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Hurricanes 6, Flyers 5 (SO)

The SportsXchange

PHILADELPHIA -- Carolina centers Jeff Skinner and Eric Staal notched two goals apiece as the Hurricanes defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 6-5 in a shootout at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on Sunday.

With the game barely two minutes old, Skinner opened the scoring on the Hurricanes' first shot. Six minutes later, Staal put the puck past Flyers goalie Calvin Heeter to give the Hurricanes a 2-0 lead. Heeter, making his Flyers debut in net as starting goalie Steve Mason recovers from injury, was on the receiving end of Bronx cheers most of the afternoon.

Flyers right wing Matt Read put Philadelphia on the board with a goal a minute later, but Carolina regained its two-goal cushion when center Manny Malhotra scored to make it 3-1.

The second period began in similar fashion with Carolina scoring on its first shot. With just 17 seconds gone in the period, Staal scored his second goal of the game to give Carolina a 4-1 lead.

Midway through the period, the tide quickly shifted. The Hurricanes, one of the least-penalized teams in the NHL, was called for hooking when Ron Hainsey took Flyers left win Scott Hartnell down at the 11:16 mark. Less than 45 seconds later, Flyers Kimmo Timonen scored a power-play goal to cut the deficit to 4-2, and before longtime Flyers public-address announcer Lou Nolan could announce the goal, the Flyers struck again.

This time it was Flyers right wing Wayne Simmonds taking a puck from Flyers left wing Tye McGinn and pulling the Flyers to within one. Several minutes later, Flyers center Sean Couturier tied the game at 4 when he poked the puck away from Hurricanes D John-Michael Liles and beat Hurricanes goalie Anton Khudobin.

Carolina regained the lead on Skinner's second tally of the game, a power-play goal with just 4:21 remaining. Heeter made a great initial save but Skinner pushed the rebound past him to put Carolina ahead 5-4. The game looked like it might end that way before Simmonds scored his second goal of the game with just 9.5 seconds left to tie it 5-5.

Each team had several opportunities to score in overtime but came away empty, setting the stage for a shootout. Philadelphia right wing Jason Akeson shot first and missed. Staal was successful on the Hurricanes' first shot. Flyers right wing Claude Giroux and Couturier missed their attempts, securing the win for Carolina.

NOTES: The Flyers presented their end-of-season awards prior to the start of the game, with Giroux receiving the Bobby Clarke Trophy as the team's MVP. Giroux led the team in scoring for the fourth consecutive season despite being held without a goal until his 16th game. ... Skinner's first goal on Sunday was his career-high 32nd goal of the season. His previous high of 31 was set during his 2010-11 rookie campaign. ... Staal has reached the 20-goal plateau eight times in his nine year careers. ... A team-record seven Flyers appeared in all 82 of the team's games this season. The previous Flyers mark was set when six players on the 1974-75 squad appeared in all 80 games. ... The Flyers will open the playoffs against the New York Rangers, with whom they split the season series (2-2). ... The Hurricanes missed the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season.
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