Struggling Flyers win in OT

(Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

Over the past five games, the Flyers have played some of their worst hockey since the ten games losing streak. The Flyers lone win came against the Detroit Red Wings in overtime. Entering the game against the Carolina Hurricanes the Flyers have lost four straight games and have taken more periods off than they have actually played in.

The Flyers next opponent would be the Carolina Hurricanes. The Flyers went 3 W 1 L and 1 OTL last season and are 81 W 33 L 14 T and 8 OTL all-time against Carolina. The two teams entered the game chasing the New York Islanders for the last wild card spot and tied in overall points with the Flyers holding the tiebreaker.

First Period

The Flyers started the game like they have played over the past five games. Inconsistent play, constant turnovers in their own zone, costly penalties, and passing up prime scoring chances to dish the puck off to covered players. The Flyers gave up a total of three power plays to Carolina in the first period and their penalty kill is currently ranked 30th worst in the league.

While on the back half of a Nolan Patrick double minor for high sticking Brock McGinn Carolina took the lead.  The Flyers penalty killers failed to clear the puck while shorthanded and were on the ice for nearly two and a half minutes. Carolina had control along the near boards and Teuvo Teravainen found Elias Lindholm wide open in front of the Flyers net for a deflection that Brian Elliott was able to get his left pad on. The rebound went right back to Lindholm who was able to put the rebound home to give Carolina the one to nothing lead.

Second Period

The second period showed some better play by the Flyers and caused Cam Ward to make some big saves early to keep the Flyers off the board. The Flyers jump in play caused Carolina to pick up back to back penalties that seemed to cause the Flyers to step up their play even more. The Flyers were able to use the boost in play to tie the game with just over three minutes to go in the period. Andrew MacDonald had his point shot hit Nolan Patrick and bounce right to Jakub Voracek who took a quick snapshot on net. The Voracek shot was saved by Ward but the rebound was able to be stuffed home by Wayne Simmonds. On the goal, Jakub Voracek picked up his league-leading 52nd assist for the season.

Third Period

The third period took on a playoff feel with neither team generating much in the way of offense. The Flyers were only able to generate seven shots on goal, while Carolina only picked up two shots. Regulation did not end without some controversy. With time running down Carolina iced the puck and called a timeout. The Flyers bench and players on the ice were livid over the botched call and had to remind the officials that a team was not allowed to call a timeout after they ice the puck. By the time the officials realized their mistake the Hurricanes had already recovered from the long shift and were able to clear the puck to end the game in a one-all tie.

Overtime

These two teams went to overtime two times out in the five games they played each other last season, with each team picking up a win. As the overtime started the Flyers seemed to have lost all the momentum that they had built up at the end of the third period. The Hurricanes dominated the play in overtime allowing the Flyers to only manage one shot through the first four minutes of overtime. With thirty-seven seconds left in the overtime, Carolina got a two on one break up the ice. Jeff Skinner took a shot from the near face-off circle which Elliott kicked right back out to a wide-open Jordan Staal. With Elliott down and Staal looking at a wide-open net Staal sent a wrist shot on net to win the game for Carolina. Brian Elliott had other plans and at the last second stuck his goalie stick out and made the biggest save of the season to keep the game tied at one.

With the clock at ten seconds and the puck behind the Flyers net, the overtime looked like it was going to end with no goals scored and the game would be decided by a shoot-out. Jordan Weal picked up the puck at his own blue line and gained speed through the neutral zone. As Weal entered the Carolina zone he cut to the middle of the ice and fired a wrist shot that squeezed between the legs of Cam Ward to give the Flyers a last-second overtime win.

Up next

The Flyers look to build on the last second win against the Carolina Hurricanes when they take the ice against the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday. The Canadiens are one of only two teams in the NHL that the Flyers do not have a winning record against. The Flyers are 73 W 80 L 30 T and 7 OTL against Montreal. The Flyers won only one of the three games against Montreal last season and are 3 W 2 L and 2 OTL over the past two seasons.

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