Saturday, October 20, 2007

Gagne's OT goal sends Flyers over Hurricanes

by Bob Herpen
The Phanatic Magazine

Simon Gagne's second goal of the game, coming 48 seconds into overtime, sent the Philadelphia Flyers to a 3-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes at the Wachovia Center.

Flyers defenseman Derian Hatcher got control of a loose puck in the Carolina zone and carried into the left circle. He waited an instant before slipping a pass to Gagne at the right side.

The puck hit Gagne's skate and bounced in the air, but he was able to tap the rebound of his initial shot past Carolina's John Grahame, who stuck out his right pad to stop the chance. The score was Gagne's 400th NHL point.

Mike Richards also scored for the Flyers, who have won five straight games, including all four on
their first homestand of the year. Philadelphia has not opened a season with six wins in its first seven games since a 6-1-0 start in 1993-94.

Martin Biron was solid in net again, stopping 42-of-44 shots to earn his sixth win.

Eric Staal and Justin Williams tallied for the Hurricanes, who have lost two straight on back-to-back nights.

Grahame made 27 stops but was saddled with his second loss in as many starts.

The Flyers went up 1-0 when Braydon Coburn carried into the Carolina zone and shoveled a backhand pass towards the net. The puck was tipped by Danny Briere at the right post over to Gagne at the left pipe for an easy tap-in 5:12 into the contest.

On the next shift, Philly defenseman Lasse Kukkonen was sent off for hooking and the Canes capitalized. Staal tied the game when he knocked in a cross- crease pass from Jeff Hamilton at 5:58.

With the tally, Biron's shutout streak ended at 143 minutes, 20 seconds, stretching two-plus games since Josef Vasicek's goal early in the third period of the Flyers' 3-1 win over the Islanders last Saturday.

Biron was superb in the second, making 18 stops, but Williams was able to deflect Cory Stillman's shot through for a 2-1 Carolina lead with 2:08 left in the period.

The Flyers took the first 10 shots on goal in the third period, and Richards' blast from the bottom of the right circle on a power play tied the game, 2-2, with 1:32 played.

Jeff Carter took a delay-of-game penalty for shooting the puck over the glass in his defensive zone with 2:19 left in regulation, but the Flyers successfully stymied the Carolina power-play and the game slipped into overtime.

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