Hockey / Sports

Philadelphia Flyers goalie Steve Mason is unable to stop a shot from the Carolina Hurricanes' Nathan Gerbe in the second period at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014. Carolina won, 3-2. (Michael Bryant/Philadelphia Inquirer/MCT)

Flyers can't catch up to Hurricanes

PHILADELPHIA -- The Flyers looked as if they lost their game in a snow drift on Wednesday night.

They played listlessly, had little attack time, and dropped a 3-2 decision to Carolina at the Wells Fargo Center.

The Flyers seemed a step behind the Hurricanes all night, and they suffered their third one-goal loss in three games against Carolina this season.

Jiri Tlusty knocked in a juicy rebound with 6 minutes, 10 seconds left, snapping a 2-2 tie and giving Carolina the victory.

The game was pushed to Wednesday because Tuesday's contest was postponed by the snow. Carolina had a morning skate Tuesday, but the Flyers didn't because they had played the previous day on Long Island.

"We didn't skate for two days and you could tell we were not very competitive," said Scott Hartnell, who tied the score at 2-2 on a power-play goal with 17 minutes left. "We were second to pucks all night basically, maybe except for a couple of shifts. We tried to sneak out another win, and when you're not playing great hockey, it's going to bite you in the butt real quick."

Flyers goalie Steve Mason stopped Andrej Sekera's drive, but the rebound went right to Tlusty, who deposited his seventh goal. The Flyers were, in effect, shorthanded on the play because Jake Voracek broke his stick.

"I didn't really see the point shot come through, so I had trouble controlling the rebound," said Mason, whose team has lost three of its last four games.

Added Mason: "I thought we got what we deserved tonight. We're not playing well enough to win hockey games. The only positive thing is we get right back at it" Thursday in Columbus.

After nearly 40 sleepy minutes, Claude Giroux tried to give the Flyers a wake-up call, scoring late in the second period to get his team within 2-1.

Giroux, circling by the side of the net, pounced on a deflected puck and caromed a backhanded off goalie Anton Khudobin and into the net with 34.6 seconds left in the period.

Hartnell's power-play goal -- off a rebound early in the third period -- knotted the score at 2-all.

Carolina had taken a 2-0 lead when Nathan Gerbe scored a goal that will become a YouTube sensation.

After a pass went between the legs of Flyers defenseman Luke Schenn at the point, Gerbe went in on a breakaway and scored on a between-the-legs shot as he lifted the puck over a stunned Mason with 6:22 remaining in the second.

"It's a skilled play. Give him credit -- a nice move," Mason said. "It's tough for a goalie because it changes the angle of the original shot."

Alex Semin, named as an injury replacement on Russia's Olympic team on Tuesday, gave Carolina a 1-0 lead with 8:03 left in the opening period. From the top of the right circle, Semin fired a wicked wrist shot that went through the legs of defenseman Andrej Meszaros and flew over the glove of Mason and under the crossbar. Mason appeared to be screened by Meszaros.

On Thursday, the Flyers will be in Columbus to face the streaking Blue Jackets, who have won a franchise-record seven straight.

Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, who has an eight-game winning streak, is expected to face his ex-teammates for the first time. Bobrovsky, last season's Vezina Trophy winner as the NHL's top goaltender, has a 2.55 goals-against average and a .915 save percentage.

Before Wednesday's game, Berube did not rule out starting Mason against his former team.


Voracek, who took a slash to his left hand and missed most of the third period Monday against the Islanders, returned to the lineup, though he said the hand was bothersome. ... Wayne Simmonds, who set up Hartnell's goal, has 23 points since Dec. 17. In that span, only John Tavares (25 points) has more points in the NHL.

(c)2014 The Philadelphia Inquirer

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