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Philadelphia Flyers

Flyers Handily Defeated By Hurricanes, Lose 4-1

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Philadelphia Flyers
Philadelphia Flyers forward Travis Konecny scores his 12th goal of the season against the Carolina Hurricanes. (Photo: AP)

The Philadelphia Flyers drop another Metropolitan Division game, losing 4-1 to the Carolina Hurricanes.

Despite having a power play 53 seconds into the game thanks to a Jordan Staal trip, it was the Hurricanes who scored first. Michael Bunting scored his fifth goal of the year on his own rebound, giving Carolina a 5-0 advantage in shots and a 1-0 advantage on the scoreboard.

Philadelphia struggled quite a bit with their controlled zone exits in the opening frame. On three occasions, a Flyers player would hold the puck behind their goal and wait for a suite of line changes before breaking out. All three times, the breakout pass resulted in a turnover at the blue line.

The Flyers, as they do, pushed back to close out the first period. Sean Couturier received a gorgeous feed from Travis Konecny and went back against the grain at the far post, but somehow and some way, the puck avoided the back of the net.

Unplug the Power Play and Plug It Back In

Regardless, the score remained 1-0 in favor of the Hurricanes, despite the Philadelphia Flyers bring themselves up to nine shots on goal to their opponents’ 11.

To start the middle stanza, the Flyers once again drew a penalty in the first minute. Once again, the power play failed to deliver. In fact, the Hurricanes managed to generate a better scoring chance than the Flyers did, but the one-timer was denied off of Carter Hart’s mask.

With 12:46 remaining in the period, Tyson Foerster alertly spotted a cherry-picking Travis Konecny, who went in on a breakaway and cashed in to tie the game at 1-1. Konecny kept it simple, skating in down the middle and beating Pyotr Kochetkov on his low glove side. No. 11 has had a few breakaway opportunities as of late, so it was nice to see him convert on one.

Late in the period, Scott Laughton failed to clear the defensive zone, and his attempt fell right to Brendan Lemieux in front of the Flyers‘ crease. The former Flyer did the rest, restoring Carolina’s one-goal lead at 2-1. Lemieux’s goal was his first since Oct. 14.

Not long after, head coach John Tortorella fired up the Philadelphia Flyers line mixer. As a result, Laughton moved from the fourth line to the second. Then to close the period, with the Flyers short-handed, Laughton took a cross-checking penalty coming to Couturier’s defense.

It’s the second time in a week No. 21 has made Philadelphia play 5-on-3.

Penalty Kill… Still Strong

Fortunately, the Flyers’ penalty kill managed to kill off both Bobby Brink’s penalty and Laughton’s. If there’s been one area of strength this year for Philadelphia, it’s the penalty kill.

This is especially true when taking into account that Laughton was absent from the penalty kill during his own penalty.

Without these two kills, the Hurricanes could have put the Flyers to bed in a hurry.

The third period was a very evenly played one, featuring end-to-end action from both sides. Owen Tippett and Teuvo Teravainen traded shots off the posts, but neither the Flyers nor the Hurricanes could find the decisive goal to either tie the game or extend the lead.

With the Philadelphia Flyers chasing a goal, Tortorella mixed up the defense with less than five minutes to go. Cam York joined Ramsus Ristolainen, while Sean Walker moved up with Travis Sanheim.

Because of the late push, Seth Jarvis found himself 1-on-1 chasing a loose puck into the Flyers’ end. His sharp-angle shot hit Hart’s pad and still slid in, effectively ending the game. Seconds later, Jesperi Kotkaniemi scored the empty-netter for a 4-1 lead, putting the icing on the cake.

With the loss, the Flyers fall to 11-10-1 on the season, with the New Jersey Devils next up on Thursday.

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