Let's face it, the Hurricanes do not have a history of playing well against the Flyers, and this goes back to when the franchise was relocated to Raleigh. Since 1997, the Hurricanes have won only 30 of their 115 games against the Flyers and have earned points in a little over 36% of those games. Given that bit of information, some might be thankful that the Canes were able to escape Philadelphia with at least a point after losing a 4-3 overtime decision. Some might be happy with the point but this loss is frustrating because the Hurricanes had a great opportunity to steal two points from the Flyers.
Much like they did in Ottawa, the Hurricanes did not play their best game today but were able to stay in the game and force overtime thanks to good goaltending and a couple of lucky bounces. They took control of the third period and had a good chance to build on that in overtime. One odd-man rush by the Flyers and a bit of a lucky goal by Danny Briere ended that opportunity. Every point matters, obviously and the Hurricanes are probably content with earning five out of a possible eight on this road trip so far but it's always tough to not take advantage of chances like they had today, especially with the team having some problems on this road trip.
Scoring chance breakdown after the jump
Carolina Hurricanes at Philadelphia Flyers 2/9/13
Carolina ended up getting outchanced by six and it's mostly because of that five-on-three powerplay in the first period that they somehow managed to kill off. They gave up a ton of chances to the Flyers in that sequence, though and Ward did his best to keep the Hurricanes on top 1-0. The Canes had no legs after killing off that penalty, though and it took them awhile to regroup. The Flyers did their best to exploit it for the rest of the period by forechecking hard and pinning the Canes into their own zone and it eventually led to Brayden Schenn's goal. They did the same on Matt Read's goal in the beginning of the second period by forcing an Eric Staal turnover that led to a breakaway chance.
After that, Carolina did a nice job of battling back and at least matching the Flyers at even strength during the second period. The Canes also took control of the third period and were able to keep the puck in the Flyers' zone for long stretches of time. Unfortunately, they weren't generating as many scoring chances as they probably should have and gave up three to the Flyers in the last minute. They also gave up an odd-man rush in overtime that led to Briere's goal, which was a bit of a lucky bounce but the Hurricanes still gave him a lot of space to work with. It goes to show that while this team is better territorially, they still have a lot of issues when it comes to defensive play. They aren't going to be able to outscore their problems every night so I'm interested to see if any changes come in the next month or so.
Hurricanes Individual Scoring Chances
Best EV Forward: Jeff Skinner +6
Worst EV Forward: Alexander Semin -5
Best EV Defensemen: Jay Harrison & Tim Gleason +1
Worst EV Defensemen: Justin Faulk & Joni Pitkanen -1
The first line followed up their bad performance against Ottawa with another rough game today. They produced one of the Carolina goals, which came off a face-off 17 seconds into the game but other than that, they struggled to do much at even strength. The second line, however, just seems to get better with every game as they ended up with a positive scoring chance differential yet again and most of it was because of the play of Jeff Skinner. He was the Hurricanes driving force offensively today with 7 shots on goal, 13 shot attempts and he was also on-ice for over 73% of Carolina's even strength scoring chances. It's good to see the second line step up while the top unit struggles but it would be really nice to have both lines firing on all cylinders for at least one game.
The first two lines were also forced to play a ton of minutes at even strength because Carolina basically had only 10 forwards for the entire game. Tim Wallace got himself ejected after boarding Tye McGinn on only his second shift and Kevin Westgarth played only four shifts total. I know Wallace usually plays a bigger role, but I don't understand the point of dressing Westgarth if he is only going to play four shifts. It makes it a lot worse when he plays instead of someone like Andreas Nodl who can actually help the team and make the fourth line somewhat useful. Tim Brent is having a good season but his efforts haven't been showing up because of the linemates he is saddled with. I understand that Westgarth has a role but I don't understand why he keeps being put in the lineup when he hasn't done much of anything.
According to the scoring chance numbers, Gleason and Harrison had the strongest games among the defense corps. Personally, I thought only one defenseman played well and that was Joe Corvo. I'm pretty sure he was getting a zone start push from Muller but in terms of providing offense, Corvo was doing his job. He had seven shots on net, scored his first goal of the season and was able to keep the puck in the Flyers end when he was on the ice. The rest of the defense struggled and had a few bad miscues that all ended up being chances or goals for the Flyers. Gleason was guilty of a few mistakes and was destroyed on the penalty kill while Sanguinetti had another rough game. He might find himself in the press box on Monday night against the Islanders after being on ice for three of the four Flyer goals today, even though he wasn't completely at fault for all of them.
Flyers Individual Scoring Chances
Best EV Forward: Jakub Voracek +3
Worst EV Forwards: Mike Knuble & Sean Couturier -2
Best EV Defensemen: Kimmo Timonen, Nicklas Grossman & Kurtis Foster +1
Worst EV Defenseman: Braydon Coburn -2
The Flyers top forwards did most of their work on the powerplay and were neutralized at evens. Carolina has actually done a pretty good job of at least matching the production from Giroux & Briere at even strength, but the rest of the Flyers top-nine are the ones who are giving them problems. Simmonds, Voracek and B. Schenn were the only forwards who outchanced their opponents by more than one.
Head-to-Head at Five-on-Five
Voracek, Schenn & Read did most of their work against the Harrison-Sanguinetti pairing, which explains why they had the best games of any Philadelphia forwards at even strength. Gleason & Corvo also had trouble defending the Giroux line while Jordan Staal's unit was able to keep them somewhat in check. Carolina couldn't take advantage of that, though because their first line failed to win any of their matchups. That has rarely happened this year.
Scoring Chance Report
|1||CAR||19:43||Tlusty – GOAL||12||19||28||6||77||30||14||9||24||22||44||30||5v5|
|2||PHI||18:27||Read – GOAL||12||19||28||24||44||30||14||9||24||22||44||30||5v5|
|2||CAR||8:43||Skinner – GOAL||11||53||25||77||30||48||28||5||27||30||4v4|
|2||PHI||8:28||Voracek – GOAL||11||53||6||77||30||10||93||5||27||30||4v4|
|4||PHI||3:13||Briere – GOAL||39||36||24||44||30||10||48||3||44||30||4v4|