RALEIGH, N.C. — Brian Elliott should have been an easy No. 1 star for the Flyers on Tuesday night.
But that was before Jordan Weal scored with 3.1 seconds left in overtime to beat the Carolina Hurricanes, 2-1 (see observations).
The result ended the Flyers’ four-game losing streak, while Carolina’s slide is now at three.
Elliott, who had missed the previous four games, had dodged a bullet just a few seconds earlier as he knocked down a shot from Jordan Staal and then Claude Giroux tapped away a Jeff Skinner attempt before the Flyers' last trip down the ice.
“I got it with the tip of my stick, and then it was kind of pinballing and [Giroux] got it,” Elliott said. “I don’t really know. We’ll have to watch it again, too. I have a short memory. It’s a goalie memory."
And Weal took advantage of it, scoring the winner after making a play off a stretch pass from Shayne Gostisbehere (see highlights).
For Weal, it was the first overtime game-winner of his career. It also marked the third-latest OT goal in franchise history, according to the NHL stats bureau, behind Scott Hartnell (0.9 seconds in March 2012 vs. Penguins) and Mike Richards (3.0 seconds in December 2010 vs. Bruins).
"Weathered the storm, and that's the 3-on-3," Weal said. "If you can weather the storm at one end, that’s when the fast break happens and you get another chance at the other end."
Elliott said he didn’t need much time to regain his rhythm after the absence.
“There’s always a little rust,” he said. “I haven’t seen that many shots in the last little bit. You’re in a groove in the middle of the season. It’s not like the beginning of the season. I was feeling confident.”
Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said he liked his team’s play almost throughout.
“I liked our start,” Hakstol said. “There were so many specialty units, but later there was so much 5-on-5 (one Carolina penalty and none against the Flyers over the final 33 minutes).
“We had a good last 30 minutes of the game. I was really happy with us playing a good road game. This is a good extra point for our team. In the overtime, Moose (Elliott) is our best player, plain and simple. You need that in order to win sometimes in overtime.”
The captain Giroux agreed.
“In the second and third, we played a pretty solid game,” Giroux said. “We really played our game.”
Hurricanes winger Justin Williams spent a portion of his career as a Flyer and is in his second stint with Carolina. … Former Flyers star Rod Brind’Amour is Carolina’s assistant coach, with responsibility for the Hurricanes’ power play.