Thursday night’s matchup in Wells Fargo Center pitted a hot Philadelphia Flyers club that had recorded nine wins in its last ten games against a lagging Carolina Hurricanes team that hadn’t won a hockey game since February 13th. The result may not have been what you’d expect in a surprising 4-1 win for the Hurricanes.
The Canes started the first looking lethargic but quickly found their stride, earning an early power play when Taylor Leier was whistled for high sticking. As time wound down Jeff Skinner received a pass from Jaccob Slavin at the half boards and threw it at the net mouth. Justin Williams had beaten Brandon Manning in front of Petr Mrazek and buried the loose puck as the power play expired. The remainder of the first period was back and forth as both teams had some significant chances but the score remained 1-0 Canes going into the room.
The Canes came out in the second period looking noticeably faster than the Flyers and established some good possession in the offensive zone. The line of Sebastian Aho, Elias Lindholm and Teuvo Teravainen recorded the first goal of the second period when Aho streaked to the net and found Teravainen in front for his 17th goal, continuing his best offensive season to date. The goal came just under six minutes into the period.
The Canes continued to buzz offensively, creating some great (missed) chances and consistent offensive pressure. The Canes would eventually strike again as Brett Pesce sent a point shot towards the net and Williams was there to redirect it for his 12th goal of the season and second of the night. Both of Williams’ goals came from him getting to the front of the net and winning a battle. The second period ended with the Hurricanes up by a score of 3-0, and it was the best middle period effort we’ve seen from the Hurricanes in a long, long time.
The third period began as you’d expect. The Flyers came out hungry with the crowd at their backs. It didn’t take long for the Canes to buckle under that pressure, as Sean Couturier took a stretch pass from Claude Giroux and streaked into the zone. Travis Konecny caught Slavin flat footed in transition and used his elite speed to create a two-on-one, and Couturier found him on on the back post for an easy tap in past Cam Ward.
The Flyers were buzzing for most of the period, building on the momentum of their first goal. They would earn a power play 12 minutes into the period when Noah Hanifin was whistled for holding. The power play saw some chances, but the Canes ultimately killed it off. The Canes returned to even strength and Aho quickly made the game 4-1 at 14:23 when he received a pass from Williams above the circle and beat Petr Mrazek. This would be the goal that sent the Flyers fans to the exits.
The Flyers looked defeated and the third period played out without much action short of a few squandered chances for the Hurricanes. Overall, the Hurricanes had a huge statement game tonight as they ended their abysmal six game losing streak against a streaking Flyers hockey team.
Notes and Quotes
[Scoring first] Its huge, it was the first power play opportunity and i don’t know whether it was a power play goal or right when it expired, but it was a huge goal to get us a lead and get us a little bit of momentum.
[Staal’s return] is huge, right? I don’t know his ice time or any of his numbers, but he plays in all situations, takes key draws, big penalty killer, and [Stempniak] i thought did a good job, followed up by [McGinn] and [Lindholm]. That’s what you need, you need your best players to be your best players, and you miss [Staal] when he’s not here and its good to have him back. I know its good for both us and him.
[Philadelphia] has been real good here for a long time, they play the right way, a good team, well coached with lots of talent obviously. We just stayed with it and did a good job and we’ve got to do the same thing tomorrow back home.
There’s so much hockey left, its not even funny, right? We play tomorrow, we gotta get home, we gotta get charged up, get rested to play a real good New Jersey team. We had a real good game in our building against them last time, whenever it was. It ended up going into overtime, so I expect a real hard fought game tomorrow and we just have to manage the situation properly.
We’ve got a young group up there, all these young guys have high ceilings and they’re not going to reach that ceiling for another four, five, six years, that’s the reality of the situation. [Teravainen] has done a real good job, I thought he was really competitive in Boston and tonight I thought he really carried it on. And then [Lindholm], we know he can play in the middle and it was good to see him play as well as he did again. The question short term long term, for me they’re answered. Can [Lindholm] be a center? Yeah. Can Aho be a center? Yeah he can. But here we are tonight moving [Rask] to the wing and I thought he did a good job also… We got contributions from throughout the lineup tonight.
Rank the Performances
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