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Hart, Farabee lead Flyers to hard-fought 4-1 win over Hurricanes

It wasn’t always pretty, but the Flyers did skate away with a gutsy win against a talented and tenacious Hurricanes team.

Carolina Hurricanes v Philadelphia Flyers Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images

After getting run around by the Hurricanes for the first couple minutes and surviving on the strength of Carter Hart’s play in net, a power play would turn the tide for the Flyers.

Sean Couturier provided the honors to make it 1-0 Flyers as he potted home a perfect deflection off the stick of Matt Niskanen. Former Flyers great Petr Mrazek had no chance, much like the Flyers didn’t when he was between the pipes.

Joel Farabee created a great scoring chance with a side-step at the Carolina blue line to send himself and James van Riemsdyk in on Mrazek, but the netminder turned aside Farabee’s wrist shot.

That would be the only scoring in the first period as the Flyers took the 1-0 lead to the break despite struggling mightily with the Hurricanes’ pressure forecheck.

After connecting on their first power play of the night the Flyers would flub away their second chance when Ivan Provorov hooked Sebastien Aho following an errant pass from Jakub Voracek. The penalty falls on Provy, but was a result of a sloppy play from Voracek.

The Flyers would regret that missed opportunity as the Canes would get level later on. Trevor van Riemsdyk found Lucas Wallmark in front to beat Hart as the Canes tied things up at 1-1 a little over six minutes into the second. The Non-Flyers van Riemsdyk made a great play and drew attention away as Wallmark found open space and didn’t miss from the top of the crease.

Carolina’s suffocating team pressure was on display in the second as the Flyers could muster just five total shots as the Canes nearly doubled them up. Through 40 minutes all deadlocked at 1-1.

Early in the third the Flyers would break the tie with their best early-season offensive producer doing the trick yet again. Couturier won a puck battle in front and the puck careened over to Travis Konecny to slam it in the open net to make it 2-1 Flyers. It’s the seventh of the season for TK, just 1:12 into the third, with Matt Niskanen and Couturier picking up the helpers.

An ensuing power play wouldn’t provide the Flyers with another goal, but did keep the Canes away from the puck for a few minutes, which isn’t all that bad cause they’re really good.

Carolina’s attack would get the cycle going with 12 minutes left in the period, ending a dangerous sequence with Provorov heading back to the penalty box for tripping. The Flyers would fend off the Canes’ power play with relative ease to maintain the lead with less than 10 minutes left

Needing some insurance, the Flyers would get some from their rookie sensation. Joel Farabee started the play with a nice defensive deflection, and finished at the other end with a great individual move and follow-up to make it 3-1 with 6:56 left in the third. It’s his second of season with Claude Giroux and James van Riemsdyk picking up the assists.

That guy is good, gang.

Speaking of good, how about Claude Giroux firing home that laser on the breakaway to push the lead to 4-1 and close the books on the Flyers’ seventh win of the season? No respect for Mrazek, and we are so here for it on multiple levels.

Flyers skate away with a 4-1 win in this one, and a heck of a performance against a really good Hurricanes team.

Three stars

1. Carter Hart

Hart was really strong when the Flyers needed him to be in this one, and came up with the big saves that were the difference in what was a closely contested game for a long time. He was particularly strong early on, but was at his best when things we even or when the Flyers were holding onto those one-goal leads. In the end, stopping 33 of 34 is going to get you a bunch of wins and that’s exactly what Hart was able to deliver tonight.

2. Matt Niskanen

Niskanen has easily been the Flyers’ best defender early on this season and he’s done so not just in his own zone but also as the leading point producer on the blue line thus far. Niskanen racked up two helpers in this one, but played a team-high in minutes as he helped suppress and mitigate an aggressive and talented Hurricanes forward group.

3. Sean Couturier

Another ho-hum night for the banged up Couturier, who scored first for the Flyers with a great re-direct and added a helper later on. Despite missing his excellent work on draws, Couturier is still providing stellar work in all three zones and now has 11 points in 14 games despite not playing at 100%.

GIF of the night

Pretty, pretty, pretty good.