By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor
As time was ticking away in what was becoming another comfortable win for the Flyers on the scoreboard, all eyes shifted to Washington's game in New York. The Flyers were less than a minute away from moving into first place in the Metro by themselves when the Capitals got the tying goal. It took overtime for the Rangers to get the win, which locked the Flyers into a tie atop the Metro with the Capitals.
Of course, that was only the result of the Flyers taking care of business on home ice first. After giving up an early goal in the third, they responded with two goals in 26 seconds to secure a three-goal margin. They didn't look back from there, picking up their eighth straight win, a 4-1 victory of the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night at Wells Fargo Center.
For most of the first period, both teams played methodically with little generated either way. Late in the period, the Flyers capitalized on a chance.
Ivan Provorov took a pass from Scott Laughton and moved in on goal, taking a shot that Alex Nedeljkovic could not control. Provorov followed the play and tucked in his own rebound to make it 1-0 with 1:37 remaining in the period.
Through 20 minutes, shots were 9-7 in favor of the Flyers.
The Flyers got two power-play chances in the second, but were unable to take advantage. They did pad the lead shortly after one of those power plays.
A quick transition after a Carolina scoring chance sent the Flyers the other way. Tyler Pitlick got a centering pass to Michael Raffl in alone, and he went upstairs on Nedeljkovic to make it 2-0 Flyers at 9:34 of the period.
Through two periods, the Flyers had a 2-0 lead and 21-14 lead in shots.
Early in the third, the Hurricanes finally got on the board thanks to a fortunate bounce. Entering the zone with speed, the Flyers broke up the potential rush, but the Hurricanes continued toward the net. The bouncing puck eventually made its way into the crease where Justin Williams was waiting to knock it in to cut the lead to one with his fourth goal of the season just 2:55 into the period.
But as they have throughout the last two months, the Flyers responded and re-gained control of the game. Less than two minutes after the Hurricanes got on the board, the Flyers restored the two-goal lead after a turnover with Nicolas Aube-Kubel banking a rebound off of Nedeljkovic to make it 3-1. Just 26 seconds later, Sean Couturier picked up a rebound and scored his 22nd goal of the season to make it 4-1.
Carter Hart locked things down the rest of the way. Hart finished with 28 saves in the win, his sixth straight. Nedeljkovic finished with 28 saves of his own in the loss.
Laughton had a pair of assists for the Flyers, the only player to record a multi-point game.
The win moved the Flyers into a tie for the Metro Division lead. By virtue of the second tiebreaker, regulation and overtime wins, Washington would be considered the division winner if the season ended following Thursday's games.
The Flyers get back on the ice on Saturday night when they take on the Buffalo Sabres at 7 p.m.