Jordan Staal celebrates his game-tying goal with 52.3 seconds left in the Flyers 2-1 overtime loss to the Hurricanes on Tuesday night. Photo Courtesy of ESPN.com
The Flyers were 52 seconds away from history. Never in their franchise history had they completed shutouts in back-to-back road games. With a late power-play goal, it appeared the Flyers were going to have a franchise first.
Then the Hurricanes found late-game magic and stole away a win.
The Flyers were severely outplayed throughout the game, especially in the third period. Steve Mason was masterful once again, stopping the first 35 shots the Hurricanes fired his way. But two of the next three found their way into the net as the Hurricanes grabbed an overtime win on Manny Malhotra's game-winning goal at 2:40 of overtime to beat the Flyers, 2-1, at PNC Arena in Raleigh.
Mason wasn't at fault on either goal really, as the Flyers shaky defense, which played well for 58 minutes, failed to make the key play in the final minutes.
Facing Carolina's third-string goalie Justin Peters, who posted a 3.49 GAA in five previous starts, the Flyers could manage only one goal. After turning the third period into a chess match, that one goal appeared to be enough.
On the power play only because of a double-minor for roughing on Nathan Gerbe, the Flyers would score when Scott Hartnell tipped a Kimmo Timonen shot past Peters at 16:02. It was Hartnell's first goal of the season.
But shortly after, with Peters pulled, Carolina crashed the net. Jordan Staal was alone in front on missed coverage by Claude Giroux and took a pass from brother Eric Staal to score the game-tying goal with just 52.3 seconds left.
At the halfway point of overtime, a turnover by Mark Streit allowed Malhotra to charge in and score on a backhand for the game-winner.
The Flyers, now at just 4-9-1 on the season, return home for a pair of games against struggling teams. They get the New Jersey Devils - a team they shut out, 1-0, last Saturday - on Thursday and the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday.