McElhinney stops 22 shots, Hurricanes handle Flyers 3-1
Limited to a goal in four of their last five games and coming off a shutout loss on the weekend, the Hurricanes scratched out a 3-1 win over Philadelphia on Monday night for their second victory in six games.
Goals have been scarce for Carolina, which had scored a total of seven in the previous five games.
“We’ve been struggling to score and sometimes you need one to get you jump-started,” Martinook said.
Jakub Voracek scored for Philadelphia, which lost for the third time in four games and fell to 3-3-1 under interim coach Scott Gordon. Carter Hart started in the nets for the Flyers, but allowed three goals on 10 shots and was replaced by Michal Neuvirth, who stopped all 23 shots he faced.
Wallmark got it going for the Hurricanes at 10:47 in the first period. He took a long shot from the high slot that found the upper left corner of the net.
Wallmark, who hadn’t scored in 10 games, said he was just trying to get the puck on net and use a screen by a Philadelphia defender on the rookie Hart.
“Everyone wants to score,” said Wallmark, who has three goals this season. “When you don’t, it’s not fun. Somehow we have to keep doing all of the small things right.”
Martinook turned a small hunch into a big goal. Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux won the opening faceoff of the second period, but the Carolina left wing was able to steal the puck. He got into the Philadelphia zone and beat Hart to the glove side for a 2-0 lead just 6 seconds into the period.
“They’re certainly not thinking that’s going to happen,” Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “Nobody is. Maybe he caught them sleeping a little bit. That was a big turning point in the game.”
McElhinney made the 2-0 lead stand with his toughest save of the night on a 2-on-1 chance by the Flyers. Center Scott Laughton had a clean look at 2:05 in the second period but McElhinney slid over and stopped the shot.
The Hurricanes turned the rebound into a transition opportunity and Svechnikov got free to beat Hart at 2:19 for the 3-0 lead.
The power play has been a season-long problem for the Flyers, who were 0 for 2 on Monday and rank last in the NHL with the man-advantage.
Voracek scored Philadelphia’s only goal at 2:38 in the third period. McElhinney was up to the task the rest of the way with 10 saves in the final period.
“I think we’re just trying to get something moving, obviously it has been tough to get goals,” McElhinney said. “To put a few in there right away, and get on them in the second, it helped everybody’s confidence.”
NOTES: Philadelphia center Jori Lehtera was a healthy scratch for the seventh straight game. Lehtera is under investigation for his involvement in a drug ring in his native Finland. According to the Finnish news service mtvuutiset.fi, Lehtera was charged on Monday with purchasing eight grams of cocaine and he faces a five-month prison sentence. “As I have maintained from the outset, these charges against me are false and I will clear my name,” Lehtera said in a statement released by the team. … Carolina captain Justin Williams played in his 1,200 game on Monday.
Flyers: At Nashville on Tuesday.
Hurricanes: At Philadelphia on Thursday.