RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) Jordan Weal was shocked by his goalie’s impressive save in the final minute of overtime. He regained his composure just in time to score the winner.
Weal’s goal with 3.1 seconds left in the extra period lifted the Philadelphia Flyers over the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1 on Tuesday night moments after Brian Elliott deflected a shot with the knob of his stick.
”My jaw dropped on that save. It was unbelievable,” Weal said. ”Just weathered the storm, and that’s 3-on-3 – if you can weather the storm at one end, that’s when the fast break happens.”
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Wayne Simmonds also scored to help the Flyers snap a four-game losing streak and earn two important points in the crowded Metropolitan Division and Eastern Conference races. Philadelphia leapfrogged Columbus and the New York Islanders with 59 points, while Carolina is one point behind those two teams with 57.
Elias Lindholm scored a power-play goal for the Hurricanes, who have lost three in a row to fall to 2-3 on an eight-game homestand. They have been held to a single goal in each of the three losses.
”It’s tough to win when you score only one goal,” Lindholm said, adding that goalie Cam Ward ”has been playing unbelievably for us. Too bad we can’t help him with a win and score more goals for him.”
Elliott, making his first start since missing four games with a lower-body injury, stopped 27 shots for the Flyers, who had gone 0-3-1 in a four-game stretch that followed a run of eight wins in nine games.
”It was big because we’d been playing some good hockey and dominating for periods of time, and today I think we had a good 60-minute effort,” Weal said. ”It all came together, and it’s a huge two points.”
Ward made 28 saves for Carolina, which had a great chance to win it late in OT when Elliott made his knob-of-the-stick save on Jordan Staal’s shot into a seemingly open net and Claude Giroux laid out to block Jeff Skinner’s follow-up attempt.
”The guys just really laying out, doing whatever they have to do to get the win … that’s great to see,” defenseman Andrew MacDonald said.
Weal then ended it by snapping a shot from the circle past Ward.
Carolina’s defeat came two days after a 3-1 loss to San Jose that was punctuated by coach Bill Peters calling out his players for their ”disappointing effort” and promising lineup changes. The only changes to the active roster: Forward Phil Di Giuseppe and defenseman Klas Dahlbeck were in, and forward Marcus Kruger and defenseman Haydn Fleury were scratched.
Peters expressed satisfaction that his team responded with desperation in this one.
”I thought it was real good,” he said. ”I thought it was a very competitive game. Very, very competitive. I was obviously happy with the effort. Not in love with the end result.”
NOTES: This was the first meeting of the season between the division rivals, who will play three times in the final five weeks. … Lindholm’s goal was his first in eight games.
Flyers: Play host to Montreal on Thursday night.
Hurricanes: Continue their eight-game homestand Friday night against Vancouver.