Tlusty’s goal lifts Hurricanes past Flyers


NHL.com

PHILADELPHIA, PA January 22, 2014 – It took an extra 24 hours, but the Carolina Hurricanes got the two points they came to Philadelphia for.

Jiri Tlusty‘s goal with 6:10 remaining in regulation broke a tie and the Hurricanes beat the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 on Wednesday night in a game postposed from Tuesday due to the snowstorm that blanketed the Northeast.

Goals by Alexander Semin and Nathan Gerbe gave the Hurricanes a 2-0 lead before Flyers captain Claude Giroux scored late in the second period and Scott Hartnell tied it early in the third.

CAROLINA HURRICANES TICKETS

[adrotate banner=”304″]

But the Hurricanes dominated play after Hartnell’s goal and were rewarded when Tlusty picked up the rebound of Andrej Sekera‘s left-point blast and popped it past Steve Mason for his seventh goal of the season. The Hurricanes outshot the Flyers 16-9 in the third period and 32-24 for the game.

Anton Khudobin stopped 22 shots for the Hurricanes (21-19-9), who moved within three points of the second wild-card playoff berth in the Eastern Conference. Mason made 29 saves for the Flyers (25-20-6), now 2-3-2 in their past seven games. The Hurricanes have beaten the Flyers in all three meetings this season.

Semin, added to the Russian Olympic Team a day earlier as an injury replacement, gave the Hurricanes the lead 11:57 into the game. He took a breakout pass from Eric Staal, reached the top of the right circle in the Flyers’ zone and lasered a wrist shot past defenseman Andrej Meszaros into the top left corner past Mason’s glove for his 10th goal of the season.

Gerbe made it 2-0 at 13:38 of the second period with one of the season’s most spectacular goals. Flyers defenseman Luke Schenn wasn’t able to handle a bouncing puck at the Carolina blue line, Gerbe scooted past him to pick up the puck and went in alone before beating Mason with a between-the-legs shot for his 10th of the season.

“It’s something I tried as a kid, and I thought I’d try it here,” Gerbe told Fox Sports Carolinas after the second period.

But Gerbe’s goal seemed to wake up the Flyers, who lifted their game and capitalized on some poor defensive play by the Hurricanes in their own zone to get on the board with 34.6 seconds remaining in the period. Khudobin’s poor clearing attempt wound up on the stick of Michael Raffl along the left wall. He threw the puck at the net, Jakub Voracek banked the loose puck off Khudobin and Giroux whacked home the rebound with a backhand swipe for his 14th of the season.

Hartnell tied the goal at 3:00 of the third period, 13 seconds after a needless high-sticking penalty by Riley Nash. Giroux controlled the puck along the left wall near the goal line and fed Wayne Simmonds, whose close-in shot was stopped by Khudobin. But the goaltender couldn’t control the rebound, and Hartnell zipped it home for his 12th of the season and a 2-2 tie.

The Hurricanes nearly went back in front less than a minute later. Justin Faulk‘s screened blast from the right point beat Mason but pinged off the far post, and Mason made two stops on Tuomo Ruutu, who was left alone in front.

Carolina forward Patrick Dwyer left the game late in the second period with an upper-body injury and didn’t return.