'I was happy with the effort, not the end result,' says Peters
Carolina Hurricanes forward Brock McGinn, taking an elbow to the face, stuck cotton up both nostrils of a bloody nose and kept on playing.
Canes goalie Cam Ward, sensing the importance of the game, battled hard for every save.
Elias Lindholm, determined to score on the power play, did just that.
For the Canes, the effort was there Tuesday against the Philadelphia Flyers. The group sent out by Canes coach Bill Peters played hard. But it wasn’t enough to win, the Flyers emerging with a 2-1 overtime victory as forward Jordan Weal beat Ward for the winner with 3.1 seconds left.
The Flyers (25-19-9) moved into wild-card playoff position in the Eastern Conference with 59 points while the Canes (24-21-9) have 57 and remain below the playoff cutline. The Columbus Blue Jackets and New York Islanders each have 58 points, with the Blue Jackets now in the second wild-card spot.
“I thought it was a good game, a real intense game with real good pace,” Peters said. “It was a high-end game, both ways. I thought there were some real good plays made by both teams.”
The Canes, who managed just two shots in the third period, had six shots in overtime but Flyers goalie Brian Elliott, returning from injury, made game-saving stops.
Ellliott stopped a Jeff Skinner shot with 38 seconds left in the OT, then a piece of a Jordan Staal attempt. Also helping was forward Claude Giroux, who got a stick on the loose puck and then made a sliding block -- the Flyers’ 28th of the game -- on a Skinner backhander.
“It’s not going in right now for us,” Peters said. “We’ve got to bear down and get it off our stick a little quicker.”
Ward had 28 saves for the Canes and made some of his best when Carolina was shorthanded, taking five penalties. The Canes killed off all five but also used up a lot of energy.
“Cam played unbelievable for us,” Lindholm said. “Too bad we can’t help him with a win and score more goals for him.”
Weal got the winner for the Flyers when he carried the puck into the zone and shot from the left circle as McGinn closed in on him.
In the first of four games between the Metropolitan Division rivals, Wayne Simmonds scored the Flyers’ goal late in the second period for a 1-1 tie.
Peters, who coached his 300th game with the Canes, was disturbed and disappointed by No. 299. The Canes were beaten 3-1 Sunday by the San Jose Sharks, causing Peters to say the the players’ effort was “unacceptable.”
No complaints Tuesday from Peters, who said, “I’m obviously happy with the effort but not the end result.”
The Flyers struggled in the four games Elliott missed with a lower-body injury, going 0-3-1. And games at PNC Arena have been a pain the past few years — the Flyers were 2-5-2 in their last nine appearances before Tuesday.
McGinn was whacked in the first period by the Flyers’ Nolan Patrick, who hit McGinn in the face with an elbow while also getting his stick high. McGinn left the ice bleeding, Patrick was sent to the penalty box for four minutes for a double-minor high-sticking call, and the Canes converted.
Lindholm got position inside defenseman Robert Hagg in front of Elliott, got off a shot, then backhanded the rebound into the net for a 1-0 lead.
The Canes killed off a pair of penalties in the second period but the Flyers’ offensive pressure eventually resulted in an even-strength goal. Simmonds muscled inside defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk and banged a shot past Ward for his 18th of the season.
Peters made two lineup changes for the game, inserting defenseman Klas Dahlbeck and forward Phil Di Giuseppe.