PHILADELPHIA — Jordan Staal scored the go-ahead goal in the second period and the Carolina Hurricanes hung on to beat the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3 on Saturday night for their fourth victory in five games.
The Hurricanes finished in the top wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference and will play the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals in the opening round of the playoffs.
Warren Foegele, Justin Faulk and Teuvo Teravainen all scored in the first period for the Hurricanes, who clinched their first post-season berth Thursday night with a win over New Jersey.
Carolina also set a franchise record with its 22nd road win this season. The Hurricanes went 31-12-2 over their last 45 games, placing them among the top three in the league since the calendar turned to 2019.
Oskar Lindblom, Travis Konecny and Sean Couturier had goal for the Flyers, who missed the playoffs.
The Flyers had a lineup with seven defencemen instead of the standard six — but they still struggled to keep the puck out of the net. Foegele and Faulk were each the beneficiaries of negligent defensive zone coverage from Philadelphia and scored goals separated by 2 minutes, 29 seconds when loose pucks found their sticks in the middle of the ice.
It was the fourth consecutive game the Flyers trailed 2-0.
Lindblom beat Curtis McElhinney to cut the deficit to 2-1 late in the first period. But Teravainen tallied his 21st when, relatively untouched, he took a pass in the slot from Staal and beat Carter Hart with a wrist shot.
Philadelphia got goals from Konecny and Couturier in the first 6:07 of the second period to tie the game.
But Staal quickly put the Hurricanes up again — and to stay — when he beat Hart from the slot at 7:33
McElhinney stopped all 10 of the Flyers’ shots in the third period and finished with 28 saves overall.
The Hurricanes registered just one shot on goal in the third period.
NOTES: Carolina beat Philadelphia for the fourth time this season. It’s the first time the Flyers failed to earn a point in a season series vs. the Hurricanes. … Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour recorded the most wins (46) and points (99) by any Hurricanes or Hartford Whalers coach in their first season behind the bench. … Philadelphia finished the season as the league’s top faceoff team. The Flyers entered Saturday winning nearly 55 per cent of their faceoffs.
Hurricanes: turn their attention to the Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals in the first round of the playoffs.
Flyers: clean out their lockers Sunday and head into their first off-season under new general manager Chuck Fletcher.
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Jeff Neiburg, The Associated Press