RALEIGH — The Flyers scored at 4 on 4, on the power play, shorthanded, 5 on 5 and, finally, into an empty net, with captain Claude Giroux’s second goal midway through the third period capping a four-point night and proving to be the game-winner in Philadelphia 5-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday in front of 14,734 in Raleigh.
After a dump-in by the Flyers, Carolina’s Teuvo Teravainen and Joel Edmundson got tied up behind the Hurricanes’ net, leaving Giroux alone for a tap-in at the goalmouth for the deciding goal with 8:44 left in the game.
“Somehow, we keep finding ways to lose to them, and it’s never fun,” said Teravainen, whose goal and assist in the game’s first five minutes weren’t enough to give Carolina a fifth straight win.
“We didn’t play a good period,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said of the opening frame. “We’re up two, we’re fortunate to be up two. We were sluggish most of that game. We got it going in spurts, but we never really were able to get footing.”
It looked like the Hurricanes might coast to an easy win — with some assistance from Flyers goalie Brian Elliott.
In the opening minutes, Hurricanes defenseman Brett Pesce pinched at the right boards and forked the puck ahead to Teravainen. He quickly found Sebastian Aho in the slot, and his shot trickled through Elliott (33 saves) for his 11th goal of the season and a 1-0 lead just 3:23 into the game.
Carolina then converted on its first power play opportunity 80 seconds later when a Teravainen shot from the right faceoff dot hit Elliott’s shoulder and went in to give the Hurricanes a two-goal lead in the game’s first five minutes.
The game then turned into a who’s who of strange penalty calls. The Flyers’ Jakub Voracek was called for unsportsmanlike conduct for arguing an earlier call, erasing a Philadelphia power play that happened because the Hurricanes were called for a faceoff violation for having two players tossed from the circle.
The 4 on 4 actually benefited the Flyers, who cut the lead in half with a goal by Giroux at 6:31.
Just under six minutes later, Edmundson was sent to the box for slashing — and received a 10-minute misconduct for yelling at the referee from the box. Philadelphia tied the score with a power play goal of their own as defenseman Ivan Provorov pounded a point shot through a James van Riemsdyk screen and past Petr Mrazek (18 saves) at 13:14.
“You’re not going to ask me about the refs,” Brind’Amour said when asked about the misconduct before relenting. “He said he slashed him and then he said he yelled at him in the box, so gave him another. But it was clear he didn’t slash him — he hit the ice and broke his stick. You can’t talk to the refs, so I don’t know what was said, but I can’t comment.”
The wild first period gave way to the second, and the Flyers got their first lead early, this time down a man.
Philadelphia — shorthanded due to a Travis Konecny penalty — got an offensive zone draw after an ill-advised Mrazek pass went for icing. Giroux won the ensuing faceoff right to rookie Morgan Frost for a one-timer and a 3-2 Philadelphia lead at 2:51 of the second.
“It’s not the time to do it, for sure. He knows,” Brind’Amour said of Mrazek’s attempted stretch pass. “Unfortunately, you get burned on it.”
Carolina clawed back in third.
An Edmundson point shot was retrieved by Brock McGinn, and his backhand pass found Lucas Wallmark on the back door to make it 3-3 at 3:24 of the final period.
“It’s a great pass,” Wallmark said of McGinn’s feed. “I was trying to scream at him, and I think he heard me. He made a hell of a play.”
But Giroux’s fourth point of the night on the game-winner with just under nine minutes remaining proved to be the death blow, and Kevin Hayes’ full-ice empty-net goal with six seconds left sealed the win.
“We had our chances, but I think we gave away a couple goals tonight,” Wallmark added, “and in this league, you can’t can’t do that,” Wallmark said.
Notes: Edmundson, who didn’t register a point in the season’s first 17 games, extended his point streak to five games. … Frost’s goal was his second in as many NHL games. … Konecny had three assists for Philadelphia. … The game was the 600th of Flyers center Sean Couturier’s career. … Ryan Dzingel served two penalties in the first period and neither were on him: Edmundson’s slashing call (while the defenseman served his misconduct) and the faceoff violation. … Andrei Svechnikov was held without a shot on goal for the third time this season. … The Flyers are now 11-0 when Giroux scores four or more points, according to HockeyReference.com. It’s the second he’s had a four-point night against Carolina (Oct. 29, 2011).