The Philadelphia Flyers extended their mastery over the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night with a closely fought, 2-1 win at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
Special teams was the difference as the Flyers scored both of their goals while with a man advantage. The Canes went 0-5 with their chances.
The victory now gives the Flyers nine straight wins over Carolina and they also have a 15-0-3 record in their last 18 games against the club.
The opening period was a slow moving one for the Hurricanes as they seemed happy to concentrate on defense. They had a total of two shots on goal in the first 18 minutes, but they were able to generate three more in the final two minutes during an end of period powerplay.
The Flyers only had seven shots on goal themselves, but they controlled the puck most of the time in that opening period and generated more offense. The Canes came up big with 11 blocked shots in the first period alone.
Both teams picked up their skating in the second period and were able to produce more shots and chances. Goalies Brian Boucher and Cam Ward were both equal to the task though as the score stayed scoreless after two periods.
But things opened up more in the third period.
Just 18 seconds into it, Jeff Carter got the scoring started for the home team when he wristed a seemingly harmless shot on Ward. It looked like the Carolina goalie had the puck in his glove for a moment, but it somehow slipped into the net to break up the scoreless tie.
The Flyers made it a two goal lead when Danny Briere scored right at the doorstep during another powerplay. It's a shot that Briere has made a living on as he roofed the puck over Ward at an extreme angle.
The Canes weren't done though as Chad LaRose stole the puck at center ice less than a minute after that score and took it to the net. Tuomo Ruutu was there to knock in the rebound to make it a one goal game.
Try as they might, the Canes could not solve Boucher again and failed to earn a much needed point.
Things don't get any easier as Carolina travels to Tampa next to take on the Lightning Saturday night before they battle again with the Thrashers on Sunday.
Quick Stats and Thoughts:
- The Hurricanes can feel better about their defensive performance in this one and the effort was there for much of the game, but they will have to do better than that to beat the Flyers. The Canes get another shot at them next week Friday on Rod Brind`Amour night.
- There were several penalties called in this game, yet there should have been a few more called that weren't. Jeff Skinner continues to lead the league in penalties drawn. He drew two more in this game, and should have drawn a third when he was hit in the face with a high stick that was apparently not seen by refs.
- The Canes powerplay seemed out of synch most of the night as they went 0-for-5.
- After the slow start, the team still ended up with 32 shots on goal. Chad LaRose and Eric Staal led the way with six each.
- After getting 11 blocks in the opening period, the team finished with 16 for the game. Jay Harrison had a team high three.
- Carolina was credited with 24 hits. The club was led by Erik Cole and Ruutu with five each.
Post game quotes: