One minute and nineteen seconds. That is all it would take for the Philadelphia Flyers to get on the board Monday night in the RBC Center as a wide-open Claude Giroux potted a quick goal in the net of Canes netminder Cam Ward. The ageless Jaromir Jagr and captain Chris Pronger both picked up helpers on what was the first of two goals scored by the men in white and orange in the first period. While I am still not used to seeing Max Talbot in a Flyers sweater, he looked nothing but comfortable as he popped in a snap shot at the 8:50 mark off a steal by Jakub Voracek from Jamie McBain behind the Carolina net. McBain was trying to reverse the puck to Bryan Allen but he lost control. Voracek connected with Talbot who connected with the net making the score 2-0.
The Canes would not leave the period scoreless though as Patrick Dwyer had a nice dish from Eric Staal breaking away to score a shorthanded goal on Sergei Bobrovsky bringing the score to 2-1 at the first intermission.
But the Flyers came out ready to play in the second and wasted no time getting more points on the board with another goal by Claude Giroux, again assisted by Jagr only 2:45 into the period. The Canes were not able to take advantage of a Flyers’ bench minor for too many men on the ice in the second. Not to be outdone, they picked up their own matching penalty at 6:38 which less than twenty seconds later led to Wayne Simmonds picking up a power play goal, assisted by two familiar names, Giroux and Pronger. This was enough for the Carolina coaches to make a change in goal and they gave Cam Ward the hook sending in backup keeper Brian Boucher to finish the game.
The Canes didn’t give up though and seemed to get new life on the ice with the insertion of Boucher. The “Finns and Skinns” showed why they are a perfect combination at the 12:01 mark as Jeff Skinner passed the puck back to Jussi Jokinen who telegraphed a beautiful pass to Tuomo Rutuu waiting at the right side of the net to deliver a slap shot. This was Ruutu’s seventh goal of the season and he also registered four big hits for the night looking like the Ruu of old. The second period expired with the Flyers up 4-2 on the Canes.
It looked as though the Hurricanes might be able to launch a comeback in the third. Once again Patrick Dwyer got a nice breakaway but as he approached the goal he was helped to the ice by a couple of Flyers’ sticks granting him a penalty shot. Dwyer nailed the shot netting the first point on a penalty shot for the Canes this year. He also got his first multi-goal game of his career on the books and was credited with three hits during the contest.
Sadly Dwyer and Ruutu alone were not enough to bring the Canes back and Flyers’ rookie Matt Read added a goal to his assist for the night bringing the final score to 5-3 in favor of the Flyers. Once again the helpers came from Pronger, who had three for the evening, and Voracek who picked up his second. The Flyers are now an impressive 6-1-1 on the road and the Canes are 4-4-1 at home.
Observations from the RBC Center:
- The Canes just got behind too early to make a comeback. But I am pleased to see that unlike other contests, they didn’t give up.
- I was expecting to hear more of Danny Briere last night. He had a quiet night. Unforunately I had 3 Flyers on my fantasy roster last night including him. I would gladly give those points back for a win.
- Our passing looked really bad. We were credited with seven giveaways last night, but I would have thought it was more. Believe it or not the Flyers had four of their own. I would have thought that stat would be more one-sided.
- We actually did well overall in the faceoff circle. Captain Staal won 73% of his (while Brandon Sutter went down to 41%). Brent won 62% and Jokinen 62%. Dwyer took three faceoffs and won 75%.
- No matter what the final score of the game said, Patty Dwyer played a hell of a game (and a complete one at that). I have been impressed with him all season and he did not disappoint. His hustle and determination are admirable.
- The defense. Oh the defense was bad. Splitting up Gleason and Allen baffles me. Kaberle has yet to show us why he makes the big bucks. Pitkanen’s quarterbacking of the power play was greatly missed.
- I am puzzled by the unwillingness of the coach to sit out Kaberle or call out anyone but McBain’s mistakes. He isn’t making them alone.
- The numbers don’t tell the whole story on goal keeping. Cam Ward can only do so much when he has an ineffective D in front of him. Even though he gave up a goal, Boucher played a solid match.
- Wayne Simmonds has a big mouth. While it’s just fine and dandy that he and Anthony Stewart are “besties,” I am a not a fan.
What do the Canes need to do to get back on track? If I knew I would be getting a paycheck from the NHL instead of testing software. Next up? Erik Cole and the Montreal Canadiens in the Bell Centre on Wednesday. A Winning Habit is your source for FanSided Habs news.
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Topics: Brandon Sutter, Brian Boucher, Cam Ward, Chris Pronger, Claude Giroux, Eric Staal, Finns And Skinns, Jakub Voracek, Jamie McBain, Jaromir Jagr, Jeff Skinner, Jussi Jokinen, Matt Read, Max Talbot, Patrick Dwyer, Philadelphia Flyers, Sergei Bobrovsky, Tim Brent, Tim Gleason, Tuomo Ruutu, Wayne Simmonds