It’s never easy beating teams in consecutive games, especially at the pro level.
The Carolina Hurricanes did that to the Philadelphia Flyers, following up a victory on New Year’s Eve at PNC Arena with a 5-3 road win Thursday over the Flyers at Wells Fargo Center.
Teuvo Teravainen scored twice and had an assist as the Canes (17-17-5) again turned back the struggling Flyers (15-20-5). His power-play goal gave the Canes a 3-0 lead in a three-goal second period by Carolina, and his second score came after the Flyers had fought back from a 4-0 deficit to within 4-3 in the third.
With Dougie Hamilton adding a goal and assist, Justin Williams scoring on the power play and Warren Foegele picking up a goal off a redirection, the Canes made a winner of goalie Petr Mrazek.
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The Flyers’ comeback was built on two power-play goals, by Wayne Simmonds and James van Riemsdyk, that were sandwiched around an even-strength goal by Sean Couturier, all in the third period.
“We took the penalties (and) a couple power-play goals just changed the whole complexion of the game,” Canes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “We sat back. That’s what happens when you get up four, you tell them not to but it’s human nature, I’ve been there many, many times. The other team is playing like they have nothing to lose and we just sat back.
“It’s a great lesson. It’s a good thing we had a 4-0 lead because obviously they pumped a few in there. We had a good shift, (Foegele) got a great shift to get us a big goal there and I think it turns out to be the game-winning goal.”
Before Thursday, the Canes had last scored on a power play in the Dec. 14 game against the Washington Capitals, going 0-for-25 in the next seven games. But Williams ripped a shot past goalie Michal Neuvirth off a Sebastian Aho pass and Teravainen did the same, again on the setup pass from Aho, as the Canes jumped ahead 3-0 in the second after a scoreless first.
“I think they moved the puck a little better, which wasn’t pretty,” Brind’Amour said of the power plays. “The work ethic was there, had a good couple entries which helps get the zone time, and then pucks went in when they shot them.”
Defenseman Calvin de Haan also had a pair of assists for the Canes whiile being credited with seven hits.
The Canes lost forward Clark Bishop to a lower-body injury during the game. On Friday, they recalled forward Greg McKegg from the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL while placing center Jordan Staal (concussion symptoms) on injured reserve.
The Canes beat the Flyers 3-1 on New Year’s Eve to end 2018, then opened 2019 with another victory against the Metro Division team. The Flyers, in turn, had played and lost 4-0 to the Nashville Predators between the games with Carolina.
The Flyers’ Simmonds, in assessing Thursday’s game, used many of the same words the Canes players have said after tough losses this season.
“I think we just need to respond better when we get scored against. ... We give one up and things turn and start to snowball,” Simmonds said. “We have to do mentally stronger and do a better job.”
As for falling further behind in the Eastern Conference standings, Simmonds said, “It’s like quicksand right now. We’re trying to get out and it feels like it’s just getting deeper.”
That’s the stuff the Canes are trying to avoid.