November 2 Philadelphia Inquirer:
“No Danny Briere, no problem.
At least not when the opponent is the Flyers‘ proverbial punching bag, the Carolina Hurricanes.
Scott Hartnell scored a pair of goals, and rookie Sergei Bobrovsky continued his impressive goaltending Monday night as the Flyers defeated Carolina, 3-2, at the Wells Fargo Center.
It was the fourth straight win for the Flyers, who are 13-0-3 against Carolina since Dec. 19, 2006.
With 13 minutes, 30 seconds left in the game, Kimmo Timonen’s pass hit Hartnell’s skate and caromed just inside the left post. It was Hartnell’s fourth goal of the season and second of the night, and it gave the Flyers a 3-1 lead.
“Sometimes, you get the lucky bounce,” Hartnell said. “Tonight, we did.”
Hartnell, who recently cut his long, reddish hair and donated it to children who are undergoing chemotherapy, has eight points in his last eight games.
“He’s played well for a good stretch now,” coach Peter Laviolette said after beating his former team. “Through the end of last season and the playoffs, he just seems to be enjoying the game, and that’s the place to be – in front of the net. . . . His line seems to have a lot of chemistry.”
For the moment, his line has a new center, too.
Jeff Carter (two assists), who had been playing right wing on a different line, moved into the spot manned by the suspended Briere and centered Hartnell and Ville Leino. The trio combined for two goals and was plus-six.
“Jeff jumped in and his line was good,” said Laviolette, whose team won a season-best 61 percent of its face-offs.
Bobrovsky, 22, has made four straight starts, going 4-0 with a 2.00 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage in that span. He was serenaded with “Bob . . . Bob . . . Bob” chants after some difficult third-period saves.
Carolina pulled its goalie and made it 3-2 on Joe Corvo’s goal with 26.8 seconds left, but the Hurricanes could not get any closer.
With Briere serving the first of his three-game suspension – and with defenseman Andrej Meszaros (slight concussion) and winger Andreas Nodl (shoulder) injured – Laviolette was forced to juggle his lineup.
The Flyers‘ new line produced the game’s first goal.
After taking a feed from Leino, Carter’s shot caromed off a defenseman’s skate to Hartnell, who scored on a backhander as he was falling to the ice – his back to the net. The left winger was sitting on his butt, smiling, when he heard the roar of the crowd that signified he had scored with 7:31 left in the opening period.
Hartnell beat goalie Justin Peters, the fourth backup to face the Flyers this season. The other three backups were 3-0.
“I was able to kind of position myself to get it on my backhand,” Hartnell said. “He had the bottom of the net covered, so I had to aim high and go to the top of the net.””
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