After a brutal stretch run early in January, the resilient Flyers have recovered to win the past three games leading into the All Star break. The importance of this matchup against the Carolina Hurricanes was clear to the Flyers. Every point is valuable as they find themselves jockeying for playoff positioning.
Goaltender Steve Mason who was absolutely on fire winning his last two starts before the All Star break stated, “We are going to take it day by day. You cannot look at the standings because they are going to change everyday.”
There was a lot of excitement on the ice yesterday during the Flyers practice in Voorhees, NJ. The players were relishing the fact that Wayne Simmonds was named MVP for his performance in Sundays All Star game. The Flyers hoped this was a good sign of things to come.
The first save of the game came from Mason just 25 seconds into the tilt. Justin Faulk took a slap shot from the point with Mason making the right pad save keeping the game scoreless.
It took the Flyers nearly five minutes in the opening period to register their first shot on net. Brayden Schenn deflected the puck on a shot from Ivan Provorov. Cam Ward made the right pad save, keeping the game scoreless.
The first goal of the game came at 12:49 into the first period. Sebastian Aho gave the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead after scoring his 13th goal of the year. Jordan Staal made a nice pass to Aho, who then one timed the puck past Mason for the early lead.
Aho scored his second goal of the night off with 3:23 remaining in the period. Elias Lindholm made a nice pass to Aho for the easy slam dunk goal. The Flyers had trouble clearing their zone after sustained pressure from the Hurricanes. This made the score 2-0 Hurricanes.
The first period ended 2-0 in favor of Carolina. The Hurricanes outshot the Flyers 8-4, and the face off margin was evenly split at 50%.
Andrew Macdonald was called for the first penalty of the night just 14 seconds into the second period. The Hurricanes were able to register three shots on net during the power play. Mason made all three saves keeping the score 2-0 Hurricanes.
The Flyers were called for their second penalty of the night at 13:51 into the second period. Shayne Gostisbehere was called for hooking on Jeff Skinner. The Hurricanes could not muster a shot on net during this sequence, keeping the score 2-0.
Lee Stempniak was called for the Hurricanes first penalty of the night at 12:52 in the second period. The Flyers could not sustain enough zone pressure time on the power play keeping the score 2-0. They did not register a shot during this sequence.
Ivan Provorov was called for another Flyers penalty at 9:25 in the second period. The Hurricanes were held to just two shots on net for the duration of the power play. Mason made both saves keeping the game 2-0.
The Flyers finally registered their first shot on net for the period at 7:35. Cam Ward made the easy pad save keeping the score 2-0. Jeff Skinner then skated with the puck down the ice. He beat Mason with a high wrist shot for his 18th goal of the year making the score 3-0 Hurricanes.
Claude Giroux was called for a roughing penalty with 2:20 remaining in the second period. Sebastian Aho took a nice feed from Lindholm. He was able to beat Mason with a wrist shot from the top of the left circle for a Hurricanes 4-0 lead. Aho completed the hat trick after scoring his 15th goal of the year.
The Hurricanes dominated the Flyers in the second period. Their hard work paid dividends as they were up 4-0 at the end of the second period. The Flyers were outshot 12-2 in the period, and they lost the faceoff margin 58%-42%.
Stempniak was called for his second penalty of the night just 12 seconds into the third stanza. The Flyers could not muster a shot on net keeping the score 4-0 Hurricanes.
Matt Read and Nick Cousins were both called for penalties at 15: 11 in the third period. This gave the Hurricanes a two man advantage. Justin Faulk took a slap shot from the top of the point. The puck found its way past Mason for a 5-0 Hurricanes lead.
Jay McClement was called for a hooking penalty on Giroux at 10:30 in the third period. On the ensuing power play, Schenn was able to solve Ward ending his shutout bid. Schenn one timed a puck past Ward making the score 5-1 in favor of the Hurricanes. It was Schenn’s league leading 12th power play goal of the year.
The Hurricanes were called for their 5th penalty of the night at 3:03 in the third period. Viktor Stalberg was called for hooking on Ivan Provorov. The Flyers were able to register three shots on net, but Ward had the answers keeping the score 5-1.
The third period came to a close, with a dominant performance by the Hurricanes in a 5-1 thrashing of the Flyers. They out shot the Flyers for the game 28-16. The Flyers also lost the face off margin 57%-43%.
The Flyers are left searching for answers after this 5-1 loss. They were out competed in every facet of the game tonight. Mason did not stand a chance in the loss, as he tried keeping his team in the game for as long as he could. They will have to put forth a better effort against the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night. Follow me on Twitter @JameyBaskow for all Flyers updates.
Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports