Flyers
Hurricanes
2 - 1 Final - OT
  for this game

Carter helps Flyers edge Hurricanes

Dec 7, 2008 - 5:24 AM
RALEIGH, North Carolina (Ticker) -- After captain Mike Richards grabbed a share of the lead in one goal-scoring category earlier in the game, teammate Jeff Carter claimed a share of the top spot in another for the surging Philadelphia Flyers.

Carter scored his league-leading 19th goal of the season at 3:34 of overtime, giving the Flyers a 2-1 triumph over the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday.

Richards netted his NHL-best fourth shorthanded tally and Antero Niittymaki made 35 saves for Philadelphia, which improved to 9-1-3 in its last 13 games.

"Overall, it was a good defensive game by both teams," Richards said. "We just wanted to be patient. We didn't want to push the envelope. We waited for our chances, and we got some. ... It seemed like whoever had the last shot would win."

"We just keep battling," Carter added. "It's definitely not a position we want to be in - one-goal games, overtimes and shootouts. We never give up. We just keep going."

Sergei Samsonov tallied on the power play for the Hurricanes, who fell to 0-3-0 on their four-game homestand.

"We had some chances in overtime and during the game," Samsonov said. "It was a solid effort, but it just came down to overtime."

With his team down a skater early in the contest, Richards received a pass from Simon Gagne and skated in on a short breakaway. After deking former teammate Michael Leighton, Richards slid a backhander into the net at 3:59 for a 1-0 edge.

It was just the second shorthanded tally allowed by the Hurricanes this season.

"Giving up a goal on (our) power play, it sets you back a little bit," Samsonov said.

Richards pulled even with Gagne for the league lead in shorthanded goals, a category in which the Flyers stand atop with 11.

"It's been huge," Richards said. "It seems like every time we get a good kill or score a shorthanded goal, it builds momentum for us. Specialty teams are such a big factor. It seems like if you come out of it on the plus side of special teams, you're going to win the game.

"Lately, we've had great special teams, and it has created momentum. Our penalty kill has stepped up, and our goaltenders have been our best ones."

After a scoreless second session, Carolina forged a tie less than a minute into the third.

Failing to convert their first four power-play opportunities, the Hurricanes cashed in on their fifth. Ray Whitney's cross-slot pass from the right faceoff circle deflected off the stick of a defender and directly to Samsonov, who fired the puck into a vacant left side of the net just 55 seconds into the period for his third goal of the season.

The Hurricanes rank 29th in the league with the man advantage at 13.5 percent (17-for-126).

"We're making small strides on the power play, finding different people and finding different units," said Carolina coach Paul Maurice, who replaced Peter Laviolette on Wednesday.

In the third of four meetings between the teams in a span of 16 days, the Flyers improved to 2-0-1 in the season series thanks to Carter. The clubs meet for the final time this campaign Thursday in Philadelphia.

"It's kind of like a playoff series," Carter said. "They were a lot grittier. It's like they competed a lot better."

"You play the same team over and over again and it's almost like a playoff series," Philadelphia coach John Stevens echoed. "They're big points for them and they're big points for us. It seems like every game has big implications. That we play a team four times inside of two weeks is a little unusual."

After winning a faceoff in the right circle, the 2003 11th overall draft pick spun around and fired a bouncing puck between the pads of Leighton to help Philadelphia improve to 7-3-3 on the road this season.

"It was kind of a broken play," Carter said. "I was actually trying to go back to the point (with the puck), but it bounced straight up. I got a little positioning on (Leighton) and spun it at the five-hole."

With the goal, Carter pulled even for the league lead with Buffalo's Thomas Vanek, who also netted his 19th in the Sabres' 4-3 triumph over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday.

Making just his ninth appearance of the season and first since posting a 3-1 win here on November 26, Antero Niittymaki made 11 saves in the third period and five in overtime.

"He really sharpened up his game," Stevens said. "He seemed like he was a little unsettled in the beginning with his rebounds (last game). Tonight, he looked extremely sharp, very confident and had to make some key saves that gave us the opportunity to win the game."

"It gets easier as the season goes on," Niittymaki said of keeping sharp between outings. "You get used to it. It is what it is. ... It helps when you have a good game against somebody, to play against them again. You just feel more comfortable."

Leighton turned aside 29 shots for Carolina, which has lost five of six and fell to 0-1-1 under Maurice.

"Through 60 minutes, anyway, he was really, really strong," Maurice said of his goaltender.






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    Flyers 2, Hurricanes 1  Final - OTDec 7 3:32 AM
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  • NHL
    FINAL IN OT 1ST 2ND 3RD OT TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    PHILADELPHIA 1 0 0 1 2
    CAROLINA 0 0 1 0 1 FINAL IN OT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PHI - (SH) MIKE RICHARDS 11 (SIMON GAGNE) 3:59
    2ND PRD: NONE
    3RD PRD: CAR - (PP) SERGEI SAMSONOV 3 (RAY WHITNEY, JONI PITKANEN)
    0:55
    OT: NONE
    POWER-PLAY CONVERSIONS: PHI -

    Flyers 2, Hurricanes 1  Final - OTDec 6 9:42 PM
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    Flyers 1, Hurricanes 1  OT - 2:03Dec 6 9:36 PM
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    Flyers 1, Hurricanes 1  3rd - 2:03Dec 6 9:35 PM
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  • NHL
    END OF THE 3RD GOING INTO OT
    1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHILADELPHIA 1 0 0 1
    CAROLINA 0 0 1 1 GOING INTO OT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PHI - (SH) MIKE RICHARDS 11 (SIMON GAGNE) 3:59
    2ND PRD: NONE
    3RD PRD: CAR - (PP) SERGEI SAMSONOV 3 (RAY WHITNEY, JONI PITKANEN)
    0:55
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHI

    Dec 6 9:30 PM
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    Flyers 1, Hurricanes 1  3rd - 5:45Dec 6 9:19 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 1
    CAROLINA 1
    3RD PRD: CAR - (PP) SERGEI SAMSONOV 3 (RAY WHITNEY, JONI PITKANEN)
    0:55

    Flyers 1, Hurricanes 1  3rd - 19:05Dec 6 8:58 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHILADELPHIA 1 0 1
    CAROLINA 0 0 0 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PHI - (SH) MIKE RICHARDS 11 (SIMON GAGNE) 3:59
    2ND PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHI 6 14 20
    CAR 11 8 19
    GOALIES: PHI - ANTERO NIITT

    Dec 6 8:37 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHILADELPHIA 1 1
    CAROLINA 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PHI - (SH) MIKE RICHARDS 11 (SIMON GAGNE) 3:59
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHI 6 6
    CAR 11 11
    GOALIES: PHI - ANTERO NIITTYMAKI
    CAR - MI

    Dec 6 7:50 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 1
    CAROLINA 0
    1ST PRD: PHI - (SH) MIKE RICHARDS 11 (SIMON GAGNE) 3:59

    Flyers 1, Hurricanes 0  1st - 16:01Dec 6 7:19 PM