Keeping in mind their 5-0 loss to Florida back in December, the Flyers avenged their embarrassing game with a 3-2 victory of their own tonight. James van Riemsdyk netted the game winning goal while Danny Briere had a goal and two assists on the night.
The game started off with both teams being assessed a minor penalty within the first three minutes. Nineteen seconds before the two minute mark, Daniel Carcillo was handed a holding penalty giving the Panthers the first powerplay of the game. Florida didn't take advantage of the situation losing the man advantage a minute and eight seconds later after Mike Santorelli went to the box for slashing. The Flyers didn't find the back of the net either on their shortened powerplay.
About five minutes after the teams exchanged powerplays, Mike Richards gave Philly the first lead of the game. Carcillo won a puck battle in the corner to Tomas Vokoun's left and handed the puck to Kris Versteeg, who turned his body towards the net acting as though he was lining up a shot before giving Richards the puck in the slot. He'd put it home through some traffic in front for his 18th goal on the season and a 1-0 Flyers' lead.
Inspired by his captain breaking a ten-game goalless streak, Andreas Nodl decided to break his nineteen-game goalless streak by depositing the puck in Tomas Vokoun's net on a nicely set up play. Sixty-five seconds after the opening goal, Scott Hartnell stood at the left point just inside the blue line sliding the puck over to Danny Briere who was near the faceoff circle to Vokoun's left. Briere saw Nodl's stick, which was placed on the ice at Vokoun's goalmouth, and made a spot-on pass leading to Philly's second goal. Nodl's tenth goal on the season gave Philly an early two-goal lead.
As if a two-goal lead ten minutes into the game wasn't dominant enough, Philly dictated the rest of the period resulting in two more Florida penalties (boarding on Darcy Hordichuk and holding on Stephen Weiss) and an 18-5 shot count in their favor.
Coming out with a stronger effort in the opening minutes of the middle period, the Panthers had several offensive scrums occur near Bob's crease. Unfortunately for Florida, a counter attack by Philly extended their deficit to three goals. Danny Briere took advantage of his one-on-one with Dennis Wideman as he entered the Panthers' defensive zone by deking Wideman out of position. After gaining ground on the beaten defender, Briere moved the puck to the bottom of the circle to Vokoun's left and took a shot that caused the goalie to drop to his knees. While sliding on the ice after making the initial save, Vokoun was moving away from the net as James van Riesmdyk put the rebound home on an open net. JVR's 14th goal on the season gave the Flyers a stranglehold on the game with a 3-0 lead.
Florida was handed the first powerplay of the second period after Braydon Coburn went to the box for high sticking about halfway through the period. Despite Wideman hitting the post on the powerplay and the need for Bobrovsky to make a sprawling save just after the powerplay ended, the Panthers still had not found the back of the net.
The Panthers closest chance to scoring in the second period came on a Bobrovsky flub. After dropping an attempt to catch the puck, Bob covered up the puck on the goal line. Unsure of whether or not the puck completely crossed the goal line, the refs spent several minutes reviewing the play and ultimately decided the puck never did completely cross the goal line.
Mike Santorelli was called for interference with a little less than two minutes left in the second period to put Florida a man down entering the final period of play.
After killing off the remainder of Santorelli's penalty, the Panthers finally scored twenty seconds before the two minute mark of the third period. Marty Reasoner won a faceoff in the circle to Bob's left to Jason Garrison, who then moved a little to his right before ripping a shot from the point. Standing in front of Bobrovsky, Rostislav Olesz turned his body while successfully tipping the puck preventing Bob from catching it. After the puck hit Bob's glove, it went to the left side of the crease where Olesz put it in for his sixth goal of the season. Olesz's goal came on the powerplay as Chris Pronger sat in the box for interference.
The Panthers weren't calling it quits yet as David Booth took advantage of a broken play just inside Philly's blue line to score his 16th goal of the season. An unassisted goal dwindled Philly's lead from two to one with less than eight minutes to play in the final period.
After a frantic few minutes of absolute pressure from Florida, the Flyers were able to put the game away with a Briere empty net goal. Taking the puck in on the empty net from center ice gave Briere his 28th goal on the season and the Flyers a 4-2 lead they'd hold onto until the final whistle.
