PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Justin Williams scored two goals, Cam Ward stopped 21 shots and the Carolina Hurricanes snapped a six-game losing streak with a 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night.
The Flyers had been the hottest team in hockey, winners of six straight overall and riding a 10-0-2 streak for their longest span without a regulation loss since 2003.
They were even 4-0-1 against the Hurricanes in their last five against them at home.
Carolina made quick work in ending the good times in Philly.
Williams knocked in a loose puck 4:40 into the game and the former Flyer stuck it to his former team one more time.
The Flyers sizzling offense of late fizzled and even goalie Petr Mrazek had his worst outing since he was acquired two weeks ago. He stopped 28 shots to beat Montreal 1-0 in a shootout in his last start. He was 3-0 with a 1.30 goals-against average and a .947 save percentage in his three starts.
Teuvo Teravainen scored early in the second and Williams scored his 12th goal of the season late in the second for the 3-0 lead.
The Flyers were stymied offensively and took only six shots in the first period. In the second, they were shutout in a period where they had scored 74 goals this season.
Yes, even a 12-game streak that helped take them from last in the Metro Division in early December to a brief stop in first atop the division, the Flyers were soundly booed off the ice at the end of a dreary second period. The Flyers would have moved back into first place with a victory.
Travis Konecny gave a brief jolt to their offense with a goal early in the third to make it 3-1.
Sebastian Aho sealed it with his 23rd goal.
The Hurricanes got an emotional lift in this one.
Hurricanes captain Jordan Staal played for the first time since he and his wife said their infant daughter died of a terminal birth defect. Staal had missed three games and he rejoined the team Wednesday.
Staal had his 21st assist on Williams’ second goal.
“I don’t think there’s much to be said about what he’s going through. It’s huge to have him back,” Hurricanes defenseman Justin Faulk said.
NOTES: The Flyers played the Hurricanes for the first of three times over the final 19 games of the season. … The Flyers have a weekend set in Florida. … Ward improved his career record to 12-11-6 vs. the Flyers. … Flyers D Ivan Provorov was down on the ice for a bit after taking a shot his right knee.
Hurricanes: Host New Jersey on Friday.
Flyers: At Tampa Bay on Saturday and at Florida on Sunday.
(Copyright 2018 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)