Flyers show there's always time for a little magic

Flyers show there's always time for a little magic


RALEIGH, N.C. — The goalie wasn’t the problem.

Sometimes a team needs only two goals to win.

Jordan Weal made a play up ice, scoring with 3.1 seconds left in overtime to give the Flyers a 2-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night.

Brian Elliott was back in goal for the Flyers following a four-game absence with a lower-body injury, and the team came in riding a four-game losing streak.

With the win, the Flyers (25-19-9) moved into the Eastern Conference's first wild-card slot. The Flyers had scored three goals in each of their previous three games, but gained a point only in their 4-3 overtime loss to Ottawa.

For the Hurricanes (24-21-9), it was their third straight loss.

• Carolina got its regulation goal on a four-minute penalty at 15:05 of the first period. The Hurricanes scored on Elias Lindholm’s follow of his own shot in the crease. It was Carolina’s 14th power-play goal in its last 16 games.

•  Nolan Patrick had given Brock McGinn a nasty bloody nose to set up the double-minor.

• The Flyers trailed, 1-0, after 20 minutes despite outshooting the Hurricanes, 11-10. The Flyers were 0 for 2 on the power play during the period.

• The Flyers, who always have noisy support in Raleigh, got the tying goal from Wayne Simmonds during the second stanza. Simmonds worked hard to get the rebound of a Jakub Voracek attempt with Andrew MacDonald on the helper. It was Simmonds’ 18th of the season and Voracek’s 52nd assist.

“I thought we did a great job of getting in on the forecheck,” Simmonds said. “We kind of followed up from what the line before us had done on the break in. We got pucks to the net and I was lucky that I found one at my feet and was able to put it in.”

• Shots were tied at 21-21 after two, but Carolina had just two shots in the third.

• Carolina’s marketing department billed the game inside the arena as “crashing the party,” a good-natured opportunity to somehow take the luster off the Eagles’ win in Super Bowl LII.

• RW Dale Weise and D Mark Alt were healthy scratches for the Flyers. With Elliott back in the lineup, the Flyers had no injuries to report and are among the league’s healthiest teams. So is Carolina.

• It was the teams’ first meeting of the campaign. The others this season are March 1 in Philadelphia, on St. Patrick’s Day in Raleigh and on April 5 in Philadelphia. Last season, the Flyers won two of five outright, with each team prevailing once in overtime.

• The Flyers will host Montreal on Thursday night before visiting Arizona on Saturday and Vegas Sunday.

Flyers goalie prospect Carter Hart added to Phantoms playoff roster

Zack Hill/Philadelphia Flyers

Flyers goalie prospect Carter Hart added to Phantoms playoff roster

Carter Hart is joining the Phantoms but don’t expect him to play just yet.

Hart on Tuesday joined Lehigh Valley for the remainder of the playoffs since his junior career ended with the Everett Silvertips losing in the WHL Final.

The 19-year-old will be behind Alex Lyon, Dustin Tokarski, Anthony Stolarz and John Muse on the Phantoms’ depth chart. This is strictly for experience — just like last year when he joined the Phantoms after Everett’s season ended.

In his final season of major junior, Hart led all WHL goalies with a 1.60 goals-against average, .947 save percentage and seven shutouts. He won the Del Wilson Trophy (WHL top goalie) and Four Broncos Trophy (WHL MVP).

Hart is expected to win the CHL Goaltender of the Year award for the second time, becoming the first goalie to accomplish that.

The Phantoms, down 2-0 to Toronto in the Eastern Conference Finals, will host the Marlies Wednesday night in Game 3 on NBC Sports Philadelphia+ at 7:05 p.m. 

Rob's Rants — Golden Knights' success is a good thing

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Rob's Rants — Golden Knights' success is a good thing

My latest installment of Rob Rant’s focuses on things I just don’t get.

Knight time
I don’t grasp the sentiment that the expansion Vegas Golden Knights' advancement to the NHL Stanley Cup Final is a black eye for the NHL. Maybe I’m a glass half-full guy but I think it’s the best national sports story of the year. They played their first home game just nine days after the horrific shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival on the Vegas Strip that left 59 dead. And their season served not only as a distraction from the incident but as a galvanizer for the city. 

They had the fifth-most points in the regular season. And beat the Kings, Sharks and Jets in the postseason. Not an easy task. General manager George McPhee made smart selections in the expansion draft, including landing a Stanley Cup champion goalie in Marc-Andre Fleury and nabbing a quality winger in James Neal, among other transactions throughout the season. They showed through a smart front office, good coaching and players buying in, you can speed up the process. I love that unlike the NBA where a super team like Golden State is basically a lock to win it again, hockey has a great storyline. Vegas’ success proves that if you do the right thing in the offseason, next year could be your team’s year.           

Style over substance
On the heels of last week’s NBA combine, it’s always puzzled me how much stock organizations in various leagues put on workouts rather than game tape. I get it that to play any sport professionally there is a level of athleticism needed. But I’d much rather see how said prospect did against real game competition instead of a stopwatch or tape measure. How do they think about the game? How do they react when their team is down? What kind of teammate are they? You need look no further than Tom Brady’s 40-yard dash at his combine workout. His career turned out pretty well.    

Off base?
So Odubel Herrera got on base Sunday versus the Cardinals but his 45-game on-base streak was still snapped. Herrera struck out in his last at-bat but because of a wild pitch, he reached first base. The strikeout nullified the act of reaching base and keeping the streak alive, according to MLB rules. But if it’s not an out, and he gets on base, shouldn’t that count toward the streak?     

Loyal royal
The wedding of Price Harry and Meghan Markle this past weekend seemed like a lovely affair. My evite must have went right to my spam. Don’t get me wrong, Harry comes off as a sincere, caring dude who is genuinely concerned with using his platform to better the world. And his new bride is beautiful and an accomplished actress. They seem like a great couple. And I get that the new Duchess of Sussex’s biracial ancestry is of interest to folks.