Some people were probably thinking the game would end in a scoreless tie, but Manny Malhotra scored his first goal of the season with 2:20 left in overtime to lead the Carolina Hurricanes to a 2-1, overtime win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night in front of 15,519 at the PNC Arena.
After two scoreless periods of hockey, it looked like the Hurricanes were once again going to find a way to lose.
With just under five minutes left in the game, Nathan Gerbe was getting hammered in front of the Flyers net and he lost his cool. Gerbe turned and retaliated on Mark Streit, taking the defenseman down to the ice.
The Cane was given two minor penalties while Streit was given one, and Philadelphia took full advantage during the ensuing powerplay as Scott Hartnell tipped in a Kimmo Timonen shot from the point to give the visitors a 1-0 lead with just 3:58 left in the game.
But the home team did not give up.
With a bit more than a minute left in the game, Justin Peters was called to the bench for the extra attacker. Jiri Tlusty got the puck to Eric Staal, who was behind the net and the captain found his brother Jordan, in front with a perfect pass.
Jordan finally was able to bury his chance to tie the game with just 53 seconds left. It was his second goal of the season.
In the overtime, both teams went back and forth until Malhotra was able to break free. The newest member of the Canes stood up a Flyer with a body check at center ice and then found himself alone at the blueline. Ron Hainsey fed him a perfect pass and Malhotra was able to shield the pursuit and turned on some speed, while showing some skill as he backhanded it past Steve Mason, who had played an excellent game this night.
Up until the penalty, the Canes had actually gotten the better of the play for most of the third period and outshot the visitors, 14-7. Carolina had 38 shots to 29 for the Flyers for the game.
Justin Peters also played well in this one and did not seem to give up as many rebounds as previous nights. The one goal allowed was on a tough deflection, certainly not a softie. Peters was named as the game's first star.
The Hurricanes will try to build on this and will next face the New York Islanders at home on Thursday night.
- Not only did Malhotra get the game winning goal, he once again had a team high 64% in the faceoff circle. The team finished at 59% for the game.
- Alexander Semin had a team high six shots on goal and had another eight that were either blocked or missed the net, (four each). Gerbe was next highest with five.
- Ryan Murphy had a team high 24:55 of ice time. The rookie makes some mistakes at times but also shows flashes of greatness. On one play, he broke his stick on a shot during a powerplay chance, but then broke up the ensuing odd man rush with a hip check. (Yes, that hip check).
- Tuomo Ruutu looked more like his former self and had a team high eight hits. Brett Bellemore was next with six.
- Malhotra and Jay Harrison each had a team high four blocked shots. Ruutu had three.