Simmonds has hat trick as Flyers beat Hurricanes
- Associated Press
- April 20, 2013 - 9:21 PM
RALEIGH, N.C. - Wayne Simmonds got his first career hat trick and added an assist to lead the Philadelphia Flyers in a 5-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night in a matchup of teams recently eliminated from playoff contention.
Jakub Voracek and Matt Read also scored for the Flyers, who won for the third time in four games. Steve Mason, playing his fifth game for the Flyers since being acquired from Columbus, made 26 saves.
Simmonds, playing in his 364th career game, also had his first four-point effort.
Jeff Skinner, Justin Faulk and Eric Staal scored for the Hurricanes, who lost for the ninth time in their last 10 home games.
The Flyers were playing for the first time since they were eliminated from postseason contention.
The Hurricanes were knocked out of the playoff chase during their previous game based on another result.
With a good number of Flyers fans in attendance, Simmonds' third goal at 48 seconds of the third period extended Philadelphia's lead to 4-2 and drew a couple dozen hats to be thrown onto the ice.
However, Staal scored nearly 2 minutes later to pull Carolina within one.
The Hurricanes appeared ready to pull even when Riley Nash's redirect hit the post. The Flyers recovered and Read, who had two assists, scored on a breakaway at the other end at 7:03.
It was a busy night for Carolina goalie Justin Peters, who made his career-high seventh consecutive start and finished with 33 saves.
The Flyers applied early pressure, posting the game's first eight shots on goal. Voracek made it 1-0 with his 20th goal of the season at 7:00 of the first period.
Skinner responded with an unassisted goal directly off a Philadelphia turnover to tie the score with 6:42 remaining in the opening period.
Simmonds regained the lead for the Flyers less than two minutes into the second.
Faulk's second goal in three games at 7:19 of the middle period came when the Flyers failed to clear the zone again.
Simmonds put Philadelphia ahead for good 1:14 later as the Flyers swept the teams' three-game season series.
NOTES: Simmonds has two multi-goal games this season, both on the road. ... Voracek has three goals in the last four games. ... Skinner was back in Carolina's lineup a game after he was held out for precautionary reasons for a head injury. ... Faulk, a second-year defenseman, played in his 100th NHL game. ... The Flyers have 12 goals within the first minute of a regulation period this season. ... Carolina enforcer Kevin Westgarth notched his first point of the season, with an assist in his 29th game. .. The Hurricanes are 42-44-15 in one-plus season under coach Kirk Muller. ... The Flyers play two of their final three games at home.
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