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Recap: Hurricanes Fall to Flyers, 6-3

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes /

Analysis from Philadelphia

→ Another high-scoring game was spurred by a seven-goal second period, and the Carolina Hurricanes were bested 6-3 by the Philadelphia Flyers.

"It was a back-and-forth game," Jordan Staal said. "They found a way to capitalize on their momentum and push us back."

"We learned a lot about our team here tonight. We had some guys going but not enough guys going," head coach Bill Peters said. "[Philadelphia] did a good job on their speciality teams. We needed to make some adjustments that didn't get made."

Video: CAR Recap: Hurricanes struggle in 2nd, lose 6-3

→ Hockey is a game of momentum, and when the Hurricanes had a chance to swing the momentum back in their favor, down just a goal heading into the final 20 minutes of regulation, they were unable to capitalize.

"We wanted to roll that as best we could into the next period, but obviously we didn't. They capitalized on the power play," Staal said. "It's unfortunate that we couldn't move in the third and get that comeback going, but we'll keep pushing forward."

"I thought we needed to play more 5-on-5 as the game wore along," Peters said. "It just seemed like it became a specialty teams game, and it seemed like we took too many penalties. We've been a very disciplined team in the past, and we need to get back to that."

There were 11 minor penalties whistled in the game, five called on the Hurricanes and six on the Flyers. The Canes' infractions, Peters said, were not just a product of early-season hockey.

"Not having the puck enough is what it's a product of. You're defending. You don't take a lot of penalties when you're on offense," he explained. "We need the puck more, we need to hang onto the puck more and spend more time in the O-zone."

→ The two teams played 20 minutes of hockey ‒ and then the second period happened. The Hurricanes and Flyers exchanged seven goals in the middle frame, and they occurred in streaks. First, it was the Canes taking a 2-0 lead. Then the Flyers scored four straight to take a two-goal lead of their own. Finally, Carolina got one back late to make it a 4-3 game before the intermission.

Justin Faulk broke the scoreless tie with a wrist shot from the point that hit a Flyer on the way through and beat Steve Mason with Jordan Staal screening in front. Just a little more than two minutes later, it was a tic-tac-toe finish from Sebastian Aho to Joakim Nordstrom to Jordan Staal to make it a 2-0 game. Aho tallied assists on both goals, his fourth and fifth helpers in his first five games and his first multi-point effort of a very young career.

"It gets easier to make those plays because I'm not so nervous anymore," the soft-spoken Aho said. "Those first couple games were bad starts, but it's getting better all the time."

"He's a smart kid. He makes everyone around him better," Staal said of the 19-year-old rookie. "He understands the game, where guys are going to be and how to find them. He made an unbelievable pass to Nordy to set up my goal. He's going to be a good player for a long time, and we're happy to have him in our lineup."

Then the Flyers' offense ignited. Brandon Manning scored first for the home team, as he skated in from the point, lured Lack out of his net and tucked the puck in far side past the reaching stick of Ron Hainsey. Then, two point shots from the stick of Ivan Provorov were tipped in by Jake Voracek and Matt Read, respectively. Shayne Gostisbehere then beat Lack clean on the blocker side to make it a 4-2 game.

Lee Stempniak scored his team-leading fourth goal of the season with 66 seconds left in the period, a goal that brought the Canes within a shot of tying the game heading into the final period of regulation.

→ The Flyers scored twice in the final 10 minutes of the third period to extend their lead and ultimately take away the two points. First it was Wayne Simmonds on the power play, and then it was Voracek again, his second of the night.

"You have to keep your cool and move forward to the next shift," Staal said. "The best way is to just start playing in their end, and we just didn't do that."

→ The Hurricanes finish this first five games on the road with a 1-2-2 record and 4 points. It's now back to Raleigh for a brief layover before again jet-setting for the final game at Joe Louis Arena on Tuesday night.

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