- Though the Canes have recorded just one win in the month of April, the prevailing thought has been that, while the results have been lacking, the effort has been there. Tonight, head coach Kirk Muller said that was not the case, as the Hurricanes dropped a 6-3 decision to the Philadelphia Flyers. “Tonight was the first game in a long time that we’ve been disappointed with the effort and commitment with our guys,” he said. “We’ve been praising them for awhile, and they’ve been going hard, playing hard and not getting the results, but tonight was probably the first time we’ve been disappointed with some of the guys not competing at the level we want to.”
- More Muller on the Canes’ compete level: “They outworked us tonight,” he said. “At the end of the day, you’ve got to come ready to play. You can’t take a night off in the NHL.”
- The story recently has been that bounces simply haven’t gone in the Hurricanes’ favor. Rinse and repeat tonight, as Matt Read put the Flyers up 5-3 on a breakaway just seconds after Tuomo Ruutu nearly tied the game at four. “The hockey gods don’t like us a whole lot right now. You’ve got to work through that,” said Kevin Westgarth, who recorded his first point as a Hurricane with an assist on Justin Faulk’s second period goal. “We’ve got to make sure we’re better come next game.”
- Playing in his 100th NHL game, Faulk scored his fifth goal of the season, a seeing-eye slap shot from the point. The sequence was initiated with a grinding shift from the fourth line of Westgarth, Tim Wallace and Nic Blanchard. Westgarth made a leaping play at the blue line to keep the puck, headed toward the net and – along with Blanchard – screened Steve Mason as Faulk ripped a shot. The goal extends Faulk’s point streak to a career-high four games. “He’s doing a lot of good things out there. That’s important for us to see, that he’s finishing up the season on a good, strong note,” Muller said of Faulk. “We need him to play at that level.”
- Returning to the lineup after missing a game with an upper-body injury, Jeff Skinner potted the Canes’ first goal, his 13th of the season. The puck popped out into the slot, and Skinner hacked at the puck and beat a surprised Mason. Skinner has recorded goals in three of his last four games (and he only played a few minutes in that game he didn’t score in). “I just sort of closed my eyes and swung at it,” Skinner said with a smile.
- The Hurricanes will travel to Tampa Bay for the last Southeast Division match-up with the Lightning Sunday evening. With the 6 p.m. start in a back-to-back situation, Muller said it’s likely that Dan Ellis will get the start in net. The Hurricanes will be dressed in their third jerseys for the seventh and final time this season tomorrow night in Tampa Bay.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Wayne Simmonds got his first career hat trick and added an assist to lead the Philadelphia Flyers in a 5-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night in a matchup of teams recently eliminated from playoff contention.
Jakub Voracek and Matt Read also scored for the Flyers, who won for the third time in four games. Steve Mason, playing his fifth game for the Flyers since being acquired from Columbus, made 26 saves.
Simmonds, playing in his 364th career game, also had his first four-point effort.
The Flyers were playing for the first time since they were eliminated from postseason contention.
The Hurricanes were knocked out of the playoff chase during their previous game based on another result.
With a good number of Flyers fans in attendance, Simmonds' third goal at 48 seconds of the third period extended Philadelphia's lead to 4-2 and drew a couple dozen hats to be thrown onto the ice.
However, Staal scored nearly 2 minutes later to pull Carolina within one.
The Hurricanes appeared ready to pull even when Riley Nash's redirect hit the post. The Flyers recovered and Read, who had two assists, scored on a breakaway at the other end at 7:03.
It was a busy night for Carolina goalie Justin Peters, who made his career-high seventh consecutive start and finished with 33 saves.
The Flyers applied early pressure, posting the game's first eight shots on goal. Voracek made it 1-0 with his 20th goal of the season at 7:00 of the first period.
Skinner responded with an unassisted goal directly off a Philadelphia turnover to tie the score with 6:42 remaining in the opening period.
Simmonds regained the lead for the Flyers less than two minutes into the second.
Faulk's second goal in three games at 7:19 of the middle period came when the Flyers failed to clear the zone again.
Simmonds put Philadelphia ahead for good 1:14 later as the Flyers swept the teams' three-game season series.
NOTES: Simmonds has two multi-goal games this season, both on the road. ... Voracek has three goals in the last four games. ... Skinner was back in Carolina's lineup a game after he was held out for precautionary reasons for a head injury. ... Faulk, a second-year defenseman, played in his 100th NHL game. ... The Flyers have 12 goals within the first minute of a regulation period this season. ... Carolina enforcer Kevin Westgarth notched his first point of the season, with an assist in his 29th game. .. The Hurricanes are 42-44-15 in one-plus season under coach Kirk Muller. ... The Flyers play two of their final three games at home.