By Mark Gallagher
All of a sudden the Flyers are starting to resemble last season’s mediocre bunch.
On the ice and in the standings.
Dougie Hamilton scored 1:56 into overtime to give Carolina a 5-4 win over Philly, which fell to fifth place in the Metro leader Washington, which comes to Philly tonight.
Travis Konecny, Michael Raffl, Nicolas Aube-Kubel and Travis Sanheim scored for Philly, which lost its fourth straight and dropped five of six on its road trip.
The Flyers’ grueling travel schedule didn’t prevent them from getting off to a fast start. Konecny scored 37 seconds into the game on the Flyers first shot, which he squeezed between the blocker and the body of Carolina goalie James Reimer.
With 8:57 elapsed, Jake Voracek intercepted a pass by Haydn Fleury and found Raffl in front of the net for another score.
“I think we took a step in the right direction,” Flyers coach Alain Vigneault said. “Now we’ve got to get home.”
After falling behind by two in the opening minutes for the second straight game, the Hurricanes struck back when Wallmark scored off the rebound of Brock McGinn’s shot just 43 seconds after Raffl’s goal. Foegele evened the score at 2-2 later in the period when he lifted the puck high into the net off a cross-ice pass from Jordan Staal.
Philadelphia tied the score at 4-4 with 4:11 remaining in regulation when Sanheim skated unchecked from behind the net to the front and wristed a shot between Reimer’s pads.
Both goalies struggled. Reimer allowed two goals on shots that sneaked between an arm and his body. Elliott had difficulty controlling rebounds and gave up a pair of goals on slap shots by defencemen operating from the point area.
Vigneault was pleased that Voracek, Konecny, Sean Couturier and Claude Giroux helped the Flyers salvage a point in the standings on a difficult night.
“We need our top performers to perform at the top end, and for the most part these guys did that,” Vigneault said.
Carolina, meanwhile, bounced back from a slow start and exited the building with a win and the anticipation that Williams can help them.
“We know how good a player he is and how good a person and everything,” Hamilton said. “I don’t think it will be an adjustment. He’s been around, he knows what he’s doing, and I’m sure he’ll figure it out.”