The Philadelphia Flyers will continue a three-game homestand when they battle the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday.
The Flyers have played back-to-back shootouts — a 4-3 road win on Friday against the New Jersey Devils followed by a 4-3 home loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday in 11 rounds.
Carter Hart earned the win in goal Friday and Brian Elliott was the hard-luck loser on Saturday, which was the franchise’s second-longest shootout. Only a 13-round loss to the New York Rangers in October 2006 was longer in franchise history.
Despite the loss, Travis Sanheim scored one of the Flyers’ three goals. Sanheim has struggled mightily on both ends of the ice as he fell during one of Toronto’s goals.
Sanheim’s goal was his first since March 3, a span of 29 games.
“We need him to be the player that he can be,” Philadelphia head coach Alain Vigneault said of Sanheim. “He is fighting it right now. He is going through some growing pains. When he comes out of it, I am very confident that he is going to be a very useful player for this team.”
Sanheim’s goal gave the Flyers a short-lived 3-2 lead early in the third period.
“When you’re down a little bit, things tend to not go your way and vice versa,” Sanheim said. “When you have a ton of confidence, it seems like everything is going in for you. I know there’s going to be a stretch coming up for me. Right now, I’m just trying to fight through and be better.”
The Flyers are actually 1-2 in shootouts this season and will enter this game against Carolina with a 4-1-1 record at home.
The Hurricanes have been of the league’s best teams through their first 14 games with a 9-4-1 record.
But they stumbled in the finale of a four-game homestand with a 5-3 loss to the Devils on Saturday. It was New Jersey’s first road win of the season.
Erik Haula had one goal and one assist, but it wasn’t enough as the Devils pulled away with two late goals after Haula tied the score at 3.
“We never got going enough to create enough mojo,” Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “I just felt like we were emotionally dead. You could see we were a little tired tonight. Not a lot of jump, unfortunately. Again, we weren’t smart with the puck. That’s what you get. It’s frustrating. It’s not the way you want to end a good homestand.”
Carolina defeated the Detroit Red Wings 7-3 on Friday yet looked out of sync against a previously winless road team one night later. Mistakes in the Hurricanes’ own zone hurt them, especially in the third period.
The result was a rare loss.
“We were fooling around with the puck a little too much, making it easy for them to transition and play in our end and tired our D corps,” captain Jordan Staal told the News & Observer. “Too many turnovers, too many mistakes, ended up kind of wearing ourselves out.”
Carolina goaltender Petr Mrazek received a rare night off when the Hurricanes lost to the Devils and it’s likely he’ll be back starting against the Flyers.
–Field Level Media