Scott Laughton scored his 1st NHL goal and four other Flyers had goals of their own to take down the Carolina Hurricanes 5-1 on Saturday afternoon. Sean Couturier, Wayne Simmonds, Jake Voracek and Michael Raffl scored for Philadelphia, while Eric Staal had the lone goal for the ‘Canes.
Steve Mason was solid in net as usual (and not as his now 6-9-4 record shows), stopping 25 of 26 shots. As for Anton Khodubin… well, let’s just say this one did not improve his now 0-7-2 record. He stopped 18 of 23 Flyers shots.
It didn’t take the Flyers very long to open up scoring in the first period, as Couturier’s seventh goal of the season came at less than a minute in. RJ Umberger and Matt Read were credited with the assists, which made this back-to-back games where Read recorded at least one point.
After Couturier’s goal, the period seemed rather… slow. The Flyers absolutely dominated, though there were a few brief periods of time where they looked a lot slower than their opponent. Fortunately for Philadelphia, the Hurricanes may have been moving quickly at times, but they were not moving effectively.
Simmonds’ beauty of a slapshot off the boards gave the Flyers the lead at 11:27 of the first, his 13th of the season. He’s now scored a goal in back-to-back games, and has five goals in his last five games. Brayden Schenn and Laughton got on the board with assists.
Something to note: there were no penalties in the first period for either team. At least the Hurricanes had something going for them.
That was all of the scoring we’d see in the first period. After 20 minutes, the Flyers led in goals and shots (12-5).
The second period was much more fast-paced and exciting than the first, thanks to a slew of Flyers goals (and, unfortunately, one for the ‘Canes). Read took a tripping penalty just over a minute in, and Staal got Carolina on the board. That’s one spot where the Flyers have been struggling lately – their penalty kill has allowed four PPGs in their last three games.
But the Flyers couldn’t let the Hurricanes have all of the powerplay fun. A few short minutes later, Riley Nash went off for hooking, and Voracek answered Staal’s powerplay goal with one of his own.
A few more penalties were taken in the second, including two against the Flyers (Rinaldo for roughing – Brad Malone also went off for it – and B. Schenn for tripping), but the penalty kill shut the Hurricanes down.
And then there was Laughton. The 20-year-old recorded his first NHL goal about seven and a half minutes into the period, a beauty of a goal assisted by B. Schenn and Braydon Coburn
A four-goal lead is always better than a three-goal lead, and the Flyers ended the second period leading by four thanks to Raffl’s goal that came halfway through the frame. Philadelphia continued to lead in shots 19-15, but Carolina seemed to fight harder in the second than in the third, and they led in shots for the period, 10-7.
The third period came and went without much of a peep from either side, aside from one lone penalty taken by Voracek for interference at 8:53 into the period. Carolina once again led in shots in the period, 11-4, but could not make anything happen. The crowd at the Wells Fargo Center was roaring as Lou Nolan announced the final minute of play and the Flyers came away with a well-earned victory (it might have been against a terrible team, but the Flyers still played very well).
Notes: With this win, the Flyers now improve to 11-13-5… Five players recorded multiple points in this bout: Read, Simmonds, B. Schenn, Giroux, and Laughton… Steve Mason is one away from 25 NHL shutouts… The team will take on the 19-8-3 Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night, their third game of this four-game homestand.