Philadelphia
Flyers
22-48-12
Carolina
Hurricanes
40-34-8
OT
35 SOG
30 SOG
1st2nd3rdOTT
PHI
CAR
game recap

Hurricanes 3, Flyers 2, OT

Tuesday, 06.19.2012 / 2:17 AM

David Droschak

Wesley Wins it in Overtime

David Droschak

Flavor of the Game 700K

RALEIGH, N.C. (FEB. 22, 2007) - What are the odds of the Carolina Hurricanes winning like they did Thursday night, with Glen Wesley scoring short-handed in overtime and John Grahame winning for the first time in more than a month after giving up yet another home lead?

Lottery-type odds.

But after struggling the last few home games the Canes will take them any way they can in the stretch run, beating the pesky Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 to remain inside the Eastern Conference playoff line with 19 games left.

Grahame, who had sat in the corner of the Carolina bench most of the season as Cam Ward's backup, stopped 33 of 35 shots for his first victory since Jan. 16 at Florida.

"I don't think people realize how difficult it is for a goaltender who hasn't played in a long time to come in and play so well," said Wesley, who scored for the first time in 82 games. "He was composed back there and was very vocal. He's very good at handling the puck and he takes a lot of pressure off the defense. He's a calming influence back there."

Grahame found out he was starting Wednesday and prepared as well as he could to try to snap the Canes out of their home funk following recent losses to the New York Rangers and Atlanta Thrashers.

"I just tried to go out and be confident," said Grahame, who was making just his 13th start of the season. "You can't think about what has happened, that you haven't play, haven't done this, haven't done that, we needed the two points -- bottom line. I told myself to go out and play like you know you can and good things will happen."

Coach Peter Laviolette went with Grahame after Ward lost the last two homes games 4-1 and 3-1, trying to create some energy for his team.

It worked for most of the game until the Flyers tied it late in regulation.

"I've known John for awhile and I know he wants to play," said Laviolette. "I thought he looked good. He had been looking good in practice. He's a competitive guy and he made the most of his opportunity."

Carolina lost to the worst team in the NHL 5-2 at home on New Year's Eve and was clinging to a 2-1 lead this time before allowing the game-tying goal with four minutes left in regulation.

To make matters worse, Rod Brind'Amour was called for a tripping penalty with 1:22 left, so the Hurricanes had to start the five-minute OT period down a man after killing off some of the penalty.

But Justin Williams led a short-handed rush just seconds into overtime, was patient enough to slow things down to let Wesley join the rush and dumped off a pass to the 19-year veteran defenseman to tee up.

Wesley let fire and beat Antero Niittymaki short side for his first goal at the RBC Center since the 2001-02 season as Carolina escaped with a crucial two points.

"I'm not sure he has too many of those, but it couldn't have come at a better time for us," said Brind'Amour. "We were reeling, we were holding on. That's a huge two points for us."

"I yelled at (Justin)," said Wesley. "He kind of froze everybody. We had nothing to lose. If they go back the other way who knows what would have happened."

Carolina's defensive corps hasn't exactly scored goals in bunches this season, either. Wesley's score was just the 13th goal by the blue liners.

Wesley laughed when asked if he had forgotten how to celebrate a goal.

"I saw it on X-Box 360. My son gets to play it a lot. I thought I would reminisce," said Wesley, who scored his 14th career game winner.

"Both of our defensemen jumped into the rush on that play," said Laviolette. "I'm glad it went in because if it didn't they were coming back strong the other way."

Philadelphia closed to 2-1 midway through the second period before Grahame kept his club on top with two good saves while the Canes were on a futile four-minute power play that didn't produce a shot after Craig Adams took a high stick to the face.

Carolina did hit the post twice in the second, including one by Bret Hedican on the delayed high sticking call. Josef Vasicek also hit the iron with 15 seconds left on an earlier Hurricanes' power play.

Carolina had just four shots through the opening 13 minutes before getting a pair of goals to go up 2-0.

The Hurricanes scored first for just the 26th time in 63 games when Brind'Amour's wrist shot from the left circle eluded the glove of Antero Niittymaki with 6:58 left in the period. The goal gave Brind'Amour his 12th season of 20 or more goals and four goals in his last three games.

Five minutes later, Williams dug the puck out of the corner, circled toward the slot and let a shot go that was blocked and fell at the skates of Niittymaki, who was then faced with trying to fend off Andrew Ladd. The left winger pounded at the puck three times before it squirted between the legs of the Philly goalie to give the Canes a two-goal lead.

"I think he has really been noticeable," Laviolette said of Ladd's recent play. "Every shift I wanted to notice him on the ice and he has worked at that."

With Erik Cole and Cory Stillman sidelined, Carolina dressed eight defensemen for the second straight game, with Dennis Seidenberg playing forward.

David Droschak is the former sports editor for the North Carolina bureaus of the Associated Press, the largest news-gathering organization in the world. In 2003, Droschak was named the North Carolina Sportswriter of the Year. The only writer in the Triangle to have covered the Carolina Hurricanes every season since the organization moved to North Carolina, he currently is a principal in the Raleigh-based public relations firm Hughes-Droschak Communications.

scoring summary
1st Period
13:02
CAR
Rod Brind'Amour (20) Wrist shot - ASST: Bret Hedican (10), David Tanabe (10)
1 - 0 CAR
18:17
CAR
Andrew Ladd (7) Snap shot - ASST: Justin Williams (26), Eric Staal (33)
2 - 0 CAR
2nd Period
10:05
PHI
Dimitri Afanasenkov (7) Wrist shot - ASST: Randy Jones (13), Alexandre Picard (14)
2 - 1 CAR
3rd Period
16:00
PHI
Alexandre Picard (3) Tip-in - ASST: Mike Richards (14), Dimitri Afanasenkov (6)
2 - 2 Tie
OT Period
00:16
CAR
SHG - Glen Wesley (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Justin Williams (27), Mike Commodore (17)
3 - 2 CAR
penalty summary
1st Period
10:32
PHI
Randy Jones  Hooking against  Trevor Letowski
2nd Period
05:12
CAR
Tim Gleason  Fighting (maj) against  Todd Fedoruk
05:12
PHI
Todd Fedoruk  Hooking against  Ray Whitney
05:12
PHI
Todd Fedoruk  Fighting (maj) against  Tim Gleason
14:28
PHI
Denis Gauthier  Hi-sticking against  Craig Adams
14:28
PHI
Denis Gauthier  Hi-sticking against  Craig Adams
3rd Period
01:23
CAR
Bret Hedican  Hooking against  Jeff Carter
08:56
CAR
Josef Vasicek  Too many men/ice - bench
18:38
CAR
Rod Brind'Amour  Tripping against  Scottie Upshall
OT Period
NONE
goalie stats
Antero Niittymaki
Antero Niittymaki
SA: 30TOI: 60:11
Saves: 27EV: 24 - 26
PIM: 0PP: 3 - 3
SV%: .900SH: 0 - 1
John Grahame
SA: 35TOI: 60:13
Saves: 33EV: 25 - 27
PIM: 0PP: 3 - 3
SV%: .943SH: 5 - 5