|PHI||0||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||2|
|CAR||0||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||1|
The Carolina Hurricanes could use a few goals like the Philadelphia Flyers scored to capture a 2-1 overtime victory Saturday night, keeping the Canes reeling at home for yet another game.
Mired in a scoring slump that has lasted three weeks, the Hurricanes got this one into the extra period with a power play goal from Sergei Samsonov early in the third period and some clutch goaltending by Michael Leighton, who rebounded from a five-goal game Thursday in a loss to Pittsburgh.
That was the good news.
But with 1:26 left in OT, captain Rod Brind’Amour got tangled with Jeff Carter on a faceoff in the Carolina end, the puck dropping to the skates of both players before Carter was able to get a stick on it toward Leighton, who couldn’t handle the bouncing puck as it slipped between his legs for the team’s sixth defeat in the last seven tries.
“The puck was kind of rolling around and he just turned around and whacked it,” Leighton said of Carter. “He threw a knuckle puck at me and it hit my stick and went in.
“I felt a little more comfortable,” added a disappointed Leighton, who stopped 29 of 31 shots in his second start in place of the injured Cam Ward. “The more games I play the more comfortable I’m going to feel, but the bottom line is we didn’t win. We were throwing pucks at the net and we just didn’t get a bounce tonight.”
The OT loss gave Carolina a point and kept the Canes from dropping below .500 for the first time this season. Still, the offense was limited to less than three goals for the 12th time in the last 15 games and defensive stalwart Niclas Wallin left late in the third period after getting his ankle rolled on during a check against the boards. Already sidelined with injuries are defensemen Tim Gleason, Dennis Seidenberg, Frank Kaberle and Ward.
“I’m not optimistic for Nic for tomorrow as of right now,” coach Paul Maurice said of the veteran’s availability against Southeast Division leader Washington. “If he can’t go we’re going to have to bring somebody up.”
Who, is anybody’s guess, since Casey Borer and Tim Conboy were already on hand as call-ups to spell the injured D. It could be Josef Melichar, who was recently demoted to Albany, or Brett Carson, who has 10 points in 21 games in the minors.
“You know what, to be honest with you, that’s going to be a decision made by the rest of the staff and management because I’m still shaking hands and introducing myself to the guys,” said Maurice.
Brind’Amour had three good scoring chances in the opening seven minutes of the third period that could have given the Canes the lead, but couldn’t connect against his former team, leading to a 1-1 tie at the end of regulation.
Carolina carried the play in the OT before Carter’s fluke goal found the back of the net for Philly’s second victory against Carolina in three recent meetings.
Carolina did score a power play goal for the second straight game after going 0-for-25 over a six-game span, but the Canes were just 1-for-5 with the man advantage.
“If we could have scored another one it could have been the difference,” Ray Whitney said. “We had plenty of opportunities, but confidence is probably still an issue a little bit with it. Getting one two games in a row might help that.”
Carolina allowed the first goal of the game for the 12th straight time – and eighth in a row at home -- when an early power play turned into Philadelphia’s NHL-best 11th shorthanded goal of the season. Joe Corvo’s pinch-in backfired, resulting in a Mike Richards breakaway against a helpless Leighton and a 1-0 Flyers lead just 3:59 into the contest.
The Canes’ power play continued to struggle early, going 0-for-3 in the first period with just three shots and no real top-notch scoring opportunities.
After the first period, Carolina carried much of the play, registering 36 shots.
“Our neutral zone was better than it was last game, and we’re making small strides on the power play, finding different people and finding different units,” Maurice said.
NOTES: Matt Cullen saw his four-game point streak end. … Justin Williams started on the third line with Cullen and Ryan Bayda. … Borer and Conboy played together as a defensive pairing before Wallin was injured. … Four Canes – Brind’Amour, Williams, Leighton and Pitkanen played against their former team. A fifth former Flyer – Dennis Seidenberg – didn’t dress because of injury. … Carolina opponents have blocked a combined 71 shots over the last three games. …. Pitkanen logged more than 29 minutes for the second time in his last four games.
|SHG - Mike Richards (11) ASST: Simon Gagne (19)|
1 - 0 PHI
|PPG - Sergei Samsonov (3) ASST: Ray Whitney (12), Joni Pitkanen (10)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Jeff Carter (19) ASST: NONE|
2 - 1 PHI
|Wade Brookbank Roughing against Arron Asham|
|Arron Asham Roughing against Wade Brookbank|
|Riley Cote Roughing against Wade Brookbank|
|Ossi Vaananen Holding against Sergei Samsonov|
|Wade Brookbank Fighting (maj) against Riley Cote|
|Riley Cote Fighting (maj) against Wade Brookbank|
|Luca Sbisa Tripping against Tuomo Ruutu|
|Tuomo Ruutu Boarding against Luca Sbisa|
|Scottie Upshall Interference against Matt Cullen|
|Luca Sbisa Tripping against Matt Cullen|
|Michael Leighton Delaying the game|
|Tim Conboy Hi-sticking against Arron Asham|
|Luca Sbisa Tripping against Patrick Eaves|
|Eric Staal Roughing against Simon Gagne|
|Simon Gagne Interference against Eric Staal|
|SA: 36||TOI: 63:34|
|Saves: 35||EV: 30 - 30|
|PIM: 0||PP: 5 - 6|
|SV%: .972||SH: 0 - 0|
|SA: 31||TOI: 63:34|
|Saves: 29||EV: 23 - 24|
|PIM: 2||PP: 5 - 5|
|SV%: .935||SH: 1 - 2|