RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The Philadelphia Flyers took advantage of another third-period meltdown by the Carolina Hurricanes to keep their hold on third-place in the Metropolitan Division.
Valterri Filppula scored the tiebreaking goal on a breakaway with 5:49 left, and the Flyers scored four times in the third period to beat the scuffling Hurricanes 4-2 on Saturday night.
Travis Konecny and Jakub Voracek also scored as the Flyers had three goals in a 5:52 span to rally for the win. Michael Raffl added an empty-netter, Wayne Simmonds had two assists and Alex Lyon stopped 23 shots.
Filppula’s breakaway goal snapped a 2-2 tie and secured a needed victory for the Flyers, who entered on a 1-6-1 skid. Philadelphia, which began the day in third place in the Metropolitan Division, moved back into that spot after New Jersey had leapfrogged ahead earlier in the day.
Columbus, which also won, is tied with the Philadelphia but the Flyers hold the tiebreaker.
“Just to be able to stay with it through the third period and get it done says a lot for our group,” Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said. “We needed a win for a lot of different reasons. We needed the two points in every respect.”
Jaccob Slavin and Jordan Staal scored and Cam Ward made 23 saves for the Hurricanes, who have lost five of six.
Carolina suffered its second straight third-period collapse. It allowed five goals in the final 10 minutes to Boston on Tuesday night to blow a 4-1 lead, and gave up four goals in the final 12 minutes to the Flyers to blow leads of 1-0 and 2-1.
“It’s extremely frustrating,” Slavin said. “We were the better team I think both games. Those are crucial points that we needed. I don’t know if I can put my finger on it. We have to play a full 60 (minutes) and we haven’t put that in the last two games.”
Carolina led 1-0 on Staal’s first-period goal most of the game before a late outburst of scoring in the third. Konecny’s deflection in front of the net tied it at 1-all with 11:49 left, but the Hurricanes quickly responded with a wrist shot by Slavin that put Carolina back on top with just under 10 minutes remaining.
It didn’t last long, as two defensive breakdowns gave the Flyers the opening they needed for a comeback.
First, Voracek slipped in uncovered to the Hurricanes crease, accepted a pass from the corner and stuffed a backhander in around Ward to make it 2-2 with 8:02 remaining.
Shortly after, Filppula got behind the Hurricanes’ defense, took a long pass from Simmonds at center ice, and finished his breakaway with a forehand wrister that got under Ward’s blocker for the winner.
“This should give us a lot of confidence today,” Filppula said. “Pretty good comeback. Nice to get two points.”
For the Hurricanes, it was two blown assignments where a man was left wide open, an echo of the problems that plagued them in their previous collapse.
They are now 3-9-2 in their last 14 games, falling from playoff position in the Eastern Conference to 11 points back with 11 games to play.
“There’s mistakes where we’re trying too hard sometimes,” Staal said. “Mistakes that shouldn’t happen. And there’s been too many of those. We have to clean those up and take some pride in our game.”
NOTES: The Flyers earned only their second regulation victory in their last 10 games. … Teuvo Teravainen and Sebastian Aho each had an assist to extend their point streaks to four games for the Hurricanes. … NHL hits leaders Robert Hagg (lower body injury) missed his fourth straight game for the Flyers. D Johnny Oduya (lower body injury) missed his sixth straight.
Flyers: Host the Washington Capitals on Sunday.
Hurricanes: At the New York Islanders on Sunday.