By Julie Glass
Bryan Bickell, in his final game, scored in the first round of the shootout and the Carolina Hurricanes closed their season with a 4-3 win against the Flyers last night at the Wells.
Bickell, 31, said Saturday that he would retire from the NHL after the game Sunday. He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in November and recovered well enough to play the final four games of the season.
Dale Weise had two goals and Wayne Simmonds also scored for Philly (39-33-10). Stolarz made 32 saves.
The Flyers will miss the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the third time in five seasons.
“It was very frustrating,” said Flyers captain Claude Giroux, who scored in the shootout. “Some games during the year we had a lot of confidence playing our game and if we would have played like that the whole year we would have been more successful than we are right now.”
Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said he was happy he got another chance to use Bickell in a shootout. He missed an opportunity in a 5-4 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Saturday.
“We talked about it on the flight, [general manager Ron Francis] and I, and I said if it happens tomorrow I said I’m putting him in and he said one, no questions asked. It was good.”
Brock McGinn scored two goals, and snapped a shot from the hashmarks past Anthony Stolarz in the third round of the shootout to win it.
Sebastian Aho also scored for Carolina (36-31-15), which ended a five-game losing streak (0-4-1). Eddie Lack made 41 saves and two in the shootout.
Like his teammates, Lack was happy to get the win for Bickell.
“Probably the best teammate I’ve ever played with,” he said. “Just the presence he has in the locker room and the positivity he brings. We really wanted to win for him.”
Aho’s power-play goal at 14:50 of the third period tied it 3-3 after the Flyers took a 3-2 lead on goals by Weise and Simmonds 1:07 apart.
The Hurricanes took a 2-1 lead at 8:39 of the third on McGinn’s second goal of the game.
McGinn scored at 5:42 of the first to give the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead, and then Weise tied it at 8:46 of the second period. The goal was Weise’s 100th NHL point.