If your scoring’s cold and you can’t get goals, who you gonna call?
Correct. Maybe MacEwen had only six goals in 64 career games heading into Friday night but no matter.
MacEwen’s deflection goal at 10:20 of the third period gave the Flyers a 2-1 lead and Philadelphia held on for the victory by that score at PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C. MacEwen tipped in a Justin Braun entry for MacEwen’s first goal as a Flyer.
The Flyers are 5-0-0 after a loss, best in the NHL.
Joel Farabee’s goal at 4:06 of the third period ended a personal eight-game drought to tie the score at 1-1. It was the Flyers’ first goal in 128 minutes, 22 seconds dating back to the second period of last Saturday night’s game at Washington.
MacEwen, a big part of the fourth line’s defensive success in recent games, took his big play in stride but finally admitted it felt good to get that first goal as a Flyer out of the way.
“Braun got a shot, I got a stick on it and it’s one of those where it found a way to go in,’’ MacEwen said. “I’m thankful for that. It’s nice to get that one out of the way, get rolling with the boys here. Hopefully that opens it up for me a little bit. Kind of keep it going and build off that. Our line is staying positive. We’re doing good things, creating chances and we believe if we keep doing the little things right, we’re going to get rewarded. It’s nice to get one at a big time.’’
Carolina came into the game with the NHL’s best record, only one regulation-time loss, so this win was particularly satisfying.
“That’s a good team over there,’’ MacEwen confirmed. “I think we played a good game. We weathered their power play.’’
Earlier, coach Alain Vigneault tried switching personnel around on different lines but to no avail in the first two periods. But Farabee, who was moved off the Derick Brassard line to the Scott Laughton line, came through.
It was Laughton who executed a bank shot off the end boards. Farabee raced in behind the Carolina defense.
Like MacEwen, Farabee sounded a bit relieved to score after no goals in eight games.
“That was a heads-up play by ‘Laughts,’ it just shows his hockey IQ,’’ Farabee said. “As a line, if we keep doing that, good things are going to happen. He was able to read that I had a lot of speed coming in there. He put it in the perfect spot where it (the rebound) came right to me. Pretty elite play by him. For me, it’s definitely been frustrating this last little stretch but you just try to get back to your fundamentals. That’s a huge road win for us.’’
Fortunately for the Flyers, goaltender Carter Hart was on top of his game, allowing just Steven Lorentz’s goal at 11:14 of the second period for the only Carolina score.
Lorentz batted a rebound out of the air at the edge of the goal crease. Lorentz’s stick appeared to be a bit high but Philadelphia did not challenge the play.
Moments later, Vigneault did challenge a Seth Jarvis shot into the net, arguing that Jarvis was offside on the play. Replay confirmed and the decision was no-goal at 11:59.
Hart thanked Claude Giroux and Ivan Provorov for making huge blocks which probably prevented goals.
“That’s a huge two points,’’ he said. “They came out hard and we just had to battle. We stuck with it right to the end. I’m just trying to do my job, stop shots and have fun. The boys are doing a great job of keeping the shots to the outside and limiting second chances.’’
As was the case in a 3-0 loss to Toronto on Wednesday night, the Flyers squandered a bunch of power plays, including a five-on-three at the end of the first period.
On the flip side, the Flyers stopped all five Carolina power plays.
“Our fourth line is always giving a hundred percent,’’ said Vigneault, alluding to MacEwen’s goal. “Great to see that they were rewarded for their hard work and it ended up being the winning goal. Hart made some great saves, that one at the end of the second period (a Jordan Staal breakaway) stands out for me. We came out in the third and had some great looks.’’
Ex-Flyer defenseman Braydon Coburn announced his retirement on Friday. He was one of the top backliners in Philadelphia during the 2010s. . .The Flyers play at Dallas on Saturday and goaltender Martin Jones is expected to start. . .Carolina was 11-0-1 in their last 12 home games.