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Malhotra rewards 'Canes for opportunity with OT winner

The SportsXchange

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Carolina Hurricanes gave center Manny Malhotra a chance to revive his career and he rewarded them for that opportunity.

Malhotra scored his first goal as a Hurricane with 2:20 left in overtime, lifting Carolina to a 2-1 victory against the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night at PNC Arena.

"To have the confidence of your coach means a lot," Malhotra said of his ice time in overtime. "I want to prove people right."

Malhotra, a 33-year-old who signed as a free agent last Thursday, was in his third game with the Hurricanes (5-7-3), who snapped a five-game losing streak. He scored on a breakaway.

Center Jordan Staal forced overtime by scoring with 52.3 seconds left in regulation when the Hurricanes had an extra skater. It was Staal's second goal of the season.

Philadelphia scored first on left winger Scott Hartnell's power-play goal on a redirected shot with 3:58 remaining in the third. It was Hartnell's first goal of the season. He was playing in his 10th game.

"They scored a late one," Malhotra said. "We didn't pack it in."

Carolina goaltender Justin Peters, who stopped 28 shots, said the Hurricanes increased the intensity after the Flyers took the lead.

"We were really taking it to them," Peters said. "Once they got that goal, we turned it up another notch. It's a 60-minute game for a reason. It didn't faze us. These guys weren't going to be denied tonight."

Flyers goalie Steve Mason made 36 saves in the loss.

Philadelphia was on the verge of earning its second straight 1-0 result. The Flyers were trying to post victories in back-to-back games for the second time this season.

"We would have liked to shut them down and get the back-to-back shutouts," Hartnell said. "It leaves a sour taste in your mouth."

Philadelphia's goal came after Carolina left winger Nathan Gerbe was in the penalty box for roughing when he wrestled Flyers defenseman Martin Streit to the ice in front of the Hurricanes goal.

Hartnell clipped defenseman Kimmo Timonen's shot, sending the puck past Peters. There was a video review to ensure Hartnell's stick wasn't too high.

Peters, playing in his sixth consecutive game, was aiming for his third career shutout. He entered the game with a 4.77 goals-against-average this season.

"He made the saves at the right time," Carolina coach Kirk Muller said.

The Hurricanes' 38 shots matched their season high.

"More importantly, we played the right way," Malhotra said. "It's nice to get that win."

Each team had a total of one goal across a 176-minute stretch covering three games until Hartnell scored.

The Hurricanes were denied on a 5-on-3 power play that spanned the second and third periods.

The Hurricanes nearly scored on a 2-on-1 short-handed breakaway in the first period, but Staal's shot was stopped by Mason's stick.

Mason is without a shutout since notching one for Columbus on March 1, 2012, at Colorado.

The Flyers played in their first overtime game of the season.

NOTES: The Hurricanes activated RW Radek Dvorak from injured reserve after he missed the previous three games with a lower-body injury. ... Carolina sent LW Brett Sutter to Charlotte of the American Hockey League. ... LW Jeff Skinner of the Hurricanes was in New York on Tuesday for medical evaluation on an upper-body injury that has kept him sidelined since Oct. 24. ... The Flyers' previous game in Raleigh ended up being the final game for Peter Laviolette as coach. He was fired Oct. 7, the day after the loss to the Hurricanes. ... D Luke Schenn, who scored his only goal of the season last month against Carolina, was scratched for Philadelphia. ... The Flyers return home for their next two games, beginning Thursday night against the New Jersey Devils. ... This was the start of a five-game homestand for the Hurricanes, who face the New York Islanders on Thursday night.
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