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Hurricanes 4, Flyers 1: No weathering the storm

After a thrilling 1-0 shootout victory over the New York Islanders on Saturday, the Flyers were outshot, outchanced and generally outplayed by the Carolina Hurricanes Tuesday night at Wells Fargo Center. The Flyers fell by a score of 4-1, though the game was a bit closer than the final score indicates.

The Basics

First period: 5:39 — Bunting (Aho, Orlov)

Second period: 7:14 — Konecny (Foerster), 13:25 — Lemieux (unassisted)

Third period: 16:34 — Jarvis (Bunting, Aho), 17:16 — Kotkaniemi (Fast)

SOG: 35 (CAR) – 28 (PHI)


First goal wins

Good things tend to happen when the Flyers manage to strike first — they are 10-1-0 when scoring the game’s icebreaker. Unfortunately, the Hurricanes netted the icebreaker Tuesday night, and the Flyers have yet to win a game in which they allow the first goal. They’re now 0-9-1 once they trail 1-0 to start a game.

Michael Bunting broke the scoreless tie early in the first period, cleaning up his own rebound from the low slot. Travis Konecny did his part to put the Flyers in position to pull off their first comeback win of the season, burying a pretty goal on the breakaway in the middle period, but the Hurricanes ultimately ended up pulling away after the game’s midway point.

Laughton’s rough second period

Scott Laughton didn’t have his best performance Tuesday night — particularly in the second period. Laughton was directly responsible for the Hurricanes’ second goal of the night after failing to clear the puck directly in front of Carter Hart. Former Flyer Brendan Lemieux forced the turnover and quickly lifted the loose puck past Hart to pot the eventual game-winner.

Things only got uglier for Laughton after the period expired. Just 11 seconds from killing off a Hurricanes power play, the veteran forward took an uncharacteristic after-the-whistle cross-checking penalty on Bunting, awarding Carolina a full power play to begin the final frame. Luckily, the Flyers managed to kill off the power play to begin the third.

Skating on the fourth line with Nic Deslauriers and Garnet Hathaway, Laughton finished the night with a minus-1 rating and some poor advanced metrics. The trio was outshot 10-2 and outchanced 7-0 in 5:16 of ice time together.

It would hardly be surprising to see some new line combinations ahead of the Flyers’ next tilt.

Hart’s late gaffe

The Hurricanes did an excellent job of limiting the Flyers to low-danger shots around the perimeter of the offensive zone, so a miraculous comeback probably wasn’t in the cards with little time remaining in the third period. However, a soft goal allowed by Hart completely eliminated any chance of a late rally.

In the game’s waning minutes, Hurricanes forward Seth Jarvis chased a loose puck into the Flyers zone and fired a low-percentage shot on net. Hart made the save, but inadvertently swept the puck past the goal line with his pad. The Flyers then pulled Hart for the extra attacker, but Jesperi Kotkaniemi potted the empty-netter to give his team a comfy three-goal cushion.

Aside from the ugly Jarvis goal, Hart was mostly solid against Carolina, turning aside 32 of 35 shots.

Hart is the backbone of this Flyers team, and these types of errors are rare for him. He’ll have an opportunity to rebound Thursday night when the Flyers take on the New Jersey Devils on Broad Street.

Statistics courtesy of Natural Stat Trick.

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