Flyers Goalie Makes History in Comeback Win

Rob Zepp, who was originally picked in the 1999 draft, made his NHL debut last night — and won, thanks to a furious Flyers comeback.

Flyers goalie Rob Zepp became the oldest goalie to win his NHL debut since 1926 as the Philadelphia Flyers rallied for a 4-3 overtime win over the Winnipeg Jets last night. Zepp turned 33 in September.

The Flyers trailed, 3-1, in the third period, but a pair of goals from Vincent Lecavalier — just his third and fourth of the year — tied it for Philly. After Claude Giroux knocked the puck away from the Jets’ Dustin Byfuglien, Jakub Voracek scored just 10 seconds into overtime to give the Flyers their first overtime win since October 28th.

Zepp, 33,a career minor leaguer, made his first NHL start due to two reasons: Top goalie Steve Mason injured his back in practice last week, and the Flyers were playing the second game of a back-to-back on Sunday. Ray Emery played in the Flyers’ 7-4 win on Saturday.

Zepp has played for six teams in the minors and Europe since being taken by the Atlanta Thrashers — now, coincidentally, the Winnipeg Jets — in the 1999 NHL Draft. He spent time in Europe, but returned to North America before this season. He has mainly played this season for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, the Flyers’ minor-league affiliate.

“I think that’s the beauty of sports,” Flyers defenseman Marc Streit told the Daily News postgame. “Everywhere you look, there’s always exceptions to the rule. Some guys make it to the NHL at 18 or 19 years old and some guys have to stick with it and work a lot harder. I think it’s important. Guys like him never lose sight of their goal. They always believe in themselves.”

[AP | Daily News]