Flyers Top Hurricanes In Shootout

The storylines were there. The return of Peter Laviolette to Carolina, the coach who brought a Stanley Cup to Raleigh NC in 2006 who is now trying to lead the Philadelphia Flyers to the promise land.

Michael Leighton, the netminder who started the season with the promising Hurricanes squad. Only to be waived after the team fell to the bottom of the NHL standings and then picked up by Philadelphia.

The Flyers were looking for their second straight win, a win that they desperately needed to push their confidence to the next level and to gain points in the ever clustered Easter Conference.

unfortunately for the Flyers, it wasn’t that easy to earn their second consecutive victory.

The Flyers beat the ‘Canes last night 4-3 in a shootout after blowing a 3-0 lead going into the third period. The Flyers allowed three goals within  7-minutes, 23 seconds. The win was the Flyers first win streak since mid-November.

“They’re points we desperately needed right now,” Flyers captain Mike Richards said. “As disappointing as it was to let the game slip away and have to do it in a shoot-out . . . we found a way to win the hockey game and get the two points. Obviously, there are things we have to correct, but it’s nice to see we were able to pull something out.”

Both Richards and Jeff Carter stepped up once again each netting a goal. Richards also added the shootout game-winner. Danny Briere also contributed a goal and a shootout ringer.

“The important thing is the end result,” Laviolette said. “And we need those end results – one, to move up in the standings, and two, just for some confidence to build to try to start putting some things together.”

The end result wasn’t looking sunny after Briere’s third period goal that made it 3-0 with just 11 minutes remaining in the game. That was the last bit of success the Flyers achieved until the shootout.

Just about 30 seconds after Briere’s goal, Jussi Jokinen backhanded one-off Kimmo Timonen’s skate and trickled past Leighton. That made it 3-1. With just over four minutes to play in the game Brandon Sutter scored on the power-play. Just 49 seconds later Eric Staal  sent a crisp pass to Jokinen and he put it by Leighton again to tie it up at 3-3.

“I think there was just a little bit of complacency – not executing some plays, turning some pucks over, and maybe even sitting back a little bit,” Richards said.

Although the ceiling didn’t seem to cave in on the Flyers. They kept their heads up and buckled down, especially on defense.

The Flyers killed an important overtime penalty that started at the end of regulation that led to the shootout and the eventual Flyers victory.

“After we killed the penalty in overtime, we created a few chances and found a way to get it done in the shoot-out,” Briere said. “We haven’t been very good in shoot-outs the last couple of years, so this was definitely a good win, especially after giving up a 3-0 lead.”

The Flyers will visit the New York Islanders tonight in Long Island. The Islanders are coming off a big win last night against the Rangers. The Flyers will look to continue to improve and notch a third straight win.


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