PHILADELPHIA – Just when it looked like the Flyers might knock off another powerhouse opponent, things fell apart late in Saturday night’s game.
With the Carolina Hurricanes in town, the Flyers took a 3-2 lead into the closing minutes.
But Philadelphia surrendered a tying goal by Martin Necas with 2:05 to play, then went home with just a single point after a 4-3 loss. The Hurricanes picked up a goal by Brent Burns at 4:06 of overtime for the win.
The Flyers stormed back from an early 2-0 deficit, got a go-ahead goal from Wade Allison at 6:09 of the third period off a Lukas Sedlak feed but couldn’t finish the job.
Philadelphia’s record dropped to 5-2-1.
Despite the disappointing outcome, coach John Tortorella saw the overall performance as a glass “half-full, not half-empty.’’
In fact, he said the Flyers’ second and third periods might have been the best they’ve played “in quite awhile.’’
“We got two goals from our fourth line, a power-play goal and we lose the game,’’ Tortorella fumed. “I thought our first period was a struggle, we beat the puck up. But as the second period got rolling and the third, I thought we played two good periods.’’
The players agreed with that assessment.
“Obviously disappointed with the loss,’’ Sedlak said. “But I think we played a decent game today.’’
Allison’s fourth line had a big impact on the game. Too bad it didn’t have a happy ending, even though the Flyers did earn a point.
“We can’t shoot ourselves in the foot in the first period,’’ he said. “We’ve been battling back from two-goal deficits all year so we have to start better and then we can clean up some of that later in the game. Then we can just take over when we need to and want to.’’
Goaltender Carter Hart also looked at the positives.
“I thought we played really good hockey in the second and third,’’ he said. “I think for the second half of the game we were all over them. You just have to put it behind you and get ready for the next one.’’
The Flyers are making a habit of second period comebacks this season and it was more of the same in this game.
Down by that 2-0 score after one period, the Flyers rallied on a pair of goals from Nic Deslauriers and Owen Tippett, both getting on the scoreboard for the first time this season.
Deslauriers scored at 5:14. Allison started the play by winning a puck battle in the right corner and getting the puck to Sedlak in the opposite elbow. Sedlak slid a pass to Deslauriers in front for a short jam shot past goaltender Antti Raanta.
Tippett, who just made his return on Thursday night after suffering a concussion in the season opener, then tied it at 7:18. With the Flyers on a power play, Tippett took a well-timed pass from Travis Konecny, fired at the lower edge of the left circle and Raanta had no chance.
“We had a lot of movement there,’’ Tippett said. “TK [Konecny] made great support and I just tried to beat my guy to the net and TK made a great pass.”
Tortorella had praise for Tippett but said he “has to play quicker.’’
He added, “It’s a good lesson against that team. They’re on you all the time. I thought at times he wasn’t anticipating the next play. But I like where he’s going.’’
The Flyers began the game ranked 15th on the power play at 22.7 percent, a far cry from last season when they finished 32nd at just over 12 percent.
“Yeah, it’s coming along,’’ Tippett said “Obviously, the more you play with each other, it’s going to come. I think we’re using each other well and supporting each other all over the ice.”
Carolina, which suffered that aforementioned 6-2 home loss to the Islanders on Friday night, came out with attitude, getting goals from Eric Stahl and Jordan Martinook.
Stahl scored at 5:27 when Hart failed to secure the post and the puck hopped over his skate into the net. Martinook followed that up with his goal. Stahl made a nice pivot out of the corner and a pass managed to find its way under a sliding Nick Seeler. Hart had no chance on the poke-in shot.
Kieffer Bellows, claimed off waivers from the Islanders on Thursday, made his debut and wore No. 20. He played on a line with Morgan Frost and Zack MacEwen. . .Defenseman Egor Zamula was a scratch. . .The Flyers are off until Tuesday when they begin a three-game road trip with a game against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.