A strong start didn't carry throughout the whole game for the Flyers as they were heavily outplayed in the third period. Energy and effort allowed Philly to come out with a 3-0 lead after two periods, but an absence in urgency in the final stanza almost allowed Florida to overcome a three-goal deficit.
Sergei Bobrovsky wasn't called on often tonight, but he made key saves all night long. A couple of mishandled glove plays seemed to be Bob's only problem on the evening. A dropped puck in the second almost lead to a goal, while a dropped shot that was deflected led to Florida's first goal on the night.
Kris Versteeg was able to register his first point in a Flyers' uniform tonight as he set up Mike Richards for the first goal of the game.
Notes: The win was the Flyers' 1700th win in franchise history. The Flyers are now 2-1-0 against the Panthers on the season and are now 9-4-1 against the Southeast division on the season (TBL 1-3-0, WSH 2-0-1, CAR 3-0-0, ATL 1-0-0, FLA 2-1-0).
The Flyers found a way to extend their lead in the division to five points this week by going 2-1-0. A 2-1 win over the Hurricanes on Thursday, being shutout 1-0 by Jonathan Quick and the Kings on Sunday, and beating the Lightning 4-3 via shootout last night kept the Flyers atop the Eastern Conference standings.
James van Riemsdyk had the most note worthy performance of the week recording a Gordie Howe hat trick last night in Tampa Bay. After fighting Randy Jones, JVR scored the first goal of the game and assisted on Hartnell's goal in the second.
The biggest news off the ice for the orange and black was the acquisition of Kris Versteeg in exchange for a 1st and 3rd round pick in this year's draft. Versteeg played in Tuesday's game against Tampa Bay, but was unable to register a point.
The Flyers look to extend their lead in the conference this week by attempting to beat the Hurricanes, the Rangers, and the Coyotes. As for what else is going on in the division, here's the division watch.
The biggest news of the week relating to the Atlantic division was the penalty-filled game that took place between the Penguins and Islanders on Friday. In a lop-sided 9-3 victory for the Isles, a total of 346 penalty minutes were handed out between the teams. Fifteen fighting majors (most notably Brent Johnson's second one on the season) occurred within the game. The next time the two teams meet is April 8th.
Pittsburgh Penguins: 1-2-0. After edging out a win in overtime against the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday, the Penguins lost to both the Islanders and Rangers over the past week. However, the Penguins weak play didn't drop them far in the standings as the Flyers had only a decent week.
Marc-Andre Fleury had the goaltending performance of the week for the Pens as he saved 32 of 33 shots he saw on Thursday keeping the score 1-1 as regulation ended. Thanks to a Jordan Staal goal with with nineteen seconds left in overtime, Pittsburgh enjoyed their lone win of the week.
The joy of Thursday's win quickly dissipated as the Pens ended up losing their next two games by a combined score of 14-6. A 9-3 drubbing to the Isles on Friday and a 5-3 defeat on Sunday to the Rangers were the next two outcomes for Pittsburgh. Out of the six periods in those two games, the Penguins were outscored in three of the periods and only outscored the opposition in one period. That period was the 3rd period against the Rangers on Sunday (entered the third period down 5-2 and outscored the Rangers 1-0).
In addition to their recent rough three game span, Pittsburgh has to deal with several injuries. In addition to the Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin injuries, day-to-day injuries to Arron Asham (upper-body), Chris Kunitz (lower-body), Dustin Jeffrey, Mark Letestu, and Eric Tangradi limit the Pens' lineup greatly. Dependence on rookies Ryan Craig, Brett Sterling, Joe Vitale, and Tim Wallace won't be too harsh considering their only game from now until Sunday is a visit to Colorado to play an embarrassing Avalanche team.
New York Rangers: 1-1-0. They may have only won one game this week, but it was a big win for the Rangers. After losing to the Thrashers 3-2 on Friday, the Rangers losing streak reached six games before a visit from the suddenly inept Penguins changed the direction of the team.
The Rangers saw a tie to Atlanta slip away after Evander Kane scored a powerplay goal with two minutes and twenty seconds left in regulation on Friday. The unfortunate news for the Rangers was this ended up being their sixth straight loss. The good news was this is where their losing streak ended.
