Danny Briere scored his second goal of the season at 1:47 of overtime as the Philadelphia Flyers sent Carolina Hurricanes home with a loss for the second straight Saturday, winning 4-3.
Briere took an outlet pass from Nicklas Grossmann along the boards, crossed up the defense, and sent a wrist shot, which deflected off the far post and then off the backside of ‘Canes goalie Cam Ward and over the goal line.
Ilya Bryzgalov came up huge again for the Flyers stopping 30-of-33 shots. The Flyers finished their four-game home stand with a record of 3-0-1, collecting seven of eight points. The Flyers also got goals from Brayden Schenn (from Kimmo Timonen and Jakub Voracek), Matt Read (from Mike Knuble), and Voracek (from Schenn and Bryzgalov.)
The Hurricanes were led in scoring by Jiri Tlusty, Jeff Skinner, and Joe Corvo. Ward, coming off a season high 45 saves on Thursday, took the loss after allowing four goals on 32 shots.
“We carried the momentum into the overtime,” Skinner said. “But in overtime anything can happen. So, I think it was a good job battling back.”
The Hurricanes opened the scoring 17 seconds into the game off a rebound goal by Tlusty. Sean Couturier lost a defensive-zone faceoff, and ‘Canes defenseman Corvo blasted a shot from the point. The rebound landed right on Tlusty’s stick, as he got behind Read for the opening goal.
The Flyers continued to play a listless first period until rookie forward Tye McGinn was on the bad side of a questionable hit in the defensive zone from Carolina’s Tim Wallace. Wallace was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct, but the hosts only received a three-minute edge because Braydon Coburn was given a minor for coming to McGinn’s defense.
The Flyers would eventually have 5-on-3 power play for 1:37, but failed to score despite both Timonen and Claude Giroux ringing shots off the post.
“It’s tough. We hit the post twice. We got the looks we wanted,” Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette said. “The pipe got in the way. We’ll to work at things, we always look at things, and try to get better.”
The Flyers managed to up their energy and tie the game at the 6:08 mark of the first period, as Schenn was able to slide from right to left and redirect a Timonen wrister from the top of the circle, past Ward and off the right post. Schenn’s play — which included three points and a game-best plus-3 rating, did not escape Laviolette’s attention.
“Brayden had a real good game for us. He used his speed, he was able to help contribute offensively. But the one thing I noticed was his skating out there.”
The Flyers continued to display big energy in the second period as Read got on the board to give the Flyers a 2-1 lead just 1:33 into the period. Read took the puck from the corner after Mike Knuble pressured Staal into a giveaway, skated into the slot, and ripped a wrist shot over Ward’s shoulder.
The Hurricanes would tie the game on a Skinner wraparound, turnaround wrist shot that beat Bryzgalov inside the crook of his arm on the near side. But the Flyers would retake the lead merely 15 seconds later on a beautiful cross-ice pass from Schenn to Voracek, who redirected the puck past a diving Ward.
The Flyers would go into the third leading 3-2 thanks to the jump of this new line, and Laviolette was pleased with the effort that Schenn and Voracek displayed when paired together: “I thought that they played through the first two periods…they had some chemistry in the first couple of periods.”
The Flyers came out slow and sloppy in the third period, and Carolina had all the power. After dominating in the offensive zone for several shifts, the visitors knotted the score once again as a Corvo shot from the right point sailed through traffic and dropped behind Bryzgalov at the 9:43 mark of the third.
The Flyers then headed into their second consecutive game decided beyond regulation hoping for a different result, but not before some exciting moments.
On the final shift of the third, Voracek found space on the right wing, but turned back towards the blue line without shooting. He instead passed to an unprepared Couturier, who fumbled the puck before sliding a backhander to Read — wide open on the left wing. Read had two chances to beat Ward and the buzzer, but narrowly failed both times.
Game Notes: Wayne Simmonds returned to the Flyers lineup dollowing a three-game absence after suffering a concussion, recording 15:41 of ice time, and returned to the top line with Giroux and Briere…The Flyers did not score on the power play nor did they allow Carolina a man-advantage goal…The Flyers will embark on a six-game road trip, beginning Monday night in Toronto. This will be Luke Schenn’s first game against his former team since an offseason deal with Toronto that saw James van Riemsdyk head to the Leafs…Goaltender Bryzgalov now has two points (two assists) on the season, tying a career high, and two points more than Nashville defenseman Shea Weber, whom the club signed to a record offer sheet in July.