Tracking the Storm Postgame: Analysis
-- The Carolina Hurricanes came away from Friday’s game against Detroit pleased with the effort but disappointed with the result. Tonight, they come away pleased with both, as they topped the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 for their first win of the 2013-14 regular season. Jay Harrison and Radek Dvorak potted goals for the Canes, and Anton Khudobin made 17 saves in the team’s first victory in the new Metropolitan Division. “We said if we put the same ingredients in as the other night and do it again tonight … we’d get rewarded,” said head coach Kirk Muller. “The guys came ready to battle and worked hard.”
-- Dvorak’s goal, which proved to be the game-winner, was his second tally in as many games. It came as Luke Schenn’s pass from behind the net deflected off Jeff Skinner’s skate and onto Dvorak’s stick. He then roofed it top-shelf. “He can score, and he has great skill,” Muller said of the 36-year-old veteran who was brought into training camp as a try-out and signed a contract just last week.
-- Skinner had one of his more complete games in recent history. He was arguably the team’s hungriest player in the first period, recording four shots in 6:22 of ice time. In total, he played 19:19, including 3:01 on the power play, had two assists, five shots and was a plus-2. “I’m really pleased with his game tonight. He was more tenacious on the puck, he created more and he worked hard without the puck,” Muller said. “That’s the type of game we want from him, and I thought he had a really strong game tonight.”
-- Really, that whole line of Dvorak, Skinner and Riley Nash is clicking well. They’re playing smart without the puck which is creating chances going the other way. Skinner on Dvorak: “He’s smart, and you’re never going to find him out of position,” he said. “He’s an easy guy to read off because he’s so consistent that way.”
-- In contrast to last season, the Hurricanes are seeing contribution from all forwards, and that’s especially important when the first line of Alex Semin, Eric Staal and Jiri Tlusty are a step off. Semin had a shot bounce off the post Friday against Detroit, but there’s not much coming from that trio outside of that. Muller isn’t concerned yet, though. “They’re a line that’s out of sync right now,” he said. “I think the positive is that the other guys are playing hard, and that’s a nice sign.”
-- Ryan Murphy recorded his first NHL point with the primary assist on Harrison’s first-period tally. “In my head I pictured it a bit better. Maybe a goal or an overtime goal,” he joked. “But I’m happy to get it out of the way, and it was a good shot by Harry.”
-- Muller on Murphy: “So far, he’s held his own and played well five-on-five. We certainly have a lot of confidence in him that he can go out and get the job done.”
-- Elias Lindholm got crunched along the boards by Max Talbot in the third period and skated off gripping his arm. Though he didn’t see the ice again in the game because Philadelphia shortened their bench toward the end of the game, rolling just three lines, Lindholm returned to the Canes’ bench. “That’s the type of hockey players we want here. He got banged up, he came back on the bench and said, ‘I’m ready to play again.’ Hey, we love it,” Muller said. “That’s the kind of character and guys that are willing to play through that stuff that we want to see from our group.”
-- The Hurricanes will now hit the road for games in Pittsburgh and Washington on Tuesday and Thursday, respectively. Already having rotated both Cam Ward and Khudobin in net, Muller said goaltending would be a day-to-day decision. “When you have two fresh goalies who can win hockey games for you, that’s a great thing,” he said.
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Radek Dvorak scored the go-ahead goal midway through the second period and goaltender Anton Khudobin stopped 17 shots to help the Carolina Hurricanes earn a 2-1 victory against the Philadelphia Flyers at PNC Arena on Sunday.
Jeff Skinner had two assists for Carolina, which recorded its first win of the season.
The Flyers, meanwhile fell to 0-3. They have been outscored 9-3 in the three games.
The Hurricanes dominated the first period. After establishing a strong forecheck early, defenseman Jay Harrison put Carolina up 1-0 when his snap shot from the left point trickled through Steve Mason's pads. Although Ryan Murphy's set-up pass was errant, it was good for his first NHL point.
The Flyers were lucky to escape the first period trailing only 1-0. The Hurricanes peppered Mason throughout the period, gaining a 17-5 advantage in shots on goal. Skinner led the Carolina offense, accounting for four shots on goal. Philadelphia bobbled pucks in its own end and consistently failed to make passes through the neutral zone.
Flyers defenseman Luke Schenn evened the score at 1-1 early in the second period. After Kris Newbury won a faceoff, Schenn charged through the circle, got past Hurricanes forward Drayson Bowman and lifted a shot past Khudobin high to the far post.
Dvorak put the Hurricanes back on top, scoring his second goal in two games since joining the Hurricanes. When Schenn's pass from behind the net deflected off Skinner, Dvorak was alone in the slot. He used Riley Nash as a screen to beat Mason over the glove.
After a penalty-penalty free first period, each team had one power-play opportunity. Mason turned in a sparkling save, stopping Eric Staal on the back door with his left pad.
Carolina rookie forward Elias Lindholm left the game early in the third period and returned to the bench.