Hurricanes 4, Flyers 2

Associated Press | Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:47 AM

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - In a five-day span, coach Paul Maurice's Carolina Hurricanes have made a rapid improvement.

Alexei Ponikarovsky had two goals and an assist and Chad LaRose had a goal and two assists in leading the Hurricanes to a 4-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday night.

Jeff Skinner also scored and Cam Ward made 30 saves for Carolina, which got its first victory in Philadelphia since Nov. 28, 2008. Jussi Jokinen added two assists for the Hurricanes.

The Hurricanes struggled against Montreal in a 4-0 loss on Nov. 16.

Overall, Carolina has had its problems against Philadelphia. Entering Monday, the Hurricanes had only won once in their past 11 meetings against Philadelphia, and were 1-17-3 in the past 21 games against the Flyers.

"That's why this was huge, huge for us," Maurice said. "A couple of things have happened. The second period of the Montreal game was the worst hockey I've ever seen a team play. To come back and be able to flick a switch and as a group, get 20 guys focused on an idea, that's really good leadership in that room.

"We've changed some things and we've tried to change our fortunes and our season with a pretty deep heart-to-heart conversation after our Montreal game. We made a change and we lost 1-0 to Buffalo, but we played one of our best games of the year. We beat Toronto and now we won here and now everyone is going, `That's what we're talking about.' We think the rock bottom was Montreal and win like this gets us going. This could change things."

James van Riemsdyk and Matt Read scored for Philadelphia, which has lost two in a row.

The Flyers were also playing without two key defensemen, Chris Pronger and Braydon Coburn. Both players are day to day.

"They are guys that play a lot of minutes for us," Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov said. "They are a big part of the game we play, but they are excuses that we lost good players, we have enough talented players to win games."

Down 2-0 after the first period, van Riemsdyk scored his eighth goal of the season early in the second period to get Flyers on the board. However, a couple of minutes later, LaRose got his sixth to restore Carolina's two-goal edge.

At 12:24 of the second, the Flyers once again got within a goal when rookie Matt Read scored his ninth of the season that pulled the Flyers within 3-2. Read has a goal in five straight games.

But Ponikarovsky managed to find the puck through a group of players in front of the net and lifted it over Bryzgalov late in the second to make it 4-2.

"We had our struggles the last eight or nine games," Ponikarovsky said. "This was important for everyone to get back on the same page, and I think we did that. It's been very emotional, but we played with a lot of energy tonight."

Carolina took a 2-0 lead after one period. Ponikarovsky began the scoring when he beat Bryzgalov at 13:42 with help from LaRose.

LaRose had worked his way down the right side of the Flyers' zone and as Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen tried to anticipate a pass, he committed too early, and was out of position in front of the net. LaRose flicked a pass underneath of Timonen to the uncovered Ponikarovsky, who had a wide open net.

Late in the first period, Skinner put on a nifty spinning move, muscling by the defense and jammed home his ninth of the season at 19:45 of the period.

Notes: Flyers defensemen Chris Pronger and Braydon Coburn were scratched before Monday's game. Pronger, the Flyers' captain who missed six games with an eye injury earlier this season, is out with a virus and will undergo tests. Coburn is out with an upper-body injury. GM Paul Holmgren said Coburn probably got hurt in the game against Winnipeg on Nov. 19. In other moves, the Flyers brought up defensemen Kevin Marshall and Marc-Andre Bourdon from the AHL's Adirondack Phantoms to replace Coburn and Pronger. The Hurricanes recalled forward Brett Sutter from the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League (AHL). Forwards Zach Boychuk and Zac Dalpe were been reassigned to Charlotte.

Scoring Summary
1st Period
13:42CAR PPG - Alexei Ponikarovsky (4) ASST: Chad LaRose (7), Jussi Jokinen (10) 1 - 0 CAR
19:45CAR Jeff Skinner (9) ASST: Tuomo Ruutu (3), Jay Harrison (7) 2 - 0 CAR
2nd Period
01:34PHI James van Riemsdyk (8) ASST: NONE 2 - 1 CAR
03:37CAR Chad LaRose (6) ASST: Tomas Kaberle (5), Alexei Ponikarovsky (3) 3 - 1 CAR
12:24PHI PPG - Matt Read (9) ASST: James van Riemsdyk (8), Kimmo Timonen (12) 3 - 2 CAR
18:33CAR PPG - Alexei Ponikarovsky (5) ASST: Chad LaRose (8), Jussi Jokinen (11) 4 - 2 CAR
3rd Period
Three Stars of the Game
Alexei Ponikarovsky
Alexei Ponikarovsky
G: 2Shots: 3
A: 1Hits: 2
PTS: 3PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 12:30
Chad LaRose
Chad LaRose
G: 1Shots: 5
A: 2Hits: 3
PTS: 3PIM: 2
+/-: 1TOI: 15:22
James van Riemsdyk
James van Riemsdyk
G: 1Shots: 3
A: 1Hits: 1
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 19:29
Penalty Summary
1st Period
05:31PHI Marc-Andre Bourdon  Interference against  Anthony Stewart
13:29PHI Wayne Simmonds  Holding against  Anthony Stewart
19:53CAR Jussi Jokinen  Holding against  Daniel Briere
19:53PHI Daniel Briere  Holding the stick against  Jussi Jokinen
19:53CAR Jussi Jokinen  Roughing against  Daniel Briere
20:00PHI Scott Hartnell  Roughing against  Jay Harrison
2nd Period
04:12CAR Tuomo Ruutu  Tripping against  Andrej Meszaros
06:14CAR Chad LaRose  Hooking against  Daniel Briere
10:35CAR Tim Brent  Tripping against  Jakub Voracek
18:07PHI Andrej Meszaros  Hi-sticking against  Eric Staal
3rd Period
shots by period
Team Stats
Power Plays2/41/4
Faceoff Wins4028
Blocked Shots2011
Penalty Minutes1010
4J. McBainD0023015:29
5B. AllenD0001020:26
6T. GleasonD0001021:07
12E. StaalC0012020:53
13A. StewartR000004:36
15T. RuutuL0110218:14
16B. SutterC00-15019:22
19J. TlustyL0000016:23
23A. PonikarovskyL2113012:30
28J. FaulkD00-10024:04
36J. JokinenL0202413:25
37T. BrentC001026:41
39P. DwyerR00-12018:03
42B. SutterL000006:10
44J. HarrisonD0101024:28
51T. KaberleD0110014:26
53J. SkinnerL1016020:32
59C. LaRoseR1215215:22
30C. Ward3032.93860:00
6A. LiljaD00-10014:25
14S. CouturierC00-1006:44
15A. NodlR0002010:40
17W. SimmondsR0003214:23
19S. HartnellL00-13221:07
21J. van RiemsdykL1113019:29
24M. ReadR1013021:34
25M. CarleD0012025:28
27M. TalbotC00-11015:27
28C. GirouxC00-14023:44
36Z. RinaldoC00-1003:33
41A. MeszarosD00-12224:32
43M. BourdonD0010215:49
44K. TimonenD01-12022:07
45J. ShelleyL00-1004:14
46K. MarshallD00-10014:11
48D. BriereC0004221:00
93J. VoracekR0003018:48
30I. Bryzgalov2731.87158:06