Ryan Callahan led the way scoring two goals and assisting on another as the Rangers beat the Pens 5-3 on Sunday. A three-goal second period essentially put the game, along with the losing streak, away for the Blueshirts.
Unable to gain ground on the Penguins in the standings, the Rangers look to be heading in the right direction while the Pens look to be heading towards a losing streak of their own. Don't be surprised if the Rangers make up some ground on the Penguins over the next week.
New York Islanders: 4-0-0. Posting the best record of any team in the division, the Islanders went undefeated while playing the most games of the five teams within the Atlantic. In addition to the widely noticed 9-3 thumping they gave Pittsburgh on Friday, the Islanders were able to gain shootout victories against the Canadiens 4-3 on Thursday and the Senators 4-3 on Tuesday along with a 7-6 overtime win against the Sabres on Sunday.
Michael Grabner was hands down the best Islander of the week notching 8 goals and 2 assists over the 4 game span. He had three multi-goal games in the week netting a hat trick against the Sabres on Sunday (final goal was overtime winner) along with two-goal games against the Canadiens and Penguins.
The Islanders' goaltending wasn't the greatest this week, but they did what they needed to do to help their team win. Rookie netminder Mikko Koskinen recorded wins against the Canadiens and Penguins this week while newly acquired Al Montoya stepped in and won the game against Buffalo.
New Jersey Devils: 2-0-0. A pair of one-goal victories on back-to-back nights gives the Devils yet another successful week of hockey. A 2-1 overtime win in Toronto on Thursday paired with a 2-1 win at home against the Sharks on Friday gives the Devils a record of 6-0-1 in February and a record of 12-1-2 in their last 15 games.
Ilya Kovalchuk had a big week for New Jersey scoring both of the game winning goals. After netting the overtime winner in Toronto, Kovalchuk scored with four minutes left in the third period Friday to give the Devils a one-goal lead. He also assisted on Brian Rolston's third period goal on Friday that tied the game at one. Kovalchuk now has 19 goals and 19 assists on the season.
The only negative news of the week for the Devils was veteran goalie Martin Brodeur had to be placed on injured reserve with a non-operable right knee sprain. In the midst of their recent 15-game hot streak, Brodeur has posted a record of 8-1-1 in the ten games he started. Johan Hedberg started both games this week saving 62 out of a possible 64 shots, but the news of Brodeur being placed on IR is still bad news for the surging Devils.
Usually called upon for solid defense, Kimmo Timonen won the game tonight for the Flyers netting the winning goal in the shootout against Tampa Bay making the final score 4-3.
A two point night from James van Riemsdyk along with goals from Scott Hartnell and Darroll Powe allowed the Flyers to push tonight's game to extra time. The win was the Flyers' first of the season against the Lightning, making their record 1-3-0 against the Southeast division foe.
The two points from the shootout gives the Flyers 79 points on the season -- now just two back of Vancouver for the best record in the NHL -- and an overall record of 37-14-5.
Trying to win for the first time in four tries over the Bolts, the Flyers came out with a lot of pith and vinegar aimed towards their seemingly unbeatable foe in the Lightning. Physical play and attitude after the play was displayed early by both teams that included Randy Jones and van Riemsdyk dropping the gloves after Jones laid a questionable hit around the knees on Claude Giroux.
The first half of the opening period saw the Lightning dictate play as they outshot Philly 10-2 in the early going. It seemed as though the Flyers were playing the trap as they constantly dumped in the puck from the red line, lightly forechecked, and looked for a counter attack to the Lightning's offensive pressure.
The Flyers' tactic of patience payed off as they found themselves with the first lead of the game.
After dumping the puck in behind Dwayne Roloson's net, Jeff Carter raced to the puck gaining position on the nearest defender then moved the puck to Giroux who was along the boards behind the left side of the net. As he received the pass, Giroux lofted a backhanded pass to van Riemsdyk in the slot, who bobbled the puck before gaining control of it and ripping it past Roloson high on the glove side. JVR's 13th goal on the season gave Philly the initial edge nearly thirteen minutes into the game.
