Malhotra pots winner in overtime, Hurricanes beat Flyers 2-1

Image courtesy of Gregg Forwerk/NHLI via Getty Images

Despite being held without a goal until the final minute of regulation, the Carolina Hurricanes pulled off a 2-1 win in overtime over the visiting Philadelphia Flyers tonight. Jordan Staal had the other goal for the hosts, as Justin Peters recorded his first win of the year for Carolina. Scott Hartnell recorded his first point of the season with a power-play goal, while Steve Mason deserved better in an impressive 36-save effort.

In a very defensive game that saw most of the action in the neutral zone, Philly was able to grab the contest’s first tally with less than four minutes left to play in regulation. A Kimmo Timonen shot from the point on the man advantage was altered by Hartnell from the slot to put the disc through Peters’ legs to grab the lead with 3:58 left in the contest.

“It’s nice to score a goal and to get a point, but it obviously leaves a sour taste in your mouth when they score two goals in less than a couple of minutes,” Hartnell said about the loss. “I think we played smart with the puck except for a few shifts, and unfortunately we weren’t able to get the other point.”

Unfortunately for Mason and the Flyers, Staal was able to even the game at one with 52.3 seconds remaining. On a pass from his brother Eric from below the goal line to Mason’s left, Jordan, who was left alone by Claude Giroux in front, barely beat the Flyers’ netminder’s glove, as his second goal in the 2013-2014 campaign got a good chunk of Mason’s mitt.

Although they grabbed the point in the standings, they left without the additional point thanks to a Malhotra breakaway goal. After a turnover from Mark Streit in the neutral zone, Malhotra broke down the ice before Ron Hainsey hit him with a stretch pass. A backhanded attempt from the former Vancouver Canuck slid through Mason’s five-hole to sum up a game that could also be used to summarize the Flyers’ season to this point.

Another night, another heartless performance from the Flyers. Where’s the fire from this team? Where’s the passion? Where’s the confidence? Where is it all? If there weren’t positives before this game happened, there sure are a lot less now. This type of loss is draining. A team without its point leader and there third-string goalie in net, and the Orange and Black can’t provide a pair of goals for Mason?

Even looking at the glass half-full, this team almost found another way to win. Almost being the key word. A blown third period lead to a team of that status has to eliminate the Flyers’ confidence more than any other loss this season. You could even argue they came away with less from this loss than they did from the loss on Friday. The confidence is shot, which just blends perfectly with the already missing goal production and heart.

If there was more analysis to come from the actual play of this game, it would have been mentioned, but the game as a whole was very uneventful. The only things worth mentioning were the goals and the amazing play of Mason.

It’s ironic the most questioned position coming into this season for Philly was the goaltending. At this moment, nobody in their right mind can say the goaltending hasn’t been there for Philadelphia. Mason did more than he had to for a shutout tonight, let alone a win. With a crucial sprawling stop on a 2-on-1 rush early in the game combined with several stellar glove saves, Mason should have had a 1-0 victory. Unfortunately, the Flyers’ goalless captain allowed one of the Staal brothers to waltz into the slot for a cross-crease slam dunk that Mason still almost bailed out his team on.

Philadelphia will look to find the win column on Thursday, as they host the New Jersey Devils.

Notes: The Flyers have now lost two straight to Carolina, as they lost the teams’ first meeting of the year 2-1 on October 6th…The Flyers went 101:33 between Hartnell’s goal tonight and Brayden Schenn’s goal on Saturday. They have two goals in the last 211:37 of play…Hartnell’s goal ended a span of 15 straight power plays without a goal going back to Vincent Lecavalier’s tally in the 1st period of the Flyers’ loss to the Ducks on October 29th…Hartnell’s goal ended an 11-game point drought for the forward…Erik Gustafsson, Luke Schenn, and Jay Rosehill were scratched tonight for the Flyers…Tonight marks the first time the Flyers lost past regulation since they lost in a shootout to the New York Islanders 4-3 on March 28th of this year…Adam Hall was minus-1 with a hit in 11:07 TOI against his former team…Philly dropped to 3-3-1 against the Metropolitan and to 4-6-1 against the Eastern Conference…The Orange and Black drop to 4-9-1 on the season. They were 6-7-1 after 14 games last season.