Manny Malhotra's OT Winner Beats Flyers
In a game filled with little to keep fans interested, Manny Malhotra's overtime winner proved to be the difference in a 2-1 Carolina Hurricanes overtime win on Tuesday night.
Malhotra pounced on a Mark Streit turnover and danced in while fighting off a backchecking Sean Couturier, lifting a backhander past starter Steve Mason for the game winner.
"It can't happen," head coach Craig Berube said of the goal.
Malhotra had recently signed an AHL tryout with the Charlotte Checkers, signing an NHL-level contract in short order. Malhotra's AHL contract surfaced from his struggles after what should have been a career-ending eye injury.
This loss showcased how important scoring more than one goal is in the grand scheme of things. The Flyers have only scored more than three goals in just one game this year.
Hartnell and Kimmo Timonen teamed up on a power play goal late in the third period.. Hartnell deflected Timonen's center point shot past starter Justin Peters to break what had proved to be a thoroughly uneventful game up until that point.
"It's nice to score, obviously. It's nice to get a point," Hartnell said.
Both players picked up their first points of the year in the process. Hartnell broke a scoreless drought dating back to April 23. Timonen, known for his power play points, earned his primary assist in the most Timonen way possible.
Having just a few minutes to tie it, Jordan Staal did just that for the home team. Staal, while wide open, took a pass from his older brother Eric behind the net and tapped that perfect feed past Mason to knot it up.
Mason, after struggling on Friday, bounced back nicely, but had zero help from his teammates offensively. Mason made several key stops throughout, ending up with 36 saves on 38 shots on the night. If Friday crushed his statistics, Tuesday built them back up.
As Mason's quality starts continue to rise in number, it would be hard to believe where this Flyers team would be without him. With this loss, it compounds things further.
"He played really good," Giroux said of Mason. "If it wasn't for him, this game wasn't going to overtime."
Both teams failed miserably on power play opportunities until Hartnell's goal. Flyers ended up 1/4, and the Hurricanes ended up with no goals on four opportunities themselves.
Perhaps the largest special teams fail came from a two-man advantage late into the second period and into the third when Michael Raffl and Sean Couturier took back-to-back minor penalties.
Mason denied Alex Semin on the power play, setting the tone for the rest of the third period. Or so the Flyers would have liked to have thought. Little did they know it would all crumble in the span of a few minutes.
Peters, who came into the game winless on the season, and struggling immensely, crushed any Flyers chances rather easily. He ended the night with 28 quiet saves.
Carolina's win happened to be the Hurricanes' second win of the season at home, and fifth total. Both home wins have come at the Flyers' expense, and by the same score of 2-1.
Another chance of building a winning streak against a struggling team once again failed to materialize. The Flyers can't beat contenders, nor can they beat pretenders as well.
Where they go from here is anyone's guess.