The goal ended up momentarily altering both team's game plans as the Flyers then applied an unstoppable amount of offensive pressure and the Lightning were left looking for answers. This interaction between teams ended with a flurry of Lightning' chances just before Danny Briere was called for hooking with two minutes and eleven seconds left in the period.
Vincent Lecavalier missed an opportunity to tie the game after he failed to put a backhander home late in the period. Lecavalier received the puck at the bottom of the circle to Brian Boucher's left and moved from left to right on Boucher creating an area for him to deposit the puck for the game-tying goal. Unfortunately for Lecavalier, he lost the puck while trying to shoot it leaving the Lightning shotless as well as goalless on the power play.
The first period ended with a Flyers' 1-0 lead despite Philly being outshot 12-4.
The lead didn't last long in the second period as Dominic Moore scored before the one minute mark. As Andrej Meszaros missed his spot on a cross ice pass in the defensive zone, Moore picked up the puck along the boards and put a shot on net. As the puck deflected off Braydon Coburn, who was standing in the slot, it found it's way past Boucher and into the net to tie the game up at one. The goal was Moore's tenth on the season.
The Lightning looked to work off their recently found momentum and work the power play after Sean O'Donnell went to the box for boarding Steve Downie in the corner. The Flyers' penalty kill kept the Lightning off the board yet again and allowed Philly to go on an advantage of their own after Pavel Kubina tackled Giroux and went to the box for holding.
Making Kubina pay for his risky actions, JVR was able to create on the power play and help give the Flyers another one goal lead.
After holding onto the puck at the top of the circle to Roloson's left, JVR let a shot go on net. Hartnell apparently felt that screening Roloson was not enough so he decided to deflect the puck as well moving it from the top left corner to right top corner. Hartnell's 18th goal on the season gave Philly a 2-1 lead that wouldn't last for long.
Powe rarely finds the score sheet, but when he does it's a usually a thing of beauty. This is because it will either be shorthanded or just a goal that comes as a result of hard work. This goal was a combination of both as Powe earned a penalty shot after hustling down a loose puck that was entering Tampa's defensive zone, broke in alone then was slashed on the hands by Stamkos.
As he picked up the puck at center ice for the penalty shot, Powe moved in on Roloson, faking a shot at the middle of the circles before releasing a shot at the bottom of the circles that nailed the top left corner of the net for Powe's 5th goal of the season. The Flyers' lead was extended to 3-1, but that advantage failed to last long as well.
A little over a minute after Powe's beauty, Lecavalier redeemed himself for his earlier flub by deftly tipping in a Marc-Andre Bergeron shot from the point cutting the Flyers' lead to one halfway through the game. Lecavalier's 13th goal on the season wasn't the Lightning's last strike of the period.
Teddy Purcell knotted the game 3-3, when he ripped a laser top shelf from the bottom of the left circle as Boucher moved left to right in the crease, the Flyers not only saw Tampa's finest goal of the night but they also saw their two-goal lead disappear. Purcell netted his 12th goal on the season just fifty-three seconds after Lecavalier's goal changing the direction of the game very quickly.
The second half of the period didn't see any goals, but was still fast-paced and offensively dominant. Both teams had chances as the period concluded yielding a 3-3 score and a 18-17 shot advantage for the Lightning.
The Flyers were able to apply substantial pressure early resulting in a hooking call against Mattias Ohlund four minutes and fifteen seconds into the final period of play. With their best chance coming on a pass across the crease from Briere to Matt Carle, who just missed putting a stick on it, the Flyers were unable to capitalize on the first man advantage in the final twenty minutes.
Most of the third period was rather uneventful as it seemed both teams were satisfied playing for a tie. A period that didn't see several scoring chances or too much pressure from either team gave a point to each as regulation ended in a tie at three goals apiece.
The extra period started off with quick scoring chances for both teams before the one minute mark arrived. The next four minutes were filled with non-stop end-to-end rushes by both teams somehow resulting in not a single goal extending the game into a shootout. The Flyers' best chance came off a Briere wrist shot from the top of the slot after he danced his way into the zone.
