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Flyers 2, Hurricanes 1: OK, so maybe sometimes your overtime heroics can save you

Sorry, Eric.

NHL: Philadelphia Flyers at Carolina Hurricanes James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

The ice sport returned tonight after a glorious Sunday for the turf sport. And, because it was the Flyers, it was, well, it was less than glorious, through and through.

A tight-checking game against a desperate team made for not the prettiest of showings, but in the end the Flyers were able to get it done.

The Flyers kicked things off with a bit of movement and then a quick breakdown, which allowed for a 3-on-2 for the Hurricanes inside the first minute of the period, which was promptly broken up just as they crossed the blue line.

The Flyers would get things settled a bit, as Filppula carried the puck into the offensive zone and the fourth line got to work cycling the puck around the offensive zone, generating a bit of sustained pressure and a shot on goal that was blocked with ease, and shuffled off to the Hurricanes, who looked to get some pressure of their own going. (They didn’t)

The Flyers got back to work in the offensive zone and were bringing a pretty bit of pressure, but that was broken up when Manning took a high sticking penalty, sending the Flyers to the penalty kill for the first time of the night. They saw a long first shift where they were able to largely keep the puck tied up, fighting off the shot attempts, but couldn’t seem to get a clear. They cleaned this up with the next change, as they were able to collect and clear the puck on each of the Hurricanes’ next three entry attempts, and just like that, Manning was out of the box. Penalty killed.

Elliott faced his first bit of real danger just before the nine minute mark of the first period. The Hurricanes had chipped the puck into the zone and tied it up along the boards. MacDonald picked it up, and made just a spectacular turnover. Have a look for yourself.

On the next shift, the third line got things moving on the other end of the ice, digging in and working to maintain control and pressure in the zone. They weren’t able to get much of that, but Weal was able to draw a tripping penalty from Dahlbeck. And back to the power play they went.

Carolina cleared the puck off the opening faceoff, but the Flyers collected and moved to get the rush going into the offensive zone. The first unit got a nice bit of movement going, but Carolina ultimately cleared, sending the Flyers’ top group off and the second unit on. PP2 had even more trouble in their time, and couldn’t even seem to get past the blue line to do much of anything. Time ticked away and the power play expired without so much as another shot put on goal. *deep sigh* Cut to commercial.

Things would look like they were about to get uglier, as the Hurricanes got moving deep into the offensive zone, and Patrick subsequently took a double minor for a high stick along the boards. And the penalty kill had to get back to work.

The Flyers started off well enough with an initial clear, but things went downhill from there. They killed off the first half of the double minor relatively without incident, but all good things must come to an end. They got back on their old ways, getting settled, trying to block a shot, not getting after the puck, not able to clear. They left Lindholm open to tip the puck in from the crease, and the Hurricanes took the lead.

But a chance for redemption? Not even out of the box for a minute, Patrick drew a holding call and got the Flyers back on the power play. They started with a nicer bit of movement around the zone, but the Hurricanes were able to get after the puck and get moving in the opposite direction on a 2-on-1. Couturier was able to get back in time to help break up that rush, and they avoided allowing a shorthanded goal. The second unit again didn’t get much going, and also allowed an odd man rush for the Hurricanes. They were able to break this up, as well, but by this time, the power play was just about over. No goal. Again.

The Flyers’ best bit of offensive pressure came just as they got back to even strength, getting set up in front of the Hurricanes’ net, working to chip a puck in. They were stopped and sent moving the other way, but it was arguably one of their best chances of the period.

AFTER ONE: Hurricanes 1, Flyers 0

The second period started off with a fair bit of pace, as we moved into a bit of run and gun. Both sides were moving well and generating pressure. Gudas, however, broke up the Hurricanes’ pressure a little too much, taking a tripping penalty, in the process.

So would you look at that! More penalty killing! Again they had trouble clearing and gave up a quality chance, but Elliott was able to bail them out. And then! With just a second left on the Hurricanes’ power play, Laughton drew a slashing penalty and bought the Flyers some power play time of their own.

Do I need to tell you what happened? You already know. The first unit moved the puck around a bit but had it cleared. They gave up an odd man rush that was broken up. The second unit couldn’t get into the dang zone. No goal. Very little pressure. Does this feel formulaic? I demand a new one.

But they had a chance for instant redemption, as Konecny drew a tripping penalty on Faulk. The first unit got some shots off, starting a bit of activity in front of the net, picking up everything but the finish. The second unit was sent out and they were actually able to get into the zone, and put up similar work. They picked up three shots after registering just one across their first three attempts. But still no goal.

We hit an interim period there that was, well, a little dull. We had lots of back and forth, but not a lot of high activity. Plays were broken. We all got a little sleepy. But that was about to change.

The Patrick line got set up in the offensive zone looking about as dangerous as they have all game. They set up in front of the net, chipping away and hoping the puck would go. It would require a shuffle out to the blue line and a shot back in on net. And from there it was all Simmonds, in proper power play form, tipping it in from the crease. Tie game.

And a bit more shuffling of the puck. A bit more breaking up of plays. And the period came to an end.

AFTER TWO: Flyers 1, Hurricanes 1

It’s the third period and we’ve got even more pace! The Flyers took the initial rush into the zone with real speed, but saw it broken up and the puck chipped out of the zone. It looked for a moment like we would have an uptick in activity from it, but somehow it just made the back and forth and breaking up of plays moving a little faster. Alas.

The Flyers would finally got another chance on the power play after a Teravainen slash, but it went more or less as expected. They picked up one nice shot before the puck was cleared out of the zone. It was good to start and then it was back to the formula. A turnover in the Flyers’ zone gave way to a chance for the Hurricanes. The second unit couldn’t get set. And with a shot by Weal with under five seconds remaining, the power play ticked away quietly. Chance missed.

Back at even strength, the defensive efforts continued as both sides worked to break up each other’s rushes. So much tight checking. Yawn.

We hit a reprieve from this, but not in the way that we particularly wanted, as a tired Flyers’ top line found itself hemmed into their own zone while the Hurricanes kicked up their offensive pressure. A soft clear by Konecny got them the line change they needed, and a subsequent save by Elliott sent them to a TV timeout for a minute to breathe.

Dropping under two minutes in the period, we saw the Flyers establishing a bit of sustained offensive pressure, getting set up in the Canes’ zone and chipping the puck around and in on net. Carolina finally got the puck out of the zone, but iced it in the process, giving the Flyers an offensive zone draw with 26 seconds to go. But there wasn’t much there. No goal. Overtime it is.

AFTER THREE: Flyers 1, Hurricanes 1

And it’s bonus hockey! This game was a yawner but we’ve got some more, still!

Like we’ve seen before, Couturier, Konecny, and Provorov got the start, but lost the opening faceoff, giving the puck to the Hurricanes, who got to work with it in the crease. An opportune block by Elliott kept play alive as the Canes kept the puck cycling. The Flyers finally got the chance with the puck, but couldn’t capitalize.

Ghost knocking the puck away from Skinner got the Flyers the puck at last, and they finally got some time in the offensive zone, but they found their rush broken up. Their next shift saw more sustained pressure, but they still couldn’t get anything to go.

And the Flyers are caught in their own zone. Play is breaking down and Elliott is flat on his stomach. There’s only ten seconds left and Weal’s flying into the zone. He splits the defenders. Freezes Ward. Goal.

FINAL: Flyers 2, Hurricanes 1