RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Teuvo Teravainen and Dougie Hamilton scored 21 seconds apart in the first period, and the Carolina Hurricanes gave their playoff hopes a boost with a 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.
Petr Mrazek made 30 saves for Carolina, which is in position for the first Eastern Conference wild card. The Hurricanes increased their lead to three points over Montreal and Columbus, both of which were playing Saturday night.
Seeking its first playoff appearance since 2009, Carolina also pulled within two points of Pittsburgh for the third playoff spot in the Metropolitan Division and could tie the Penguins in the standings with a win Sunday in Pittsburgh.
Claude Giroux and Oskar Lindblom scored and Cam Talbot made 27 saves for Philadelphia, which was eliminated from playoff contention.
For a stretch of two months starting in mid-January, the Flyers were one of the hottest teams in the NHL as they went on an 18-4-2 run to work themselves back into the playoff picture. But Saturday’s loss dropped them to 3-6 in their past nine games.
They got off to a good start against Carolina, though, as Giroux opened the scoring with 7:55 remaining in the first period off a pass from Corbin Knight on a 2-on-1 break. It was Giroux’s 21st goal of the season, breaking a 10-game goal-scoring drought.
The Hurricanes struck back quickly. Teravainen scored Carolina’s first power-play goal in 10 games with 6:25 remaining in the period when he converted a rebound after a Justin Williams powered to the net and tried to jam in a shot from the goalmouth.
Another rebound goal put the Hurricanes ahead 2-1 as the puck pinballed to Hamilton for an easy shot into the short side of the net. It was Carolina’s quickest two-goal spurt since Williams and Micheal Ferland scored 8 seconds apart on Nov. 18 in a 2-1 win over New Jersey.
Justin Faulk’s power-play goal with 8:03 left in the third period increased Carolina’s lead to 3-1, but Lindblom responded with a goal with the man advantage 1:15 later. Empty-net goals by Jaccob Slavin and Brock McGinn clinched the win.
NOTES: Teravainen’s goal gave him 20 for the season, marking the first time since 2009-10 that more than three players have scored at least 20 goals for the Hurricanes. Sebastian Aho, Williams and Andrei Svechnikov also have scored at least 20 for Carolina; Nino Niederreiter has 22 goals this season but came to the Hurricanes in a trade in January. ... Talbot saw his first action since a March 6 relief outing. ... Carolina is 23-1-3 this season when leading after the first period.
Flyers: Return home to meet the New York Rangers on Sunday.
Hurricanes: Visit Pittsburgh on Sunday and will play three of their final four regular-season games on the road.