnipeg net, and Voracek slid the puck through Ondrej Pavelec's pads for his second goal of the game.
''It was a good forecheck by (Giroux),'' Voracek said. ''He put pressure on (Byfuglien) right after the faceoff and as soon as I saw it bounce over his stick I knew I was going to have an opportunity to take it to the net.''
Vincent Lecavalier also scored twice for the Flyers, who rallied from a 3-1 deficit.
Matt Halischuk, Mathieu Perreault and Byfuglien had Winnipeg's goals. Pavelec made 19 saves.
Lecavalier tied the game with 3:14 remaining when he sent a high shot over Pavelec's blocker after a failed clearing attempt by Winnipeg defenseman Jay Harrison.
''The way the guys battled in the third period was unbelievable,'' Zepp said. ''I appreciate this more than anybody knows. This is 26 years trying to get here. And to be able to get here and play and the game wasn't perfect, obviously, but to get the win at the end like that is incredible.''
The Jets played for a second game without their top four defensemen, all of whom are out until at least January. Byfuglien, who was moved back to his natural position on the blue line after starting the season as a forward, led the team with almost 27 minutes of ice time.
''We're just starting this process,'' Jets coach Paul Maurice said of his team adapting to all its injuries. ''I'm not going to read a trend into it. We're going to talk about what happened.''
Halischuk said the Jets weren't as aggressive in the third period as they had been in building their lead.
''I think we came off our gap a little bit and gave them too much time and space,'' he said. ''When that happens you spend a little more time in your zone.''
Voracek opened the scoring just 46 seconds into the game when he one-timed a pass from Giroux on a 2-on-1 rush for his 13th goal of the season. Voracek leads the NHL with 44 points, two better than Tyler Seguin of Dallas.
Halischuk's slap shot from the top of the right faceoff circle made it 1-1 at 6:38 of the first. It was his first goal of the season.
Byfuglien then put the Jets in front 55 seconds later when he drove in from the right point, cut to the front of the net and shoveled the puck over Zepp's shoulder.
Winnipeg held a 17-9 shot advantage after the first period.
Perrault scored at 11:21 of the second, corralling the rebound from a Michael Frolik shot at the side of the net and putting it past Zepp to make it 3-1.
NOTES: Philadelphia was coming off a 7-4 win at Toronto on Saturday night. It improved to 2-0 on an eight-game road trip. ... The Jets alternated goalies for the 13th straight game. Rookie Michael Hutchinson leads the NHL with a .940 save percentage and a goals-against average of 1.73.