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Jones’ strong play, Brassard’s 200th goal not enough as Hurricanes defeat Flyers

(James Guillory/USA TODAY Sports)

The Philadelphia Flyers took on the mighty Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday afternoon looking to right the ship after a tough loss on Thursday to Florida.

This was a huge statement game for the Flyers. Sure, the season is all but lost at this point, but it was a nationally televised affair against the top team in the Metropolitan Division and they want to finish this season out with some pride at the very least.

Philadelphia was without the services of Scott Laughton due to a concussion, and they persevered as best they could behind a great performance from Martin Jones and a goal from Derick Brassard, but the Hurricanes got the best of the Flyers by a score of 3-1.


The always-dangerous Hurricanes were buzzing right from the beginning, peppering Martin Jones early and often but the Philadelphia netminder was up to the challenge.

Kevin Hayes gave the Flyers their real first scoring chance just over four minutes in with a slap shot that Frederik Andersen had to be sharp on and stopped with the left pad. The rebound then bounced off Carolina defender Ian Cole and towards the cage, but Andersen sprawled back and covered it up.

Shortly after that, the Hurricanes had a glorious opportunity to break the ice on a chance from Derek Stepan. The veteran forward received a centering pass all alone at the goal mouth but was thwarted by Jones on multiple shots, including a great opportunity that was shut down by Jones’ left pad to nullify Stepan’s shot at his 500th NHL point in his 800th NHL game.

Carolina received the game’s first man advantage with 6:49 to play in the period after former Hurricane Patrick Brown was called for cross-checking against Andrei Svechnikov, and the league’s best power play unit would head to work against the Flyers’ lowly penalty kill. Luckily, Philadelphia staved off the Hurricanes’ chances and Brown exited the box after two minutes.

The Flyers received their first power play opportunity with 3:16 to go after Jalen Chatfield cross-checked Gerry Mayhew, and their even more repugnant special teams unit would take the ice looking to try and squeak one through Andersen. Of course, that didn’t happen, but the Flyers had some great chances, including a Cam York point shot that ripped off the crossbar and the rebound was fired on goal by Cam Atkinson, but Andersen’s glove denied #89 from scoring his 22nd goal of the year.

Goose eggs would be how the opening twenty minutes would wrap up on the scoreboard. The Hurricanes led the shots on goal battle 15-10, but Jones and the Flyers were hanging in there nicely against a much better team. You also have to remember that the Flyers were only one of four teams this season that defeated Carolina in regulation in PNC Arena coming into today, so they clearly didn’t mind being under pressure in this building.


The Hurricanes kept sticking it to Philadelphia as they had in the first, just basically firing at will and controlling the puck for the majority of play. But despite Carolina’s dominating ways, the Flyers earned another power play just over five minutes in when Travis Konecny was tripped up by Jordan Martinook in the neutral zone.

The Flyers got a good look to score very early, as they had in their first opportunity, but they still couldn’t solve Andersen before the power play died after just nine seconds. Kevin Hayes was the guilty party in hooking Ian Cole and we would have 1:51 of 4-on-4 hockey. That period of time was highlighted by two glorious scoring chances for Andrei Svechnikov, including a full-fledged breakaway, but Svechnikov made Martin Jones’ job easy and fired the puck wide on both chances.

Carolina would keep chipping away though, and the inevitable finally came into fruition with 11:26 remaining in the period thanks to Steven Lorentz. Derek Stepan skated with the puck behind the net with Jones tracking him and moving post to post, but Stepan spun around and reversed the puck to Lorentz at the left post, who rammed it home by a spectating Keith Yandle and a puzzled Jones to give the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead and give Stepan his 500th NHL point.

Philadelphia would not go away quietly, however. Just over seven minutes after Lorentz’s goal, Derick Brassard went hard to the net and set up what seemed like a Cam Atkinson goal to tie things up. However, the referee waived it off immediately as he deemed Brassard ran into Andersen and it was goaltender interference, even though a Carolina defender did help Brassard but alas, it was still 1-0, but not for long.

After Atkinson dumped the puck in from center ice in on Andersen, the Carolina goalie left out a juicy rebound and Brassard chipped it high over the blocker side to tie the game at 1-1 with his 200th career NHL goal.

Brassard’s tally would send us to the second intermission all even at one goal apiece. The Flyers got their legs under themselves late in the period and were able to cash in, and despite the Hurricanes holding a 27-24 shots on goal edge through forty minutes, Philadelphia was holding their own and playing very well all things considered. But they would need a strong third period to help themselves sink the Hurricanes on home ice.


The Flyers began the period with a little more jump and recorded the first two shots on goal in the third. Carolina, as they do, would push back and keep peppering the Flyers. Jones and Andersen were going toe-to-toe in their respective creases, keeping it a 1-1 game as the minutes ticked down on the clock in the final frame.

The Hurricanes were still leading in shots and were still playing as the better team, but Philadelphia would just not wilt under the pressure and played well as a collective group to combat the Hurricanes’ efforts.

But in saying that, the Hurricanes are one of the best teams in hockey for a reason, and with 3:50 to play in the period, Carolina took a 2-1 lead. After a good pinch by Ian Cole, the puck came up to Vincent Trocheck at the top of the zone, and he fired a puck towards the net that was deflected by Jordan Martinook and it eluded Jones high for the late lead.

Mike Yeo decided to pull Jones with 2:41 left to play to give the Flyers an extra attacker down by one. Even with the extra man, Philadelphia was sloppy with the puck. They couldn’t enter the zone cleanly, they had trouble setting up their attack, and they were just flat out outplayed even with the goalie pulled.

Sebastian Aho hammered the final nail in the coffin with an empty net marker with 20.9 seconds left, and that would be all she wrote as the Carolina Hurricanes overcame the Philadelphia Flyers’ strong efforts and defeated them 3-1 to send the Flyers back to Wells Fargo Center empty-handed on their miniature two-game Southern road trip.

3 STARS OF THE GAME – 1) Jordan Martinook – CAR, 2) Derek Stepan – CAR, 3) Frederik Andersen – CAR


The Flyers are right back at it tomorrow night when they host the Montréal Canadiens in Philadelphia before having three days off.

Managing Editor at Flyers Nation. Proud lifelong supporter of the Philadelphia Flyers and all things hockey related. Steve Mason's #1 fan.

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