Hurricanes edge offensively challenged Flyers

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Carolina Hurricanes are proving to be fast learners.
After blowing a two-goal, third-period lead and dropping their season opener in overtime, the Hurricanes protected a late-game lead Sunday, topping the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 at PNC Arena.
"Obviously these first two games have been tight, and we're trying to keep the puck out of our end," Hurricanes center Jordan Staal said.
Jay Harrison and Radek Dvorak scored goals for the Hurricanes (1-0-1). The victory came two days after the disheartening finish against the Detroit Red Wings.
"It was the same kind of effort," Carolina coach Kirk Muller said. "Like we said, if we put in the same ingredients as the other night and do it consistently, we'll get rewarded differently."
The Flyers, who played Saturday night at Montreal, fell to 0-3 for only the fourth time -- but for the second consecutive season, a franchise first.
Goalie Anton Khudobin, making his Carolina debut, stopped 17 shots. Philadelphia goalie Steve Mason finished with 32 saves.
Carolina held the Flyers to three third-period shots on goal.
"That's what we have to do," said Hurricanes left wing Jeff Skinner, who assisted on the two Carolina goals. "Especially when we have the lead going to the third period, it's important."
A lack of offense is causing Philadelphia's early-season struggles. The Flyers managed just one goal in each of their games.
"We're just having a tough time scoring goals," said defenseman Luke Schenn, who tied the game with a second-period goal. He pointed out that the Flyers lack any swagger or confidence in the offensive end. "For whatever reason, we're having a tough time doing that."
Philadelphia coach Peter Laviolette, who guided the Hurricanes to the 2006 Stanley Cup, said frustration could be mounting on offense.
"There's not a lot of room out there," he said. "We're in there, we're looking, but we're not coming up with anything. If you're not scoring, then everything has to be perfect on the defensive side."
Dvorak broke a 1-1 tie at 8:20 of the second period on a play set up by Skinner, who forced a Philadelphia turnover.
"Sometimes when you try to make plays, you don't always get the bounce you want," Schenn said of the giveaway.
Dvorak, who signed as a free agent two days before the season began after attending training camp on a tryout, scored for the second game in a row.
The Hurricanes opened the scoring at 8:11 of the first period. Harrison took a pass off the boards and unloaded a slap shot, with the puck trickling between Mason's legs. Hurricanes defenseman Ryan Murphy assisted on the goal for his first NHL point, and he was posing for photographs with the puck after the game.
The Flyers tied the game when Schenn took the puck off a face-off, skated in and released a shot that bounced in off the far post at 3:01 of the second period.
Philadelphia went more than 143 minutes into the season before its first even-strength goal.
Carolina outshot the Flyers 17-5 in the first period, so Mason, who didn't play Saturday night but was the opening-night starter Wednesday, was busy right from the start.
NOTES: Flyers C Kris Newbury made his season debut, replacing LW Jay Rosehill in the lineup. ... The Hurricanes went with the same lineup as in Friday night's opener other than switching goalies. ... The Flyers outshot their first two opponents by a combined 22-18 mark in the first period. ... The Hurricanes scored first in both of their games this season. ... The Flyers defeated Carolina in all three meetings last season. The teams will meet four times this season as members of the newly formed Metropolitan Division. ... The Hurricanes play their first road game Tuesday night against the Penguins in Pittsburgh. ... Philadelphia returns home to meet the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night.

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