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NHL Game Summary - Philadelphia at Carolina

(Friday, October 28th)

Final Score: Carolina 8, Philadelphia 6

Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) - Eric Staal recorded a hat trick, and Matt Cullen's power-play goal broke a tie late in the third period, to boost the Carolina Hurricanes past the Philadelphia Flyers, 8-6, at RBC Center.

Rod Brind'Amour had a goal and two assists for the Hurricanes, who rallied from a pair of two-goal deficits to win their fourth straight contest. Carolina has come back from two-goal deficits in each of its last three games.

At 7-2-1, the Hurricanes are off to their best start in franchise history.

Jon Sim scored twice, Peter Forsberg had a goal and a assist, and Joni Pitkanen notched three assists for the Flyers, who were coming off a 5-4 home overtime win over Florida on Thursday. Philadelphia lost for just the second time in its last six games.

Cam Ward made 28 saves for the Hurricanes, who scored five times in the third period.

Cullen's seventh goal of the season broke a 6-6 tie with 5:15 left in regulation. Oleg Tverdovsky came charging into the center of the Philadelphia zone and hit Cullen on the right side. Cullen crashed the net and with Pitkanen all over him, and got off a shot that went over Antero Niittymaki's left shoulder.

An empty-net goal by Josef Vasicek with 1:09 left sealed the victory.

"No lead is safe, it seems like, in the National Hockey League right now. If you're down one, two, or three, anything is doable because it's a little more wide open," said Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette.

Niittymaki had 29 saves on the night.

The Flyers entered the third period with a 5-3 lead, but the Hurricanes struck at 4:49 of the third. Mike Rathje's attempt to clear the puck was stolen by Cory Stillman, who sent a backhanded shot past Niittymaki to make the score 5-4 on the power play.

Just 2:55 later Carolina tied up the game. Brind'Amour made a nice move to get past Rathje and sent a shot that went through Niittymaki's legs.

Staal gave Carolina the lead 1:47 later on his third goal of the night. With a big scrum in front of the net, Staal found the puck and sent a wrist shot over Niittymaki's glove to make the score 6-5.

"We made a lot of mistakes in the third period. We did some fundamental things wrong and they scored on every opportunity," said Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock. "Every time we turned it over, they scored."

The Flyers came charging back after losing their second two-goal lead of the night and tied it up on a power-play goal by Sim at 10:36.

The Flyers got the first goal of the night with a power play tally. An Eric Desjardins slap shot was deflected by Mike Knuble past Ward.

Derian Hatcher made it 2-0 on another power-play goal. He sent a wrist shot at the net and with Mike Richards screening the goalie, Ward never even saw it.

Carolina cut the Philadelphia lead in half on a power-play goal from Staal with just 5.4 seconds left in the first.

After the Hurricanes tied the game up just 2:31 into the second session on a goal by Williams, the Flyers got the lead back with a goal by Sim. Michal Handzus sent a shot to the net that Ward saved, but Sim picked up the rebound and backhanded the puck into the open net.

Carolina knotted the game up, 3-3 at 11:38 of the second on a goal by Staal. Glen Wesley hit Staal with a pass at mid-ice and he took the puck into the Philadelphia zone. Staal's wrist shot from the middle of the right circle beat Niittymaki on the far side.

Philadelphia took a 5-3 lead into the third period with two scores separated by 1:33. Forsberg got a power play goal on a nice deflection off a Desjardins point shot and Rathje sent a shot from the top left circle that deflected off of Tverdovsky's stick and into the net with 25 seconds left in the second stanza.

Game Notes

Carolina will visit Pittsburgh on Saturday...Philadelphia, which is 1-2-1 on the road, will visit Ottawa on Sunday...This was the first Carolina victory over Philadelphia since March 28, 2002. The Hurricanes had been 0-4-4 during that time...This was the first time the Hurricanes scored eight goals in a game since moving to Carolina...The Flyers power play, ranked 22nd in the league going into the game, went 4-for-9 on the night. Carolina was 3-for-7.

10/28 23:06:46 ET

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