PHILADELPHIA -- For the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday, it wasn't about how they started, it was how they finished.
A turnover by the team's top line led to them falling behind in the game's first minute, but that same line responded by scoring in overtime as the Flyers beat the visiting Carolina Hurricanes 4-3.
Danny Briere's shot from the slot at 1:47 of extra time provided the difference in the game. He took a cross-ice feed from Nicklas Grossmann and led a breakout up the left side of the ice. As he got to the left circle, he cut to the middle of the ice, he used defenseman Kurtis Foster as a decoy, found room open in the slot and beat Carolina goalie Cam Ward inside the post.
"When I cut to the middle like I did at first, my thought was to drop it," Briere said. "Then I realized their defenseman stopped and the second defenseman or forward backchecking was lunging to go to Kurtis as well, so I decided to keep the puck and there was a little opening in the slot to shoot it."
Brayden Schenn had a goal and two assists, Jakub Voracek had a goal and an assist and Matt Read also had a goal as the Flyers closed a four-game homestand with seven of a possible eight points, including a pair of wins against the Hurricanes in seven days.
"We'll take it, seven of eight points," said defenseman Luke Schenn, who had game-highs of eight hits and six blocked shots. "It's good to get back on track a little bit. We'll enjoy it here for the next little bit, but we've got a huge road trip coming up."
The Flyers play their next six games on the road, starting Monday at the Toronto Maple Leafs.
"We wanted to take control of these four home games and I think we did well," Read said. "We lost one point against Florida the other night which I think shouldn't happen, but to take seven of eight, you can't complain and you move forward from here."
It was Corvo's first game back in the lineup after being scratched from the previous three, and he made an impact in the game's opening seconds. Carolina captain Eric Staal beat Sean Couturier on a faceoff in the Flyers' zone, winning the puck back to Corvo. He fired a shot from the right point that Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov stopped, but the rebound went to an open Tlusty in the slot, and he scored high over Bryzgalov's blocker just 17 seconds into the game.
The reason the faceoff was in the Flyers' end was due to a turnover by the Flyers' Wayne Simmonds, who made his return after missing the previous three with a concussion. Simmonds started on the Flyers' top line, along with Briere and Claude Giroux, but on the game's first shift tried passing the puck across the ice in the defensive zone. Staal intercepted it and put a shot on net that Bryzgalov stopped to halt play. The Hurricanes scored off the ensuing faceoff.
"I thought [his line] could have been a lot better and I thought we had some chances there, but we also turned the puck over in the neutral zone," Simmonds said of his trio, which combined for 10 shots on goal but three giveaways. "I think I had two myself there. Obviously, we have to tighten up on that."
"Our line struggled, no doubt about it," Briere added. "There's going to be nights like that where it's not going to go our way, and tonight was one of those nights. It just wasn't working. We were just turning pucks over all the time coming out of our zone. The way they were pressuring us, I don't know, we didn't do a very good job as a unit. The other lines were playing extremely well. That's why it's a team. There are other players, other lines, to bail you out sometimes."
On Saturday it was Schenn's line, with Voracek and Couturier, which did the job.
Schenn's second goal of the season tied the game at 13:52 of the first. He got a step on Carolina's Bobby Sanguinetti as he cut through the slot and got his stick on Kimmo Timonen's shot, re-directing it past Ward.
And just 15 seconds after Skinner's goal made it 2-2, Schenn led a rush down the left side of the ice and fed a centering pass to Voracek, who outworked Carolina's Tim Gleason to get his stick on the puck and deflect it past Ward.
Schenn also drew an assist on the winning goal, and the three-point game was his first multi-point game of the season.
"That's always nice, scoring goals and helping the team out," he said. "Every night we can't rely on Giroux for him to score his goals. … Over the past couple games I've tried to make more plays, carry the puck a little bit more. I felt I had some good chemistry with Voracek over the past couple games, tonight it clicked."
Carolina tied the game in the third when Corvo's shot from the right point hit Foster in the shoulder, floated over Bryzgalov, landed behind the Philadelphia goalie and trickled across the goal line at 7:58.
Corvo made the most of his 20:10 of ice time, putting seven shots on net after having just nine in five previous games.
"We're going to need the extra bodies and having guys popping in and out because of the schedule," Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller said. "He's a veteran guy and coming in here, it's a hard place to play. We need to elevate his game and bring that experience to our back end. I thought he had a really good game -- his best game of the year."
The Hurricanes had chances to build on the momentum after Corvo's goal, as they badly outplayed the Flyers in the third. They outshot them 13-7 in the final 20 minutes, but they came up short when they got a power play at 11:07 and produced just one shot on goal. It was reminiscent of the teams' meeting last week, when Carolina's power play went just 1-for-6.
"Our penalty kill has been unbelievable of late," Simmonds said. "We started off a little rocky but we've definitely stepped it up."
Despite the loss, the Hurricanes were happy to leave with a point. They improved to 2-1-1 on their six-game road trip, and have earned points in three straight, with games at the New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils still to come.
"I think you can see guys coming together," Skinner said. "We've been together for quite a bit now with the shortened training camp. You don't have that time to sort of get to know each other. Especially with us having a lot of new guys coming in. I think it's good to see everyone coming together. I think guys are feeling pretty good about themselves and playing with each other."
The Hurricanes played most of the game with just 11 forwards following Tim Wallace's game misconduct for boarding the Flyers' Tye McGinn at 6:34 of the first period. Wallace appeared to hit McGinn in the head along the boards by the Flyers' bench. McGinn remained down for a few moments, but was able to leave the ice under his own power and was able to return later in the first.
|Jiri Tlusty (1) ASST: Joe Corvo (2), Eric Staal (5)|
1 - 0 CAR
|Brayden Schenn (2) ASST: Kimmo Timonen (6), Jakub Voracek (5)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Matt Read (5) ASST: Mike Knuble (3)|
2 - 1 PHI
|Jeff Skinner (6) ASST: Jordan Staal (9), Joni Pitkanen (4)|
2 - 2 Tie
|Jakub Voracek (3) ASST: Brayden Schenn (5), Ilya Bryzgalov (2)|
3 - 2 PHI
|Joe Corvo (1) ASST: Jussi Jokinen (1), Tim Gleason (2)|
3 - 3 Tie
|Daniel Briere (2) ASST: Nicklas Grossmann (2), Brayden Schenn (6)|
4 - 3 PHI
|Power Play %||18.8%||23.4%|
|% on Road||16.1%||18.6%|
|% at Home||21.6%||28.0%|
|Tim Wallace Boarding (maj) against Tye McGinn|
|Tim Wallace Game misconduct|
|Braydon Coburn Roughing against Tim Wallace|
|Bobby Sanguinetti Tripping against Brayden Schenn|
|Mike Knuble Interference against Tim Gleason|
|Alexander Semin Tripping against Sean Couturier|
|Jay Harrison Roughing against Zac Rinaldo|
|Zac Rinaldo Diving against Jay Harrison|
|Mike Knuble Hooking against Alexander Semin|
|Nicklas Grossmann Elbowing against Tim Brent|