Carter notches hat trick in 8-1 Flyers rout of Carolina

By JAY BOEHMER
Senior Hockey Insider — jboehmer@highhopesblog.com
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The Flyers celebrate one of Jeff Carter's three goals in an 8-1 route of Carolina. (AP)

With the Flyers winning streak broken following their overtime loss to the Capitals, now seems as good a time as any to start a new one. For Carolina, it’s a matter of continuing their streak of two wins, with the last one being a 7-1 blowout of the Edmonton Oilers.

The Hurricanes have a dangerous offense, ranking second in the league in even strength goals. For the Flyers, this meant taking the offense to them instead.

In the first period, only a few moments after Scott Hartnell had a goal called back, having been kicked in, Danny Briere tipped in the puck after Ville Leino sent a puck right to him in front of the net.

Throughout the first, the Flyers out hustled and physically dominated the Hurricanes, leaving them helpless to compete. The Flyers also won the vast majority – nearly 75% – of the faceoffs.

Later in the period, following a scrum that left Carolina down a man with Erik Cole taking an unsportsmanlike penalty, the Flyers promptly capitalized as Carter put in the rebound off a Chris Pronger point shot a mere ten seconds in.

Up by a pair going into the second period, the Flyers continued their control and added another couple of goals as Claude Giroux danced through the Carolia defense and left a loose puck for an Andrej Meszaros shot and Carter beat Ward with a wrist shot on the power play. The Meszaros goal was later deemed to have been tipped by Carter, giving him a hat trick after-the-fact.

Following the Flyers’ fourth goal not even six minutes into the second, Carolina pulled goaltender Cam Ward in favor of Justin Peters. It wasn’t going to make it any better.

For the rest of the second, the Hurricanes showed some signs of life, getting their first real scoring chances of the game and continuing to outshoot the Flyers the way they had all night (though it was the Flyers who were getting the chances).

By the time the third period rolled around, however, the Flyers promptly resumed their complete and utter domination of the Canes.

Following a Danny Briere tripping penalty, the penalty-killing tag team of Mike Richards and Claude Giroux took to the ice. Richards found himself on a breakaway alone with Peters, who managed to stop his backhand move. Defenseman Joe Corvo cleared the puck up the middle, only for it to be gloved down by Giroux, who sent the puck back to Richards for a one timer blast.

Carolina slowed down the bleeding as Chad Larose beat Bobrovsky barely a minute later to break the shutout. Unfortunately for them, it was one step forward and two steps back. Not even twenty seconds later, Justin Peters played the puck behind his net and around the boards right to Scott Hartnell, who slid it into the wide open net to make the score 6-1.

A couple minutes later, Danny Briere made it even worse by burying a shot off a Dan Carcillo setup. But that wasn’t the end, when Nikolay Zherdev notched another for an 8-1 final score.

The Flyers showed up, facing a dangerous but inconsistent offense in Carolina – who has averaged more than five goals over the last four games, but was shutout in two of three contests to round out October. They established their game early, physically controlling the Hurricanes. With the Carolina players back on their heels, the Flyers didn’t let up, and took it to them for a full sixty minutes in what ended up being their most complete game of the season.

KEYS TO THE GAME

Jeff Carter: With what became the game winning goal off a first period power play chance, Carter started the Flyers on a roll towards their ultimate blowout. He picked up where he left off during the second period, notching two goals within the first six minutes to pick up a natural hat trick and lead his team to a win.

Danny Briere: Getting back into the groove alongside his linemates Ville Leino and Scott Hartnell following his three game suspension, Briere opened up the scoring against Carolina as he hooked up with Ville Leino on a pretty play for the tip-in past Cam Ward.

Goaltending: Starting opposite Sergei Bobrovsky – who was business-as-usual in stopping the routine shots with ease and keeping out a few of the tougher chances on his way to 35 saves – was Cam Ward. Ward was taken for a ride, giving up two goals on the first nine shots. After letting two more by in the next four shots, he was pulled for Justin Peters, who matched his 9 saves on 13 shots as he gave up four of his own, including an embarrassingly sloppy turnover that led to Scott Hartnell putting one into an empty net.

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