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Flyers Drop Key Divisional Matchup Against Hurricanes, 4-1

(Heather Barry Images, LLC)

The Philadelphia Flyers’ woes continue when they don’t score the game’s opening goal as they have now dropped to 0-9-1 when the opposition grabs the first lead. The Carolina Hurricanes edged out the Flyers on home-ice for the 2nd time this season by a score of 4-1 after a very strong defensive effort in the final 30 minutes.

Michael Bunting opened the scoring just under 6 minutes into the game before Travis Konecny tied it up mid-way through the 2nd. Former Flyer Brendan Lemieux wound up scoring the eventual game-winning goal after a costly turnover from Scott Laughton, and Seth Jarvis scored a very important insurance marker that Carter Hart would love to have back. Jesperi Kotkaniemi would add an empty netter shortly after.

Hart made 31 saves, Pyotr Kochetkov made 28 stops, and Tyson Foerster had the lone assist on Konecny’s marker. The Flyers’ powerless power play went 0-2 when they opened the first and second periods with a man advantage but their penalty kill continues to soar with another 100% outing.

The Flyers walked back into the welcoming confines of the Wells Fargo Center on Hockey Fights Cancer Night as they embarked on a rather important divisional matchup against the Hurricanes.

The Flyers and Hurricanes have played each other twice already with Carolina taking the first game in Philadelphia off a late Teuvo Teräväinen winner before the Flyers repaid the favour en route to a 3-1 win in Carolina. The two teams don’t play again until the 21st of March when they wrap up their season series.

Earlier today, the Flyers were given the unfortunate news that Noah Cates would be sidelined for the next 6-8 weeks with a lower-body injury. In lieu of his absence, both Bobby Brink and Morgan Frost were saved from the press box and input into the lineup. The lines didn’t change all too much with Scott Laughton back on the fourth line, centering Nicolas Deslauriers and Garnet Hathaway.

The power play got a makeover however with Hathaway placed on the 2nd unit as the net-front presence with Frost, Tyson Foerster, Cam Atkinson, and Travis Sanheim.

As for the Hurricanes, they entered tonight having won 6 of their last 10 games including a 3-2 comeback victory in their last game against Columbus. Sebastian Aho and Seth Jarvis paced the club in points with 17, Teravainen followed with 15, and Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Martin Nečas, and Brady Skjei each had 14.

Pyotr Kochetkov got the start with a 2-4-0 record, 1 shutout, a 2.91 GAA, and a .881 SV% facing off against Carter Hart’s 6-5-0 record, .911 SV%, and 2.93 GAA. Andrei Svechnikov was ruled out just prior to puck drop with an illness.


Jordan Staal was nailed with a tripping minor just 53 seconds into the game but the basement dwelling power play was held to zero shots on goal and just one shot attempt from Travis Sanheim.

Riding that momentum and with the Philadelphia Flyers still searching for a shot on goal, Michael Bunting buried a net-front opportunity to give Carolina an early 1-0 lead just 5:39 into the game.

Jalen Chatfield’s slap-shot went wide but right to Sebastian Aho on the other side of the ice before he sent a quick pass to Bunting who was standing right in front of Carter Hart. His initial shot was stopped but he followed his own rebound for 5th of the season and 2nd against the Flyers this season.

The Flyers had a huge surge at the midway point of the period but some way, somehow, they weren’t able to get the puck past Pyotr Kochetkov, who made a few big saves but also was bailed out by his teammate who erased a puck that was trickling through the blue paint.

The period ended with the Hurricanes up 1-0 on the scoreboard, 10-9 on the shot clock, and 11-8 in the faceoff circle. The Hurricanes also held a 5-1-0 record when leading after the first period, while the Flyers held a 0-8-1 record when they allow the first goal.


25 seconds into the second period, Staal was guilty yet again, this time for an interference minor. At this rate it’s starting to get even more mystifying as to how Cam York and Joel Farabee are absent from the power play because whatever they have isn’t working.

The Hurricanes had 2 chances, including an odd-man rush, while the Flyers had one shot from Owen Tippett that was sailing high and wide had it not been stopped by the shaft of Kochetkov’s stick.

The Flyers tied the game up courtesy of Travis Konecny’s team-leading 12th goal of the season that was set up by a heads-up outlet pass by Tyson Foerster 7:14 into the period .

Brent Burns’ initial slap-shot was blockered aside by Hart and the rebound jumped right to Foerster in the middle of the ice, who quickly noticed Konecny heading towards a breakaway and sent him a perfect outlet pass for a very important goal.

Then former Flyer Brendan Lemieux re-gained Carolina’s 1-goal lead after the 4th line for the Hurricanes put on a clinic against the 4th line of the Flyers.

They won a few battles behind the net before a few cycles but it seemed like Scott Laughton was about to get the puck out of the zone, but unfortunately his clearance was blocked by Lemieux who finished off the rebound for his 2nd goal of the season – in is first game since the 4th of November.

With 1;49 remaining in the period, Bobby Brink was called for a holding minor. As the horn sounded for the end of the period, Laughton was assessed a cross-checking minor, giving the Hurricanes 11 seconds of 5-on-3 action to start the third.

The Canes fired 17 shots to the Flyers’ 12 in the middle frame, which gave them a 27-21 edge through 40. Faceoffs were dead even at 21 apiece and the Canes had the upper hand in hits with a 10-6 advantage.


The Flyer ended up killing both penalties as their penalty kill has really stepped things up this season, entering tonight’s contest with the 11th-best unit (83.5%).

After Konecny’s then-game-tying goal and as the clock was reaching the midway point of the third period, the Flyers had mustered just 6 shots on goal, which spanned nearly 20 minutes. Their best chance came off the stick of Owen Tippett, who ripped a hard shot off the post over the shoulder of Kochetkov off the rush.

With both teams going end-to-end, or at least having sufficient amount of offensive zone time, the Hurricanes got the last laugh with just a shade under 3.5 minutes left after Seth Jarvis’ off-the-rush shot was stopped by the skate of Hart but then rolled into the net as he pushed it behind him. After another strong outing from the goaltender, that kind of goal really hurts with the game on the line.

The Flyers pulled Hart with under 3 minutes left to play but the Hurricanes jumped the gun quickly as Jesperi Kotkaniemi iced the game with the empty netter. The Flyers lost two board battles before Kotkaniemi was able to shovel one from the corner boards for his 8th of the season.

Another close game against the Hurricanes ends in heartbreak with a very late insurance goal, dropping the Flyers to 11-10-1 on the season.


The Flyers welcome the New Jersey Devils for their first matchup of the season (7:00pm ET, NBCSP) on Thursday night.

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