Thankfully the Flyers’ road trip nightmare is over.
The Flyers blew a two-goal lead, but managed to battle back from a two goals down themselves in a 5-4 loss to the Hurricanes in overtime on Tuesday night in Carolina.
Travis Konecny, Michael Raffl, Nicolas Aube-Kubel, and Travis Sanheim scored for the Flyers, who capped their post-Christmas road trip with a 1-4-1 mark in six games. They return home to the Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday to face the Capitals, a tough game but a much-needed trip home to say the least.
Needing a fast start, the Flyers’ lone All-Star would provide one as Travis Konecny roared down the right wing and snuck one through James Reimer to make it 1-0 just 37 seconds in.
Konecny scores early! pic.twitter.com/4djRWx2SEV— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) January 8, 2020
Carolina nearly found an equalizer on a breakaway with Andrei Svechnikov trying a highlight-reel move, but Brian Elliott turned the bid away with confidence.
Elliott stops Svechnikov on the breakaway. pic.twitter.com/6RNj600g9O— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) January 8, 2020
“Hey kid, get off my lawn.” -Brian Elliott, probably.
With the Flyers surviving a surge from the Hurricanes following TK’s goal, Michael Raffl would double the lead. Jakub Voracek found Raffl in front as the Flyers took advantage of a turnover to take a 2-0 lead just over 11 minutes remaining in the first.
Voracek fakes the shot and Raffl delivers. pic.twitter.com/Gxyi3mGZ5q— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) January 8, 2020
That two-goal lead —the worst in hockey— would last about a minute as Elliott left a juicy puck in front and Lucas Wallmark stuffed it home to make it 2-1.
After coming oh-so-close to tying things up, the Canes would finally find their equalizer as Warren Foegele ripped one just under the crossbar to make it 2-2 with 4:33 left in the period. Elliott didn’t have much of a chance with a perfect cross-ice pass and an even better shot.
What was better: the pass or the finish pic.twitter.com/EwCC9MWGUz— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) January 8, 2020
Voracek would draw a tripping penalty with 20 seconds left in the period, giving the Flyers a power play with a good amount of carryover to the second. Score would remain 2-2 after 20 minutes.
Nothing was doing on the ensuing power play in the second as the Flyers couldn’t grab an early tally like they did in the first.
Instead it would be Carolina getting the first marker of the period as Jake Gardiner just rifled one past Elliott from the top of the left circle to make it 3-2 in favor of the home team. Ivan Provorov had issues in the corner and the Flyers paid the price.
Not long after Gardiner’s go-ahead goal, the Canes would double their lead with Joel Edmundson blasting one past Elliott from the point to make it four unanswered goals. Those goals less than two minutes apart, not great.
We wouldn't want to get in the way of Eddie's shot either pic.twitter.com/zxQw4sOIeJ— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) January 8, 2020
Despite the sudden deficit the Flyers would start to lean on the Canes late in the second and breakthrough in the form of a Nicolas Aube-Kubel goal to pull things closer at 4-3 with a little over five minutes left. It’s his second of the season after a hardworking shift.
Aube-Kubel closes the gap! pic.twitter.com/xbx7JR6TTV— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) January 8, 2020
With under two minutes left in the period Voracek danced around a couple Canes and got them to run into each other, the result was Shayne Gostisbehere walking in and blasting one off the pipe behind Reimer. So close to tying things up for Ghost and the Flyers but no dice.
Desperate for a tying goal and to salvage the end of the dreadful road trip, the Flyers would get a gift power play early in the third as Svechnikov took a frustration penalty for slashing 3:54 in.
An equalizer wouldn’t be coming though, and another dose of an early whistle from the officials cost the Flyers a chance to do just that. Unreal.
Despite the puck going in, we did not score a goal. Because, rules. #PHIvsCAR— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) January 8, 2020
With a little over 10 minutes remaining the Flyers were still searching for a tying goal, fighting uphill against a Canes team that really keeps the pressure on while leading (17-1 when leading after two periods).
But with 4:11 left in the game Travis Sanheim circled the offensive zone and snuck one past Reimer to tie things up at 4-4, beating the netminder through the five hole. It capped a terrific shift from Sanheim, who decided to activate the offense all by himself.
Sanheim ties the game up at 4! pic.twitter.com/Suk5eu9LEp— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) January 8, 2020
A late charge from the Canes would produce a close call for the Flyers, but nothing in the net as overtime was needed locked at 4-4 after regulation.
Flyers had two golden chances to start overtime with Sean Couturier missing the net and then Voracek hitting the iron behind Reimer soon after as they controlled the early extra play.
They’d want one of those chances back as Dougie Hamilton found the back of the net with Sanheim out there with a broken stick to win it 5-4 for the Hurricanes.
Dougie called game. Hamilton's 14th goal of the season gives the Hurricanes a 5-4 overtime win over the Flyers. Huge win on home ice. pic.twitter.com/ILwbH7KCN1— Brett Finger (@brett_finger) January 8, 2020
Tough loss to end the road trip, but the Flyers did pick up a loser point to take back home to build on at the very least.