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Game Analysis: Flyers At Hurricanes

The Carolina Hurricanes snapped their five-game skid with some heroics: first in the last minute of regulation, and then in overtime. With Justin Peters — who made 28 saves for this first win of the season — pulled, Jordan Staal scored to tie the game with 53 seconds left. Then Manny Malhotra got his first goal with the Canes in overtime, finishing off a breakaway he created to give Carolina a 2-1 win at home.

Justin Peters earned his first win of the season Tuesday against Philadelphia.
Justin Peters earned his first win of the season Tuesday against Philadelphia.
Jamie Kellner

It took the Hurricanes more than 59 minutes to get a shot past Philadelphia’s Steve Mason, but it was enough to force overtime. Then Carolina newcomer Manny Malhotra finished the job, scoring his first goal with the team after he created and finished a breakaway to give the Canes a 2-1 win that snapped a five-game losing streak.

Three Observations

1. The Carolina Hurricanes didn't solve all their problems Tuesday night, but the feel-good game-winner by Malhotra could be exactly what the team needs to get out of its funk. For the first time since Elias Lindholm scored his first career goal Oct. 10 in Washington, the Hurricanes, as a team, showed some uninhibited joy after getting a big goal. Carolina went on to earn the win that night and got points in four of the next five games as well. Could Malhotra’s goal send the Canes on a similar run? They need it to.

2. Justin Peters earned his first win and was the game’s first star for his efforts, making the key stops when needed. Did he get a little luck in facing a team even more snake-bitten than the Canes? Sure. Are his rebound issues going away any time soon? Probably not. But for the first time since he became Carolina’s de facto starter, Peters' teammates can maybe play their system without being overly protective of the guy in net.

3. For all of Philadelphia’s issues, they are still a physical team. The defense — led by brutes Nicklas Grossmann and Braydon Coburn — relishes punishing forwards. Carolina matched that intensity and physicality Tuesday. Tuomo Ruutu, while not a threat offensively, was arguably as abrasive as he's been in more than a year. Brett Bellemore played a la Grossman and Coburn, making Flyers forwards pay for coming into the Carolina end. And Malhotra made the biggest hit of all, separating Mark Streit from the puck at center ice and springing himself for a breakaway pass from Ron Hainsey to give Carolina the win.

Number To Know

11:26 — Drayson Bowman's ice time, the lowest recorded by any Hurricanes player in Tuesday's win. It was the first time this season that every Carolina player played double-digit minutes — in fact, in the team’s previous 14 games this year the Canes had at least two players, often three, play less than 10 minutes. The more balanced ice time had Carolina looking fresher as the game progressed: the Canes outshot the Flyers 16-9 in the third period and overtime.


Jordan Staal — Not only did the younger Staal get the game-tying goal with just 53 seconds remaining, but he won 10 of 16 faceoffs and would have scored shorthanded in the first were it not for a fantastic blocker save by Mason. Staal's ice time has decreased the past three games (he played a season-low 16:36 Tuesday) in favor of a more evenly distributed, four-line attack, but he made his presence felt when it was most needed.


Nathan Gerbe — I tweeted yesterday that Gerbe is one of the few Hurricanes players who seems to engage in post-whistle scrums, and he usually does so to stand up for himself — surely a necessity if you're 5-5 trying to make it in the NHL. But his in-front-of-the-net brawl with Streit late in the third period cost Carolina on the scoreboard, with Gerbe earning an extra minor and the Flyers eventually converting on the power play for a 1-0 lead.