RALEIGH, N.C. -- An exhausted Matt Carle headed for Philadelphia's bench, but none of his teammates noticed. So he stayed on the ice and wound up scoring the goal that gave his team its longest winning streak in four years.
Carle scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period to propell the Flyers to their first six-game winning streak since Oct. 30-Nov. 12, 2005.
Not that the defenseman -- who entered with a team-leading 53 blocked shots -- was thinking about uncorking a shot of his own. Something else was on his mind.
"I was trying to get a change. I was gassed," Carle said.
The decisive sequence was started by Gagne after a Carolina turnover led to an odd-man rush during a 4-on-4 play. He slipped the puck to Carle during Philadelphia's 3-on-1 break, and the defenseman put the Flyers up 2-1 by beating Cam Ward high to his glove side for his second goal.
"The puck got turned over, and I tried to see if I could get in the play," Carle said. "Simon made a good play, and the goalie was out of position, and I jut tried to get the shot off as quick as possible."
Antero Niittymaki made 27 saves for the streaky Flyers, who opened the season with six consecutive losses and now have won six straight for the first time since Oct. 30-Nov. 12, 2005.
"Party time? I don't know about that," defenseman Luca Sbisa said. "For sure, it's great to be on a winning streak instead of being on a losing streak. We didn't have a pretty good start to the season. ... Now we're sitting in the other boat."
Chad LaRose scored for the third straight game, and Ward made 24 saves for Carolina before he was pulled with 1:45 left for an extra attacker. The Hurricanes held a 28-27 advantage in shots despite putting just one puck on net in the first period, yet lost their third straight and sixth in nine games.
"We played the first period like a game of pond hockey," Carolina coach Peter Laviolette said.
Gagne gave Philadelphia an early lead six minutes in, taking advantage when four Carolina players surrounded the puck in front of Ward in an attempt to clear it. When it clicked off a skate and slipped Gagne's way, he chipped it in from the right side of the net.
"You can throw film out the window -- I think execution and energy and heart and downright gritty work (are) where you're going to get it done," LaRose said. "Sometimes there (are) lulls during the game, and sometimes that costs you games."
Gagne then capped his big night by beating the final buzzer and scoring into an empty net for his 13th goal. He has five goals and 11 assists during his nine-game point streak.
Carolina -- booed during the first intermission after its early offensive futility -- tied it 1-all roughly two minutes into the second when LaRose wristed a shot off Niittymaki's pads and sneaked the rebound through the goalie's legs for his seventh of the season.
"It's not good that they scored, but it is good that something happened," Niittymaki said. "I needed to wake up my body a little bit. I felt good, even though they scored right away. I started feeling better."
|Simon Gagne skates away after chipping the puck past Cam Ward from outside the crease. (Getty Images)|
|Philadelphia (11-6-4) «||1||0||2||3|
Flyers Color Blocked Full Zip Hooded Jacket – Orange/Black Shop Now!
|05:52||Simon Gagne (12), Wrist Shot. Assist: Carter, Hartnell|
|01:52||Chad LaRose (7), Wrist Shot. Assist: Cullen, Corvo|
|02:05||Matt Carle (2), Snap Shot. Assist: Gagne, Sbisa|
|19:59||Simon Gagne (13), Empty Net. Assist: Coburn|
|02:02||Brookbank, 5 min, Fighting|
|02:02||Gratton, 5 min, Fighting|
|03:45||Pitkanen, 2 min, High-Sticking|
|10:13||Coburn, 2 min, Hooking|
|15:20||Alberts, 2 min, Hooking|
|05:09||Carle, 2 min, Interference|
|13:19||Cullen, 2 min, Goaltender Interference|
|16:38||Richards, 2 min, Hooking|
|20:00||Brind'Amour, 2 min, Unsportsmanlike Conduct|
|20:00||Richards, 2 min, Unsportsmanlike Conduct|
|24.0||Upshall, 2 min, High-Sticking|
|37.0||Staal, 2 min, Hooking|
|Shots On Goal|
|Power Play Conversions|
|Attendance - 15057|
|Referees - Bill McCreary, Kelly Sutherland|
|Linesmen - Steve Barton, Pierre Champoux|