The Carolina Hurricanes couldn’t hold on to a two-goal lead Thursday against the Minnesota Wild.
They couldn’t do it Saturday against the Philadelphia Flyers, either.
Both times, it was costly for Carolina. The Flyers, like the Wild, rallied to top the Canes 3-2 in overtime at PNC Arena as Jakub Voracek scored the winner 37 seconds into the overtime — the forward’s first goal of the season.
While both losses were stinging for the Canes (6-9-2), the second left the players both disappointed and angry. The Flyers (6-8-3) scored the tying goal with 3:09 left in regulation as Shayne Gostisbehere’s shot from the right wing glanced off Wayne Simmonds in front of the crease and past goalie Cam Ward.
“It’s frustrating,” Canes captain Eric Staal said. “We were trying to get the ‘W’ in the third period and I felt like we were hanging on a little bit instead of making plays. We had a chance to make the gap wider and not make them want to play anymore.
"For whatever reason we can’t muster enough to be able to do that. They hung around, hung around, hung around.”
The Wild won Thursday on a deflection. The Flyers, ending a two-game slide, got the winning goal as Voracek knocked in Michael Del Zotto’s slap pass. Center Claude Giroux also had an assist, beating defenseman Ron Hainsey for the puck in the corner and passing to Del Zotto.
The Flyers, aggressively forechecking in the third, outshot the Canes 11-3 in the period. Carolina lost defenseman Ryan Murphy to an upper-body injury in the second and the Flyers pressured the Canes in the offensive zone.
“You’re playing to win but they’re desperate, they’re attacking,” Staal said. “We’ve got to make plays. You’ve got to execute. We stopped doing that, you get caught and eventually it ends up in your net and you lose in overtime.”
Elias Lindholm scored his first goal in 14 games and Victor Rask had a power-play score to give the Canes a 2-0 lead in the second period. But the Flyers, held to three first-period shots, picked up a goal from Luke Schenn in the second when the defenseman beat Ward with a shot from the right wing.
“We lost (Murphy) in the second and then we didn’t move the puck as effectively,” Canes coach Bill Peters said. “We didn’t have the puck enough coming down the stretch. We were defending too much and it caught us in the end.”
The Canes held a pregame ceremony to honor owner Peter Karmanos Jr. for his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame. The Hurricanes also played the French national anthem, a tribute to those in Paris affected by the tragic terrorist attacks on Friday.
That was a special moment for Flyers defenseman Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, a native of the Paris suburb of Le Blanc-Mesnil who has a sister living in Paris.
Once the game began, Lindholm scored his second of the season and first in 14 games at 14:15 of the first. The forward took a pass from Eric Staal off the rush and attempted to center the puck back to Staal. The puck popped free as Lindholm circled the net and the Swede, playing on a line with Eric and Jordan Staal, ripped a top-shelf shot.
Rask scored in the second after the Flyers’ Ryan White boarded Murphy. Justin Faulk’s shot banged off the end boards, Eric Staal collected the puck and zipped a pass across the crease to Rask for his fifth of the season.
The Flyers, thumped 5-2 by the Washington Capitals on Thursday, managed three shots in the first, all in the first three minutes.
Flyers goalie Steve Mason had a critical save against Jordan Staal two minutes after Schenn’s goal. Staal was unchecked in the low slot but couldn’t convert.
The Flyers had two attempts hit the post in the third before tying the score. Lindholm had a chance to score with less than seven minutes to play in the third, but Giroux got a stick on Jordan Staal’s pass, allowing Mason to make the stop on Lindholm.
“We’ve got to grow from this,” Faulk said. “That’s what good teams do.”