|PHI||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||3|
|CAR||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||1|
After allowing four third-period goals a week ago in the RBC Center to Philadelphia, the Carolina Hurricanes were relishing a second chance to try to solve the Flyers.
The Canes didn’t fare any better this time around, falling 3-1 Wednesday night on the heels of a 6-3 loss to Philadelphia the day before Thanksgiving. Coupled with a 3-2 overtime loss on Oct. 20, the Canes fell to 0-2-1 against the Atlantic Division-leading Flyers.
“They’ve played well against us, and in our building,” said Cory Stillman. “We’ve given them opportunities and they’ve scored timely goals.”
Carolina avoided its third shutout when Stillman notched his team-leading 12th of the season with 10:30 left 21 seconds into a power play.
“We need to get back to the basics – go work hard, play hard, skate and have fun,” said Stillman, who now leads the Canes in scoring with 30 points. “When you’re coming to the rink with smiles on your faces and you’re winning hockey games it’s easy. We’re digging holes for ourselves and trying to come back. It would be nice to score two goals, have a lead after one and see how we work off it.”
The Hurricanes had chances in the final four minutes when Glen Wesley drew a penalty and Cam Ward was out of the net for an extra attacker over the final 1:44, but couldn’t get another puck past Martin Biron, who made 40 saves.
After starting 6-1-3 to bolt to a big lead in the Southeast Division, the Canes are just 7-8 in their last 15 games heading into the Washington contest Friday night.
“I was surprised our record is that good,” said captain Rod Brind’Amour. “I thought it was a lot worse than that. What’s going on? They outfought us for a couple of pucks in front of our net and we can’t have that happen. And we’re not scoring enough goals. When you’re not scoring it puts more pressure on the little plays. Right now we don’t have any room for error.”
“Things don’t seem to be dropping right now,” added coach Peter Laviolette. “At times the power play looked a little stale, a little too much positioning instead of just flowing. When you are in one of those ruts its time to start throwing more pucks at the net and get more traffic at the net. Most of the goals aren’t pretty goals scored in this league. Look at some of the ones they got tonight.”
Scott Walker returned after missing 17 games with a torso injury, playing 14:26 on a line with Matt Cullen and Ray Whitney. But Walker’s fire didn’t help on the offensive end as nothing clicked on this night for the second-highest scoring team in the league.
Carolina fell behind by two goals after two periods, then allowed Mike Knuble to walk in on Cam Ward all alone 33 seconds into the third on a Philadelphia power play for a 3-0 deficit.
“I didn’t think it was easy out there,” Laviolette said. “Philadelphia played a tight checking game. There wasn’t a lot of free wheeling and free space. The players had to fight for it. I thought the competitiveness within the battles could have been better through the second period.”
Derian Hatcher gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead early in the second when he poked at the puck in the crease four times before it trickled under the pads of Cam Ward. The score came four minutes after the first power play of the game went to Carolina, which failed to get a single shot on Biron.
Philadelphia made it 2-0 after another Carolina power play when Ward failed to control a shot from Mike Richards and the puck squirted free for an easy empty-net goal for Kimmo Timonen with 4:44 left in the second.
The Canes finished with just seven shots in five power plays.
Carolina had 11 shots on goal less than 11 minutes in to the game but nothing to show for it as Chad LaRose was stopped from point-blank range by Biron, who had to be sharp early.
NOTES: Rod Brind’Amour played in his 500th game in a Carolina uniform. … Carolina blocked 10 shots in the first period. … Hatcher’s last goal also came against Carolina on March 28 of last season. … Stillman extended his point streak to five games. … Craig Adams remains without a point through the team’s first 25 games. … The Canes have scored just 13 goals in their last seven games.
|Derian Hatcher (1) ASST: Mike Knuble (7), R.J. Umberger (11)|
1 - 0 PHI
|Kimmo Timonen (3) ASST: Mike Knuble (8), Mike Richards (15)|
2 - 0 PHI
|PPG - Mike Knuble (8) ASST: Mike Richards (16), Daniel Briere (18)|
3 - 0 PHI
|PPG - Cory Stillman (12) ASST: Rod Brind'Amour (18), Ray Whitney (14)|
3 - 1 PHI
|Randy Jones Hooking against Eric Staal|
|Glen Wesley Holding against Sami Kapanen|
|Kimmo Timonen Hooking against Matt Cullen|
|Randy Jones Holding against Erik Cole|
|Bret Hedican Hi-sticking against Scottie Upshall|
|Justin Williams Slashing against Mike Knuble|
|Kimmo Timonen Interference against Matt Cullen|
|Denis Tolpeko Tripping against Glen Wesley|
|SA: 41||TOI: 60:00|
|Saves: 40||EV: 33 - 33|
|PIM: 0||PP: 6 - 7|
|SV%: .976||SH: 1 - 1|
|SA: 34||TOI: 58:39|
|Saves: 31||EV: 26 - 28|
|PIM: 0||PP: 4 - 5|
|SV%: .912||SH: 1 - 1|