For the third time this season, the Flyers were deadlocked in a tight game against a legitimate contender. As the third period was winding down, a back-breaking goal erased any chance of a comeback on Tuesday night at Wells Fargo Center.
The Hurricanes scored late in the third to extend their lead to two, in an eventual 4-1 loss for the Flyers.
The Flyers had an immediate power play go by the wayside, opening the door for the Hurricanes to strike first.
At 5:39 of the first period. Sebastian Aho had time and space to set up Michael Bunting in the slot. Bunting’s initial attempt on goal did not get through, but he stayed with it to put home the rebound to make it 1-0. It was Bunting’s fifth goal of the season.
The Hurricanes started with a 5-0 advantage in shots that evened out over the remainder of the period. Through 20 minutes, shots were 10-9 Carolina.
Midway through the second period, the Flyers were able to get behind the Carolina defense and tie the game. Off a save by Carter Hart, Tyson Foerster connected with Travis Konecny to set up a breakaway. Konecny scored his 12th goal of the season to even things at one at 7:14.
The Hurricanes got back in front at 13:25. Scott Laughton attempted to clear the puck from the front of the net and hit the shin pad of Brendan Lemieux. Lemieux was able to get to the puck and bury the chance for his second goal of the season to make it a 2-1 game.
Through two periods, shots were 27-21 Carolina.
As the Flyers searched for the tying goal, both teams struggled with limited space in the third period. Finally, with 3:26 to play, the Hurricanes got the back-breaking goal they needed to seal the result.
Seth Jarvis entered the zone off a transition rush and put a shot toward the goal from an angle. The puck hit the pad of Hart and leaked in, making it 3-1 on Jarvis’ ninth goal of the season.
Less than a minute later, Jesperi Kotkaniemi iced the game with an empty-net goal to make it 4-1.
Pyotr Kochetkov finished the game with 28 saves on 29 shots in the win. Hart made 32 saves on 35 shots in the loss.
Bunting and Aho each finished with two points for Carolina.
The Flyers are back on the ice on Thursday night to take on the New Jersey Devils at 7 p.m.