Picture Courtesy of NHL.com
The Philadelphia Flyers (34-20-10) took on the Carolina Hurricanes (28-25-11) on Thursday night. The Flyers were looking to make it 7 straight wins in a row and the Hurricanes were looking to break a 6-game losing streak. The Flyers have been one of the hottest teams in the NHL as of late climbing all the way back up into the 1st place position in The Metropolitan Division brief time. The Hurricanes have been fighting to get into the playoff picture. It’s a must win game for the Flyers to keep their momentum going and continue the 10-0-1game streak, including the 11-game point streak. The game saw Petr Mrazek in goal for the Flyers and Cam Ward in goal for the Hurricanes.
The 1st period started off with an early penalty against the Flyers, a high-sticking minor on Taylor Leier against Derek Ryan. This gave the Hurricanes the first powerplay of the game, but were unsuccessful. However, just one second after the powerplay was over there was a shot on net and Mrazek thought he had it, but it dropped behind him. The former Flyer, Justin Williams, picked up the garbage and put the puck in the net for his 11th goal of the season. Jeff Skinner (19) and Jaccob Slavin (14) both got the assists giving the Hurricanes the early 1-0 lead. The period ended with a shot total of 12-7 in favor of the Hurricanes.
The Flyers look to start the 2nd period on a better note as they try to tie the game up and get the lead. Unfortunately, the 2nd period started just like the 1st. 5:39 into the period, Teuvo Teravainen (17) had accepted a pass from Sebastian Aho from behind the net and fired it passed Mrazek for a 2-0 lead for the Hurricanes. Aho (27) and Justin Faulk (18) got the helpers on the goal. So, the Flyers at this point were trying to minimize the damage to keep themselves in the game. The Hurricanes were controlling in the Flyers’ zone and a shot from the point was deflected in the net from, once again, the former Flyer Justin Williams (12). Brett Pesce (13) and Jordan Staal (21) had the assists on the goal and now the Flyers were looking at a 3-0 lead. The period ended with a shot total of 16-7 in favor of the Hurricanes.
The start of the 3rd period, the Flyers were in desperate need to turn this game around being down 3-0 and outshot 28-14 at this point. The Flyers started the way they needed to. There was a two-on-one for the Flyers going into the zone and a pass to Travis Konecny (16) who tipped it into the net 1:20 into the period to cut the lead to 3-1. Sean Couturier (33) and Claude Giroux (53) got the helpers on the goal. Now, with a little momentum the Flyers looked to keep chipping away at the Hurricanes lead. But, tonight just wasn’t the Flyers’ night. 14:23 into the period Sebastian Aho (23) accepted a pass from Williams (29) and put the puck top shelf to make it a 4-1 lead for the Hurricanes. Williams had the only assist on the play. The game ended with a final score of 4-1 and a shot total of 8-7 in favor of the Flyers.
Unfortunately, you can’t win every game and tonight just wasn’t a night for the Flyers. The Hurricanes just played better hockey than the Flyers tonight and Cam Ward played a great game. The Hurricanes were able to snap a 6-game losing streak and stop the Flyers from winning 7 games in a row. Both teams play each other two more times this season so, next time the Flyers will be looking for a little payback. The Flyers’ next game is against the top team in the NHL, the Tampa Bay Lightning (44-17-4). The Flyers look to bounce back against the Lightning and continue to fight for that 1st place spot in the division. This upcoming stretch for the Flyers is going to be a challenge as they play teams that are in the playoffs or just out of the picture. They are going to have to strap down for the final 18 games of the season to get the best position as possible. Luckily, the Boston Bruins (39-15-8) were able to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins (36-25-4) 8-4 to keep the Flyers in 2nd place in the Metropolitan Division. Can the Flyers get back to winning and knock off the top team in the Lightning? Tune in Saturday and find out as the push for 1st place continues!
Lead NHL and Philadelphia Flyers Content Contributor