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POSTGAME 5: Great 8

Flyers storm out of gates to beat Hurricanes, 4-1, for eighth straight victory

by Bill Meltzer @BillMeltzer

HERE'S WHAT HAPPENED
Continuing their season-long home-ice mastery, the Philadelphia Flyers skated to a workmanlike 4-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes at the Wells Fargo Center on Thursday night. 

Outstanding games from the 3rd and 4th lines led the way for the Flyers. Ivan Provorov (13th) opened the scoring late in the first and Michael Raffl (8th) made it a two-goal lead near the midpoint of regulation. Justin Williams (4th) got Carolina back within a goal early in the third period but goals spaced 26 seconds apart by Nicolas Aube-Kubel (7th) and Sean Couturier (22nd) put Philly back in firm control.

Carter Hart earned the win, stopping 28 of 29 shots. Alex Nedeljkovic took the loss, with 28 saves on 32 shots.

Three Stars:
1st: Scott Laughton (2a)
2nd: Ivan Provorov (1g)
3rd: Nicolas Aube-Kubel (1g)

TURNING POINT
Provorov's second effort goal off a Scott Laughton feed broke a scoreless deadlock. The Flyers only built on the lead from there.Video: CAR@PHI: Provorov backhands rebound past Nedeljkovic

MELTZER'S TAKE
1) The Flyers defended well throughout the first period but it took a little while to get their passing in synch. With 1:37 left in the period, Scott Laughton took advantage of a Carolina mix-up in the corner. He claimed the puck and fed a pinching Provorov. Nedeljkovic left out a fat rebound, and Provorov went right to the house to claim it and stash the puck in the net. Derek Grant got the secondary assist. 

2) There was some physicality and edginess to the first period. Robert Hägg landed a solid hit on Brock McGinn. The Flyers later took some exception to a bump on Hart by Andrei Svechnikov after Hart covered a puck in the crease. Nate Thompson sacrificed himself to make a tough shot block. First period shots were 9-7 Flyers.

3) With the exception of only a sequence or two, the Flyers were pretty airtight in the second period, and Hart took care of the rest. Philly got a little more going offensively in this period -- Nedeljkovich robbed Joel Farabee and Claude Giroux for his toughest two saves before Raffl scored. The Flyers took a 2-0 lead and a 21-14 shot edge (12-7 in the second period) to intermission. Shot attempts were 15-15 (31-28 overall for Carolina). High danger chances were 3-0 Flyers per Natural Stat Trick.Video: CAR@PHI: Aube-Kubel scores from sharp angle

4) The Flyers worked a 3-on-2 to perfection for their second goal, with Raffl burying a nice feed from Pitlick. Laughton earned his secon assist of the game.

5) Ex-Flyer Williams scored off a broken play, going to the net and getting rewarded at 2:55 of the third period. Some self-made bad puck luck bit the Canes after a horrid giveaway near the net, claimed by Nate Thompson. Hart made back-to-back big saves with just under eight minutes left, which had Jaccob Slavin looking skyward in frustration. Later, Hart stopped a tricky deflection.

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING
* The Flyers ran their winning streak to eight in-a-row... They've also scored at least four goals in all eight of the games and outscored their opponent 36 to 16.

* The Flyers closed out the season series with the Hurricanes with a 3-0-1 record, which comes after last season when they went winless at 0-4-0.

* A Flyers defenseman has scored a goal in each of the last three games and continue to lead the NHL in goals (44).

* Scott Laughton posted two assists, giving him multi-point games in four of his last six contests and nine points (3g-6a) in his last six games.

* Nicolas Aube-Kubel scored his seventh goal of the season and extended his point streak to five straight games with five points (2g-3a) in that stretch.

* Tyler Pitlick has goals in two straight games and points in three straight (2g-1a).

* The Flyers return to the ice on Saturday night when they face off against Wayne Simmonds and the Buffalo Sabres. Puck drop is 7 p.m. on NBCSP or listen live on 93.3 WMMR.

THEY SAID IT
Video: Hear from Couturier, Laughton and Hart following winVideo: Hear from Flyers coach following win over CAR

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