What stood in front of the Flyers and two points on the evening was a shootout. Briere opened the shootout by failing to fake out Roloson as he gloved the shot aimed towards the top right corner. Boucher answered with a glove save of his own on as Victor Hedman had a similar attempt.
Giroux lost control of the puck at the top of the crease missing his opportunity to hand Philly the lead, while Moore scored blocker side on Boucher to give Tampa the 1-0 lead in the shootout.
Mike Richards made the shot to keep the Flyers alive ripping a shot top right corner on Roloson, while Adam Hall failed to win it for Tampa hitting the outside of the right post.
Both new addition Kris Versteeg and Simon Gagne missed in the next round giving Carter a chance to give the Flyers a lead. Carter missed his patented back hand attempt leaving the door open for Lecavalier to win it. He too failed to score sending the shootout into the sixth round.
Ville Leino and Stamkos missed in the sixth round resulting in Timonen taking the ice. Not being the go-to guy for the game winning goal in a shootout, Timonen came through in the clutch for his teammates making a move to get Roloson to go right as he snuck the puck in near the left post and raised his fist in glory. After Martin St.Louis was stopped with a Boucher glove save, the Flyers were awarded their first win of the season against the Lightning.
In his first game with the Flyers, Kris Versteeg didn't register a single point and was a minus-1 on the night. Versteeg also missed a shot in the shootout as Roloson made an awkward tumbling save. His presence wasn't heavily felt tonight, but the addition of Versteeg will undoubtedly benefit the team in the near future.
Van Riemsdyk played one of his stronger games on the season recording a Gordie Howe hat trick (a goal, an assist, and a fighting major). After opening the scoring in the first period, JVR set up Hartnell for a much needed goal in an absurd second period that saw five goals tacked on within the twenty minute span. JVR also sent a message early in the game by standing up for Giroux after Jones put a heavy hip check on him.
Chris Pronger had a strong game as he agitated the crowd and played physical early. Recognizing Tampa's attempt to trap the Flyers as they traveled through the neutral zone, Pronger did what players couldn't figure out 15 years ago, and decided to hold onto the puck for ten to fifteen second intervals multiple times throughout the first period getting a rise out of the crowd early on. He didn't register a point on the night, but Pronger was a plus-1 rating.
Notes: The Flyers improved to 2-3 in shootouts this season...Tampa fell to 5-3 in shootouts...Van Riemsdyk was the only player with two points on the evening...With the addition of JVR's goal tonight, the Flyers now have nine 13-goal scorers on the season...The Flyers went 1-3-0 against Tampa on the season and are now 8-4-1 against the Southeast division on the season (TBL 1-3-0, WSH 2-0-1, CAR 3-0-0, ATL 1-0-0, FLA 1-1-0).
The Flyers learned the hard way on Sunday afternoon that more chances don't always lead to more goals as the Kings beat the Flyers 1-0, behind 40 saves from Jonathan Quick.
Drew Doughty had the only goal of the game scoring before the twenty-second mark of the second period. The Orange and Black outworked and outplayed the Kings the entire game, but their inability to put at least one shot past Quick results in the loss, the fifth time the Eastern leaders have been blanked this year.
Within the first minute of the game, the Flyers were already dictating play. Early pressure from Philly's forwards led to a Chris Pronger slapshot ringing off the inside of the right goal post just before one minute had gone by.
A few minutes later down near Sergei Bobrovsky's net, Daniel Carcillo and Kyle Clifford decided to settle a disagreement by fighting. While neither player landed any serious blows, Carcillo was off-balance from the start and was lucky to have the bout go down as a draw.
The result of the fight gave neither team momentum as the game carried forward. However, the majority of the opening 20 minutes seemed to have taken place in the Flyers' offensive zone. Their whole offensive scheme was to cycle below the net for a while, get a hard shot off from the point, and create chances off those rebounds.
The first of several questionable calls the Flyers received from the refs took place with about four minutes left in the first.
After a surge of offensive pressure from the Flyers, Danny Briere "tripped" Dustin Brown while chasing down a puck near the side boards. The penalty actually resulted in more shots on goal by Philadelphia rather than Los Angeles and the score remained 0-0.
The end of the first period finished without a goal despite twenty-seven shots being placed on net (LAK 12- PHI 15).
