PHILADELPHIA – The mystery of the home slump had to end some time and the Flyers decided Thursday would be the night.
After taking a 2-0 lead against the Arizona Coyotes, the Flyers gave up four straight goals to trail 4-2 going into the third period.
But Dale Weise completed a two-goal comeback in the third period to tie the score with just 2:13 to play.
Earlier, Scott Laughton scored his second goal of the game to cut the Arizona lead to 4-3.
Eventually, the Flyers won the game, 5-4, in overtime at the Wells Fargo Center on a goal by Shayne Gostisbehere at 1:01 of the extra session.
Weise, who scored his first goal of the season on what amounted to a semi-breakaway, was a rather unlikely hero.
“That’s huge for our team, that comeback,’’ Weise said. “It (the tying goal) feels great. The situation, tying the game, makes it better. I’m not a guy who stresses over points. I’ve been all around it (the net), I know it’s going to come.’’
The Flyers took that early 2-0 lead on goals by Travis Konecny and Scott Laughton but the advantage didn’t hold up for long.
Arizona got one back in the first, then three more quickies in the first 6:38 of the second, including those two shorthanded markers on the same Flyers’ power play.
The first shorthanded goal came when Shayne Gostisbehere fumbled the puck at his own blue line. That resulted in a breakaway for Derek Stepan and he made no mistake, beating starting goaltender Cal Pickard at 6:14.
But it was Gostisbehere who made up for it by sending Weise on the breakaway. Then, in the overtime, he blasted home the winner.
“I knew it was an offensive guy up there with the puck,’’ Gostisbehere explained of the Weise play. “I blocked it (the clear), it was an easy pass and he did the rest. Heck of a finish.’’
Things were looking bleak when the Flyers allowed a second shorthanded goal on that infamous power play early in the second period.
Arizona’s Michael Grabner pulled ahead of Jake Voracek on a race to a backtracking puck and scored against Pickard.
At that point, coach Dave Hakstol pulled Pickard in favor of Brian Elliott, making his first start since sitting out two games with a head injury sustained in practice on the road trip.
The Flyers have now allowed four shorthanded goals this season and scored zero.
Down by two, Laughton scored his second goal of the game at 2:21 of the third to cut the Coyote lead to one.
Then came the Weise goal, followed by the Gostisbehere winner.
“It was a character win,’’ Hakstol said. “That’s what tonight was. Coming off a long west coast trip, playing a couple days later, whatever it is, there are going to be some tough moments, some sloppy play.
“That put us in a bad spot. But guys had the resilience, the push, the drive, the togetherness to turn it around. We can take a ton of positives out of it.’’
Philadelphia scored first for the fifth straight game when Konecny connected at 1:18. He finished off a lead-in pass from Claude Giroux, lifting a high backhander past Darcy Kuemper.
Laughton made it 2-0 at 5:47. Laughton took control in the slot, spun and backhanded a shot into the net.
But Arizona came back at 8:30. Defenseman Oliver Eckman-Larsson’s long shot eluded Pickard during a Coyote power play.
It was the ninth straight game the Flyers have allowed a power-play goal.
The Flyers came into the game 4-1-1 when scoring first.
Hakstol praised his team for not quitting when it easily could have.
“We give up two shorties in a few seconds, give up a lead and all of a sudden you’re looking down by two,’’ Hakstol said. “But the guys didn’t let that (a loss) happen. Rather than looking at their toes on the bench, guys were ticked off about what just happened.’’
Others confirmed that.
“I thought our period was one of our best of the year,’’ Laughton said. “We found a way to win and that’s a big win for our group.’’
Ivan Provorov liked the way the team responded from the adversity.
“We would like to take the lead the whole game,’’ he said. “But it (the comeback) shows character. The team did a great job coming back.’’
Giroux played in his 754th game as a Flyer, tying Chris Therien for fourth place on the Flyers’ all-time list. . .The Flyers return for the second game of this five-game homestand on Saturday when they play host to the Chicago Blackhawks.