Flyers lose lead, fall in overtime

Posted: November 07, 2013

RALEIGH, N.C. - The Flyers were 53 seconds away from having a modest two-game winning streak Tuesday, recording their second straight shutout, and finally building a little momentum after a disastrous first month.

Instead, they had a late-game meltdown at PNC Arena and dropped a 2-1 overtime decision to an undermanned Carolina Hurricanes team that had been in free fall.

The Flyers wasted another brilliant effort by goalie Steve Mason (36 saves) because Claude Giroux was late with his defensive coverage on Jordan Staal's tying goal with 52.3 seconds remaining in regulation, and because defenseman Mark Streit was checked off the puck in the neutral zone, leading to Manny Malhotra's breakaway game-winner with 2 minutes, 20 seconds remaining in overtime.

"A tough game to lose. We'll take the point and get out of here," Mason said.

"It leaves a sour taste," said winger Scott Hartnell, who had given the Flyers a 1-0 lead on a power-play goal with 3:58 left in regulation.

Carolina, which ended a five-game losing streak, was missing its No. 1 goalie (Cam Ward) and its top scorer (Jeff Skinner).

Malhotra checked Streit near center ice, and the puck squirted to Ron Hainsey. Hainsey quickly fed Malhotra, who scored on a backhander to stun the Flyers (4-9-1).

"I tried to make a play and it wasn't there, and I got bounced off the puck," Streit said.

With the Flyers on a power play, Hartnell tipped in Kimmo Timonen's shot to snap a scoreless tie late in the game. It was the first point of the season for both players.

But Carolina, with its goalie pulled, scored the equalizer as Jordan Staal got inside position on Giroux and knocked in a pass from his brother, Eric Staal, who was behind the goal line. That snapped a Flyers shutout streak that had reached 133:44.

Mason is 3-7-1 despite being dominating. He has received little support. The Flyers have scored two or fewer goals in 13 of their 14 games.

"It was his best game this year," said Giroux, goal-less in his last 20 games over the last two seasons. "We gave up way too many chances in front of the net."

The Flyers allowed 38 shots - 24 more than in their 1-0 win in New Jersey on Saturday.

The game was scoreless heading into the third period. At that point, the Flyers' shutout streak was 114:37. On the flip side, they had scored just one goal in their last 203:26.

After a sluggish start, the Flyers fired nine shots in a five-minute span and had a territorial advantage in a scoreless first period.

Sean Couturier fired a shot off the left post on his two-on-one chance, while Mason robbed Jordan Staal on his opportunity.

Mason made perhaps his best save with 1:20 left in the second period, stopping Nathan Gerbe's tip-in while Carolina was on a power play. The Hurricanes had a five-on-three power play for 1:01, a span that carried into the opening minute of the third period.

The Flyers killed the penalties to keep the game scoreless.

Because of two goalie injuries, Carolina used third-stringer Justin Peters, who had struggled in his first five appearances this season (0-5, 3.49 goals-against average, .890 save percentage).

The Flyers began the night 21-3-3 in their last 27 meetings with the Hurricanes, including a 2-1 loss Oct. 6 in Raleigh. Peter Laviolette was fired the next day.

"Wins are hard to come by right now," said Mason, who nearly notched his 20th career shutout and first as a Flyer. "We just have to stay on a positive mind-set and keep working hard."


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