Bobrovsky's only lapse of the day came in the opening moments of the second period -- but unfortunately for the home team, it cost them the game.
Anze Kopitar found the puck in the corner after a board battle and turned around giving the puck to Doughty who was moving into the slot. Thanks to a Wayne Simmonds' screen in front, Bob was unable to find the wrist shot -- Doughty's seventh of the season -- as it rocketed past him giving the Kings the only goal they needed.
In an attempt to change the direction of the game, Jody Shelley agitated Kevin Westgarth into a fight. After the whistle was blown, Shelley pushed Westgarth to the ground in front of both benches. Instead of accepting the abuse, Westgarth decided to fight back. Westgarth landed more punches, but Shelley landed the bigger punches and earned a clear decision in the tussle.
The Flyers had several power play opportunities to score as the Kings were hit with a pair of too many men on the ice penalties. Unable to register on either man advantage opportunity, the frustrated home team ended up going into the final period down by a goal.
The final twenty minutes saw the Flyers' offense do everything but score. Outshooting the opposition 15-6, the Flyers didn't deserve the final score of 1-0.
It was Los Angeles' first win in Philadelphia since 2000, its first regulation victory here since 1993, and the first shutout decision over the Flyers in the Quaker City since 1973. The 1-0 score was also the lowest between these clubs in Philly since Fred Shero's team topped LA by the same score on October 10, 1976.
The only thing the Flyers' offense could have improved on was creating better scoring chances. The whole 60 minutes seemed to consist of nothing but offensive chances, but the majority were shots from the point and shots from along the side boards. There weren't many shots on net from the slot, odd-man rushes or flat-out breakaways. That's not to say it wasn't easy on Quick, whose head and body were on a swivel for large portions of the Flyers' offensive thrust.
There were some absolutely unacceptable calls against the Flyers today. Briere's tripping call in the first period wasn't bad, but Pronger's roughing call in the third period was horrible. After Jarret Stoll jumped into Pronger's back from the blind side and pushed him into the boards, Pronger received a roughing call for pushing Stoll once in retaliation.
The fact that there wasn't a charging, roughing, or boarding call on Stoll would have failed to make enough sense, but to turn around and give Pronger a roughing call in response was just absurd.
Notes: Until Sunday, LA had lost four straight in Philadelphia since 2000, only scoring two goals and were blanked three times...The Flyers went 1-1-0 against Los Angeles on the season (7-4 win at Staples Center on 12/30/10)...With the loss to the Kings, Peter Laviolette's club fell to 2-3-1 against the Pacific division on the season (DAL 1-0-0, PHX 0-0-0, SJS 0-0-1, ANA 0-2-0, LAK 1-1-0)...Despite the setback, the Flyers still hold a 42-17-7 here against the Kings since 1967.
Goals by Jeff Carter and Danny Briere led the Flyers to their third straight win. After forty scoreless minutes, both of the Flyers goals along with Tuomo Ruutu's goal for the Hurricanes came in the final period of regulation. The win pushes the Flyers to 36-13-5 on the season.
The game started out just like the Flyers had planned. With Brett Carson going to the box for high-sticking Mike Richards 1:16 into the game, the Flyers powerplay had a chance to score on the league's 23rd ranked penalty kill. The opportunity went to waste as a lone Kimmo Timonen shot was the only thing the Flyers could produce with the man advantage.
After the Flyers applied a good amount of pressure throughout the opening period, the Hurricanes had their chance in the closing minutes of the period. Daniel Carcillo was called for interference with about two minutes left in the period and the 'Canes powerplay was knocking at the doorstep. Several chances resulted in nothing for Carolina, but it did help to kill the momentum Philly had gained earlier in the game.
A slow, boring period worked to the Hurricanes advantage. Playing a team they have had difficulty playing this year, Carolina came out buzzing in the second period. The few minutes of fury by the Hurricanes' offense resulted in nothing more than providing Claude Giroux with a lower body injury benching him for a few minutes. Giroux returned later in the period.
