RALEIGH, N.C. – The Flyers showed the energy they conserved by skipping a pregame skate and fought and scraped together a critical 4-2 road win over the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena on Saturday.
Starting in a wild-card spot as the result of the Devils' 3-0 win over the Kings, the Flyers (36-25-11) took advantage of an exceptional effort from goaltender Alex Lyon.
Goals from Travis Konecny, Jakub Voracek, Valtteri Filppula, and Michael Raffl all scored in the third period helped stage the thrilling comeback that supported the goaltender’s efforts.
A 23-save performance was the “rock-solid performance” head coach Dave Hakstol expected of the young netminder who posted his third win of the season.
Goalkeeper Cam Ward finished with 23 stops for the Hurricanes (30-30-11).
• Looking to keep pace with a well-rested opposing squad that also hit a recent rough patch, having lost two in a row and winning just once in its last five games, the Flyers had a chance to light the lamp early just 30 seconds in.
However, Ivan Provorov’s backhander hit the post to Wards’ right.
• The Flyers’ forecheck was effective early on and slowed Carolina’s transition during the opening half of the period.
Wayne Simmonds assumed his presence in the low slot and kept Ward and his defense busy, but it was Jordan Staal’s tip-in from the point that made it past Lyon at the 15:12 mark.
• Though trailing 1-0 after the first period, the Flyers’ tenacious effort continued to create opportunities in the second, but Ward kept making exceptional stops, including a glove save on Konecny’s breakaway that maintained Carolina’s advantage.
• Special teams play was critical, particularly on the penalty kill as the Hurricanes were unable to convert on a four-minute high-sticking penalty to defenseman Andrew MacDonald late in the second.
• The Flyers finally broke past Ward as Konecny redirected Travis Sanheim’s shot from the point and evened the score 1-1 with 11:41 remaining. The celebration was short-lived as Carolina defenseman Jaccob Slavin carried the puck in from the blue line with enough space between him and Raffl to let a wrist shot go that found the short side over Lyon’s shoulder.
Once again, the Flyers had to battle back to even the score.
• Left all alone in front of Ward, Voracek took a feed from the left corner off Oskar Lindblom’s stick and deked the keeper and scored on the backhand as he fell to the ice.
• Maintaining their offensive pressure, a clear up the boards from the defensive zone from Simmonds put Filppula alone on a breakaway.
A backhand-forehand dangle and a quick shot to Ward’s blocker side put the Flyers ahead 3-2 with 5:49 to play.
• Raffl launched the puck from center-ice and scored the insurance empty-netter with 1:50 left.
• Walking away with a hard-earned two points, the Flyers travel home to face the Metropolitan Division-leading Capitals on Sunday.