What started out as an evenly-contested hockey match ended up a blowout as the Carolina Hurricanes, for the third time in five games, allowed four unanswered goals in a 6-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center.
The first fifteen minutes of the scoreless first period were evenly matched. The Canes began to take control of possession during the last five minutes of the period, and headed into intermission carrying a minute-plus of power play into the second period.
50 seconds into the second frame, Justin Faulk did Justin Faulk things, firing a shot from the point past a long line of bodies in front of Steve Mason to put the Canes on the board first with a power play goal. Less than three minutes later, a beautiful tic-tac-toe play from Sebastian Aho to Joakim Nordstrom to Jordan Staal found him wide open to give the Canes a 2-0 lead and all the momentum, right?
Apparently not. Within the span of 13 minutes, the Flyers rattled off four unanswered goals:
- Less than two minutes after Staal's goal, Brandon Manning started the scoring for the Flyers with a slick dangle to cut the lead in half.
- Two minutes later, Jakub Voracek tipped an Ivan Provorov point shot to tie the game.
- Then, another Provorov tip as Matt Read scored his fifth goal of the season a mere second after a Flyers power play expired.
- Finally (at least for this period), Shane Gostisbehere sniped from the circle with 2:43 remaining in the second for a 4-2 Flyers lead.
Lee Stempniak was able to stop the bleeding with a late goal at the end of the second period (thanks to strong board work from Jeff Skinner) but that was all the scoring the Canes could muster.
The Flyers would further cement the win with two additional goals in the third: Wayne Simmonds with his fourth of the season, and Voracek with his second of the night on a delayed penalty.
- Rookie Sebastian Aho still hasn't found the back of the net, but he logged the first multi-point game of his young NHL career with two assists, and now has five assists in five games.
- With an assist on Stempniak's goal, Victor Rask (3g, 3a) has points in all five games played.
- The power play continues to produce. The Canes were 1-for-5 (20%) tonight. That said, they continue to take penalties at a heavy clip, averaging almost two minutes per game (8:48) more than last season (6:51).
- Speaking of penalties, Noah Hanifin took back-to-back penalties in the third period. His second penalty for tripping appeared to be a legal play; Hanifin clearly made contact with the puck first before tripping Matt Read. But the NHL tripping rule changed prior to the 2014-15 season to state that a trip would be called even if the initial contact was with the puck.
Rule 57 – Tripping
The rule relating to "Tripping" will be revised to specifically provide that a two minute minor penalty will be assessed when a defending player "dives" and trips an attacking player with his body/arm/shoulder, regardless of whether the defending player is able to make initial contact with the puck.
But, in situations where a penalty shot might otherwise be appropriate, if the defending player "dives" and touches the puck first (before the trip), no penalty shot will be awarded. (In such cases, the resulting penalty will be limited to a two-minute minor penalty for tripping.)
- Brett Pesce lead all skaters with 22:00 in ice time, followed closely by Jordan Staal (21:46), Jaccob Slavin (21:17) and Justin Faulk (21:15). Pesce also led the team with three blocked shots.
- The Canes led 30-27 in shots on goal and 65-52 in total shot attempts. The Flyers blocked 23 shots.
- Eddie Lack finished with 21 saves on 27 shots.
The Canes head home tonight to sleep in their own beds for the first time in 11 nights. They'll take a scheduled day off tomorrow, and head back to work Monday with practice at PNC Arena and a flight to Detroit to take on the Red Wings Tuesday night.
Rank the Performances
Here’s your chance to weigh in on how you think the team performed tonight. Upvote the players you think played well and downvote the ones who didn’t.