It didn't take the Flyers long to respond as they shifted the offensive tide about five minutes into the period. Good pressure by James van Riemsdyk and Nikolay Zherdev resulted in Ryan Carter taking a roughing penalty on JVR behind the net. The call could have gone either way, but the Flyers received the fortuitous assessment.
Cam Ward kept the game scoreless as he made a save on a Carter shot through traffic on the powerplay. Moments later, Timonen ended the Flyers' powerplay by interfering with Patrick Dwyer after the puck bounced past him at the blue line. The time spent 4-on-4 was uneventful as well as Carolina's shortened powerplay that followed.
Neither team took hold of the second half of the second period, but the Hurricanes did have the opportunity to take the lead with multiple Flyers going to the penalty box. After Richards went to the box for slashing Jeff Skinner, the Canes inept powerplay saw another attempt one minute after Richards returned to the ice. Carolina's man advantage due to a Briere hook on Joe Corvo only lasted a minute before Ruutu went to the sin bin for slashing Timonen.
The second period ended with a Giroux check on Chad LaRose along the boards to the right of Brian Boucher. While carrying the puck between the left circle and side boards, Giroux saw LaRose charging at him and promptly knocked him to the ground. Doesn't sound like a thrilling play, but up to this point in the game it was the play of the night.
With 41 seconds remaining on Ruutu's penalty, the Flyers were able to break the scoreless tie. Picking up a Chris Pronger drop pass, Richards entered the zone over the middle of the blue line before passsing it to Carter who was standing at the top of the right circle. Carter let a wrist shot fly aimed at the top of the net finding its way past the goal line after hitting Cam Ward's glove.
Carter's 26th goal of the season gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead 18 seconds into the final period.
A few minutes later, Braydon Coburn was able to get under Skinner's skin goading him into a charging call. Two shots were registered, but the Flyers were unable to find a goal with the power play. Despite not capitalizing on the man advantage, the Flyers started demonstrating puck possession before the Canes were called for yet another penalty. A Brandon Sutter tripping penalty gave the Flyers another chance to extend their lead.
The second goal in this low scoring affair was scored by Briere halfway through the period. A beautiful passing play led to Briere roofing the puck on Ward as he dropped to his knees before Briere released the shot. Andrej Meszaros passed the puck from the left boards cross ice to Scott Hartnell along the blue line who then passed it to Giroux just inside the top of the left circle. Catching the puck on his backhand, Giroux switched the puck to his forehand and worked his way to the slot where he then dished it to Briere. With only the top part of the net available, Briere was able to find an opening and give Philly the 2-0 lead.
The comfort of a two-goal lead lasted all of forty seconds before Ruutu cut the lead to one.
A bad neutral zone turnover by Blair Betts led to Chad LaRose taking the puck into Carolina's offensive zone. LaRose's rebound led to Ruutu putting in his own rebound as Darroll Powe attempted to push him over at the top of Boucher's crease. Ruutu's 13th goal on the season gave the Hurricanes hope as they only trailed by a goal with a little under eight minutes to play.
The Hurricanes spent the remaining time making a last-ditch effort to tie the game, but they were unsuccessful as Philly held on to win 2-1. In his first game against Carolina this season, Boucher made 31 saves on the 32 shots he saw during the game. The lone goal he allowed on the night could have easily been prevented if he had received a little more help from his defense.
Until Carter's goal opened the last period, the game had been very boring and uneventful. Not only were there no goals, there were also no scoring chances, big hits, big saves, or fights. Nothing memorable occurred in the first forty minutes.
Knowing their opposition's weakness, the Flyers were able to score both of their goals on the night when Carolina had a man in the penalty box. Presented with six openings, Philly's power play found the back of the net twice in the third helping to lead their team to victory.
Notes: Boucher was less than 8 minutes away from getting the Flyers' first shutout on the season...The Flyers are the only team left in the NHL to have not blanked an opponent...In their last 18 games against the Hurricanes, the Flyers are 15-0-3...The last time the Flyers lost to the Hurricanes in regulation was their 2-1 loss on 12/19/06...Philly improved to 3-0-0 against the Hurricanes on the season and 7-4-1 against the Southeast division (TBL 0-3-0, WSH 2-0-1, CAR 3-0-0, ATL 1-0-0, FLA 1-1-0).