ST. PAUL, Minn. - Embarrassed by being benched for nearly three weeks, veteran Flyers forward Vinny Lecavalier could have sulked, criticized his coach or complained about being used out of position when he was in the lineup.
Instead, he kept his mouth shut, showed the class of his role model, Jean Beliveau, and kept working hard in practices until coach Craig Berube reinserted him into the lineup on Thursday.
Since returning, Lecavalier, 34, has had more "jump" in the last three games, and he keyed the Flyers' second straight comeback win with a pair of third-period goals Sunday night in a 4-3 overtime victory in Winnipeg.
"I just want to play hockey," Lecavalier said the other day. "I love these guys here. I think we're a good bunch of guys . . . and I'm going to work really hard to help the team out."
Lecavalier, who had a game-high six shots Sunday, tipped in Mark Streit's drive early in the third period to cut the deficit to 3-2. With 3 minutes, 14 seconds left in regulation, he scored from the slot after a Jets turnover, knotting the score at 3.
The veteran's first score ended a 14-game slump without a goal, the second-longest of his superb career.
"It's always nice to get one for the confidence," Lecavalier said after the stirring comeback victory. "It seems like the next shift after that, you go out there and you feel better and your vision is better."
Lecavalier played right wing on the fourth line, alongside center Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and left winger Chris VandeVelde.
"That line was really good for us, and really gave us a lot of energy in the third period," Berube said.
VandeVelde, who replaced the injured Zac Rinaldo, nearly scored early in the third period, but his shot hit the crossbar and the post and managed to stay out of the net.