The Philadelphia Flyers found a way to knock off the hot-at-home Carolina Hurricanes Tuesday, grinding out a 2-1 win at the RBC Center. Jerome Samson, in his first game of the year with the Canes, scored Carolina's lone goal, the first of his NHL career.
The loss drops Carolina to 14-23-7 with 35 points, last in the Eastern Conference and tied for third-worst in the NHL.
1. Cam Ward may have gotten the loss, but Carolina's goalie had a great night in net. Ward's play with his glove is usually a good indicator of what kind of night he's having, but other than one bobble he squeezed several Flyers shots with his trapper. You can't pin either goal on him — Brayden Schenn's rebound goal came after Ward made a nice save on Wayne Simmonds original shot, while Sean Couturier's game-winner was a perfectly placed shot that was allowed due to a mix-up between Jay Harrison and Justin Faulk.
2. The officiating seemed to go Philadelphia's way Tuesday. While iffy penalties called against Carolina (including a roughing call on Tim Gleason) didn't end up as power play goals for the Flyers, there were times when Philly got calls (tripping call on Staal for taking down Timonen) that Carolina didn't (Tlusty being taken down shortly after the Timonen trip). The Canes' power play seemed to be having a good night, so missing out on those extra-man chances may have cost them the game. Philadelphia typical, right?
3. Gleason and Bryan Allen were reunited on the blue line, likely to assist Brandon Sutter's line with the Flyers' top trio of Claude Giroux, Jaromir Jagr and Scott Hartnell. It seemed to work as Philadelphia's top line was limited to just three shots and finished with no points. In Philly's other two wins this season over the Canes, those three Flyers had a combined six goals and eight assists, but in last night's loss and Carolina's lone win (Nov. 21) in the season series, they were held off the board.
Number To Know
74 — Players who have scored a power play goal in Hurricanes history. Samson joined the list with his first NHL goal Tuesday, knocking in a Faulk rebound to tie the game at 1 in the second period. Among the 12 other players with one career PPG as a Cane include: Pavel Brendl, Mike Zigomanis, Zach Boychuk, Drayson Bowman and Anson Carter. Staal ranks first all-time with 90, while Jeff O'Neill is second with 61. The next active leader behind Staal is Tuomo Ruutu, who has 27 with Carolina.
Jerome Samson — The Carolina youngster — officially no longer considered a rookie — was the Canes' best forward Tuesday, scoring the only goal and nearly tying the game in the third on a nice feed from Staal. Yes, he's a step slow at the NHL level, but his work in the corners is excellent and he has a knack for being in the right place. His five shots led the team — no surprise there, given that he leads the AHL in shots year after year — and he didn't make any mistakes in his own end.
Anthony Stewart — Stewart was all over the ice when given the opportunity, but not necessarily in the way one would like him to be. Stewart's biggest issue — and likely the reason his ice time is limited most nights, regardless of the coach — is that he doesn't seem on task with where he should be on the ice. He has great speed for his size and goes hard, but his propensity for being out of position or turning over the puck makes him a wild card most nights. On Schenn's goal, he had the puck behind the Phily net with Jiri Tlusty feet away, but instead fed the puck to the corner to Staal, who was covered by two Flyers. The result was a rush up ice that led to Schenn's tally.