January 24, 2014 by Howard Hutchinson
After a snowstorm forced the Jan. 21 game between the Philadelphia Flyers and Carolina Hurricanes to be delayed, the two teams took to the Wells Fargo Center ice Jan. 22. After a rough start, the Flyers could not complete the comeback as they fell to the Hurricanes, 3-2.
Prior to facing Carolina, the Flyers completed a home-and-home series against the New York Islanders.
Following a hard-fought shoot loss to the Nashville Predators, the Flyers were back in action Jan. 18 for a home game against the Islanders. Once again, Philadelphia found itself in an early deficit as the Islanders tallied the first two goals of the game. The Flyers, as they have done so often of late, clawed their way back into the game and overtook the Islanders in the final minutes en route to a 6-4 victory.
Heading into the second game of the home-and-home series Jan. 20, the Flyers were looking to complete a season sweep of their division rivals. However, the Islanders would not let that happen. Philadelphia jumped out to a 3-1 lead but could not hold off a surging Islanders team, and was ultimately defeated in a shootout.
Despite their loss in New York, the Flyers were still able to take three out of a possible four points in the two-game series, which should be considered an overall success.
The Flyers planned to be back in action the very next day against the Carolina Hurricanes, but a snowstorm delayed the game until the next day.
To the surprise of no one, the Flyers found themselves in an early hole against the Hurricanes.
Alexander Semin opened the scoring 11:57 into the first period. Semin took a lead pass from Eric Staal and worked his way to the right circle before firing a wrist shot over the glove of Philadelphia goalie Steve Mason.
Nathan Gerbe added to the Carolina lead at 13:38 of the second with a highlight reel goal. After Luke Schenn mishandled a bouncing puck at the offensive zone blue line, Gerbe took off on a breakaway and beat Mason with a shot between the legs to make it 2-0.
But the Flyers would not go down easily.
With 34.6 seconds remaining in the second period, Claude Giroux put Philadelphia on the board. A poor clearing attempt by Carolina goalie Anton Khudobin found the stick of Michael Raffl. After Raffl threw the puck toward the net, Jakub Voracek took a shot that bounced off Khudobin and found the stick of Giroux who put it home for his 14th goal of the season.
Philadelphia went right back to work in the beginning of the third period. Following a high-sticking penalty by Carolina’s Riley Nash, the Flyers cashed in on their power play as Scott Hartnell tied the game with his 12th tally of the season. Giroux controlled the puck along the left wall and attempted to make a pass to Wayne Simmonds at the front of the net. Simmonds mishandled the puck, but it landed right on the stick of Hartnell, who fired it past Khudobin.
Momentum shifted in Carolina’s direction after Hartnell’s tying goal. The Hurricanes held the majority of play in the Flyers zone, and it eventually paid off. With 6:10 remaining in regulation, Jiri Tlusty put the Hurricanes ahead. Following heavy pressure in the offensive zone, Tlusty was left open in front of the Philadelphia net and cashed in, putting a wrist shot over Mason to put his team up for good.
The Flyers have now gone 0-3 this season against the division opponent from Carolina.
“It was another tough loss for the Flyers,” Alex Palmatier, a third-year software engineering major, said. “They seem to always have an uphill climb heading into the third period and that is something that has to change if they want to be successful down the stretch.”
Playing a back-to-back game against the Columbus Blue Jackets Jan. 23, Philadelphia lost by a score of 5-2. After getting out to a 2-1 lead 7:21 into the second period, Columbus scored four straight goals to pull out the win.
Next up on the schedule, the Flyers host the Boston Bruins for a 1 p.m. matchup at the Wells Fargo Center. Boston is currently in first place in the Atlantic Division.