RALEIGH, N.C. – After squandering a third-period lead in a season-opening loss to Detroit, the Carolina Hurricanes were happy to be in a similar position against the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday.
This time, they got the result they wanted.
Radek Dvorak scored the winner in the second period to lift the Carolina Hurricanes to their first win of the season, a 2-1 victory over the Flyers.
Jay Harrison also scored, Jeff Skinner added two assists and Anton Khudobin made 17 saves in his Hurricanes’ debut.
“It definitely had the very same feel as the last game,” Carolina’s Jordan Staal said. “It was nice to get a different result with the tough ending to last time. It was nice to have a solid third period and do all the right things to get the win.”
Luke Schenn had the goal for the Flyers, who have opened the season 0-3-0 for the second year in a row. Before last year, Philadelphia had lost its first three games only one other time in franchise history.
Steve Mason made 32 saves for the Flyers.
Philadelphia has scored only three goals in its three losses.
“I don’t know if anything’s missing—we’re just having a tough time scoring goals,” Schenn said. “No one’s got that confidence or that swagger right now to score some goals. When you put the puck in the net, it makes everyone feel good around you. For whatever reason, we’ve had a hard time doing that.”
The Hurricanes dominated large stretches of the opening period, taking advantage of a Philadelphia team that lost 4-1 at Montreal on Saturday night before travelling to Raleigh. For the period, Carolina outshot the Flyers 17-5.
Harrison opened the scoring with one of the Hurricanes’ more benign opportunities, sneaking the puck through Mason’s legs on a wrist shot from inside the blue line.
Philadelphia got that goal back 3:01 into the second period when Schenn skated around Carolina’s Drayson Bowman and snapped the puck above Khudobin’s left shoulder.
It was the Flyers’ first even-strength goal of the season.
“I would think that the guys are probably pretty frustrated,” Philadelphia coach Peter Laviolette said. “There’s not a lot of room out there. The first game, we had a lot of attempts; the second game, not a lot of attempts. We’re in there, we’re looking, but we’re not coming up with anything.”
Dvorak gave the Hurricanes the lead for good when he scored a little more than 5 minutes later.
After Skinner deflected Schenn’s clearing attempt, Dvorak collected the loose puck in the high slot. With Carolina’s Riley Nash providing a screen, Dvorak’s wrist shot beat Mason on the glove side.
“When the forecheck’s going well, everything falls into place,” Skinner said. “I think the forecheck was going well.”
Dvorak, who signed a free agent contract with the Hurricanes on Oct. 2 after coming to training camp on a tryout basis, also scored in the Hurricanes’ season-opening loss to Detroit on Friday. The 18-year veteran had four goals in nine games for Anaheim last season.
“Given the opportunity, he can score,” Carolina coach Kirk Muller said. “He’s got great skill. He’s obviously been a great addition over the first two games that we’ve added to our group of young forwards.”
The final period was a tight-checking affair with neither team having many opportunities—Philadelphia managed only three shots.
NOTES: Elias Lindholm, Carolina’s first-round draft pick, went to the Hurricanes’ dressing room in the third period with an apparent injury to his right arm. He did not return to the game, although he was on the bench at the end of the game. … Philadelphia’s Vincent Lecavalier came into the game having recorded 27 points in his last 27 games against the Hurricanes. . Mason had been undefeated in five career outings against Carolina.