The second meeting in three games between the Flyers and Hurricanes got off to another slow start. Both teams displayed a lot of tight checking and overall not a lot of dangerous offense. Carolina almost got the first of the game on a big rebound given up by Neuvirth, but the Flyers were able to recover and clear the puck. The new top line of Claude Giroux, Sean Couturier, and Oskar Lindblom generated a good chance around the five minute mark, but former Flyer Petr Mrazek was up to the task.
Another new look line would generate some solid chances later on in the period, as the fourth line of Travis Konecny, Dale Weise, and Phil Varone would sustain some extended offensive zone time. Although the line wouldn’t score, Konecny’s offensive skill set and high energy greatly benefited the line. Second overall pick Andrei Svechnikov would streak in moments later on a partial breakaway, but Michal Neuvirth was up to the task for the stop on Svechnikov’s wicked shot.
For the briefest moment, it appeared as though Radko Gudas scored a goal from center ice with a deflection off the wall and into the net, but the Flyers were offside. Then Jordan Weal seemed poised for a great scoring chance, and even put the puck in the net, but Wayne Simmonds was called for ah, “interference” I guess is what we’re calling that. This would send the Canes to the power play that lasted all of two seconds as Justin Williams tripped Ivan Provorov right off the draw.
The period would end scoreless but the Flyers controlled the pace of play for the majority of the period, winning the Corsi battle 20-17, scoring chances 9-5, and high danger chances 4-2. The new look top line were among the best individually, with Giroux and Lindblom one and two in raw Corsi, and Couturier in sixth. Neuvirth was sharp but so was Mrazek, once again for the Flyers the storyline is everything but the finish.
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Jakub Voracek did a fantastic job to generate the first shot attempt of the second period, with a great pass to Scott Laughton in the high slot, but Mrazek was up the task. Carolina would strike first however moments later, as Dougie Hamilton was given far too much room to walk in, which he did and sniped one by Michal Neuvirth. To add insult to injury, Wayne Simmonds would take a tripping penalty, although Michael Ferland was already tripping over his goaltenders pads. And, as was expected, Justin Williams scored on the power play to make it 2-0 Canes in the matter of no time. That’s a shot Neuvirth is going to want back.
Andrei Svechnikov would then head to the penalty box on a high stick to Travis Konecny, giving the Flyers a chance to turn the tide of the hockey game. They would fail to do this however and generate very few offensive chances in the process.
Around the 10 minute mark the Flyers would head back to the man advantage and almost allowed a shorthanded goal just a few seconds in. Lucas Wallmark and Brock McGinn came in on a two-on-one but McGinn failed to shoot it on Wallmark’s pass. Luckily for the Hurricanes they were facing the Flyers power play which is about the least dangerous power play the world has ever seen at this rate, so no goals were scored.
Nothing much happened up until around three minutes to go in the period, as Robert Hagg and Svechnikov got into a skirmish and it would have been just two minutes apiece for roughing, but Hagg got an extra two for a punch thrown at Svechnikov. This would fittingly result in a power play goal for Teuvo Teravainen making it 3-0 Hurricanes. Quite embarrassing, fam!
Voracek would somehow get a holding penalty shortly thereafter and at this point it really didn’t matter a whole lot, Canes back to the power play. They’d fail to capitalize, but the score still remained 3-0 after the second with the Flyers have a large mountain to climb in the third.
The Flyers dominated from a Corsi standpoint that period, but the shot quality was low and they generally just played along the perimeter way too often. Also, with the score the way it was they kind of should have been dominating in Corsi. Special teams and goaltending killed them that period, as has been the theme of this season.
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Missing the net would be the name of the game for the Flyers in the opening minutes of the third. James van Riemsdyk missed the net on a tip play in front on a partial breakaway, and Shayne Gostisbehere somehow missed the net from in close on Mrazek after a great pass from Giroux. Wayne Simmonds would then be denied on another tip play by Mrazek, because of course Petr Mrazek would be amazing in this game. Warren Foegele makes it 4-0 Canes on a deflection in front, because every other team’s deflections just go right in the net.
The Flyers would head to the power play yet again after a penalty on Trevor van Riemsdyk and oh hey would you look at that, a power play goal! Simmonds buries the tic-tac-toe passing play between him, Giroux, and Voracek to make it 4-1. Cool, I guess?
Around the 7:30 mark of the period, Petr Mrazek and Travis Konecny made some contact, although it looked like TK attempted to get out of the way, and seconds later Sean Couturier tipped the puck by Mrazek to make it 4-2 for the moment. After review, the goal would stand and the Flyers had cut the lead to two with plenty of time left in the game. Dougie Hamilton would head to the box for a hook on Laughton, sending the Flyers back to the power play yet again.
The first unit struggled mightily but the second unit came on, James van Riemsdyk got to his office in front of the net and JVR became JVH, James van Hockey buries the rebound by Mrazek and makes it a one goal game with just about half a period remaining. This team just draws you right back in each and every time. It was the second power play goal of the game after being flat out abysmal for the longest time.
And, just as the Flyers were seemingly on the verge of tying the game, Michal Neuvrith turned into Michal Leighton. Voracek’s shot went high and wide, Teravainen came in on a three-on-one and put it five-hole on Neuvrith who virtually sealed the win for Carolina. 5-3 would be the final score, handing the Flyers their fifth consecutive loss.
All stats and graphics courtesy of Natural Stat Trick