Canes top Flyers, points streak at franchise-record 14 games
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Jesper Fast scored twice in the first period and the Hurricanes set a franchise record with a 14-game points streak, beating the Philadelphia Flyers 6-5 on Friday night.
“It is something to be proud of,” Hurricanes forward Jordan Martinook said. “When we come back (after the holiday break), we want to keep going, keep extending it and just bank those points.”
Stefan Noesen, Andrei Svechnikov, Martinook and Jesperi Kotkaniemi also scored as the Hurricanes won their eighth straight. Jordan Staal had three assists and Martinook, Martin Necas and Brett Pesce each had two. Goalie Antti Raanta made 27 saves for the Hurricanes.
A four-goal edge nearly vanished as coach Rod Brind’Amour said the players “were unwrapping their gifts” prematurely.
The team’s accomplishments of the past few weeks haven’t gone unnoticed.
“You don’t put that kind of streak together,” Brind’Amour said. “It doesn’t just happen. There’s definitely a lot of good things we’ve done. This group comes ready to go which is the most important thing.”
Travis Sanheim, Tony DeAngelo, Nick Seeler, Scott Laughton and Travis Konecny scored for the Flyers, who tried to rally with three goals in the third period, but lost for the third time in four games.
“We’ve been behind a lot this year,” Flyers coach John Tortorella said. “It’s kind of the same script we keep on playing.”
The loss spoiled the NHL debut of Flyers goalie Samuel Ersson, who was pulled midway through second period and returned with about two minutes left in the frame after Carter Hart exited due to injury. He finished with 25 saves. Hart had six.
Laughton and Konecny scored short-handed as the Flyers cut their deficit to one with three unanswered goals.
Fast scored 3:57 into the game on the first shot on Ersson, who was called up from the American Hockey League earlier in the week when Felix Sandstrom didn’t make a two-game trip because of illness.
Sanheim’s fourth goal of the season drew the Flyers even at 11:03 of the opening period.
Noesen scored on a redirection on a power play at 14:32 to put Carolina back on top with his 15th goal. Fast’s second goal of the game came with 55 seconds left in the period.
DeAngelo scored 61 seconds into the second period, but Svechnikov’s team-leading 18th goal restored the Hurricanes’ two-goal margin.
Ersson, a 23-year-old Swede, allowed five goals on 22 shots.
“Tough team to come in and play your first game,” Tortorella said. “Great experience for him. … Made some great saves in the third period when we needed it. I don’t think we gave him much support on his first start in the beginning of the game.”
Hart, who leads the NHL in shots faced this season, replaced Ersson. When teammate Rasmus Ristolainen pushed Carolina’s Seth Jarvis into the crease on a sequence that resulted in the Hurricanes’ sixth goal, Hart exited with an injury with 2:08 left in the second.
It lined up for Hurricanes rookie Pyotr Kochetkov to be in the nets after he was a backup Thursday night in Pittsburgh. But before Friday’s game, Brind’Amour said Kochetkov was dealing with “a little tweak” and that it was decided not to have him to start.
Raanta appeared in back-to-back games for the first time this season.
Kochetkov had played in 13 of Carolina’s previous 16 games. The ailment isn’t considered serious, Brind’Amour said.
Center Sebastian Aho, who had 27 points through 26 games, was back in Carolina’s lineup after a seven-game absence with a lower-body injury. … DeAngelo, who played last season for the Hurricanes, notched an assist on the first goal for the Flyers. … Opponents have scored first against Philadelphia in 24 of 35 games.
Flyers: At San Jose on Thursday.
Hurricanes: Host Chicago on Tuesday.
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