Malhotra's drive from the slot on a breakaway got past goalie Steve Mason.
''I wanted to make sure I got a quick shot off,'' Malhotra said. ''I think it surprised him. We did a lot of good things as a team, and scoring is the icing on the cake. I'm just trying to do the little things that make teams successful.''
The Hurricanes forced overtime after Staal scored with 52.3 seconds left in regulation, with goalie Justin Peters on the bench in favor of an extra skater.
''We stuck with our game the whole 60 minutes,'' Staal said. ''For us to rebound, it shows the character in this room that we can keep battling through some tough times. It was nice to see us bounce back after that goal they scored.''
Philadelphia's Scott Hartnell scored his first of the season on a power play with 3:58 left in regulation. But the Flyers couldn't hold on and went to overtime for the first time.
''It's nice to score a goal and to get a point, but it obviously leaves a sour taste in your mouth when they score two goals in less than a couple of minutes,'' Hartnell said. ''I think we played smart with the puck except for a few shifts, and unfortunately we weren't able to get the other point.''
Peters stopped 28 shots and earned his first win of the season. He made his fifth straight start in place of the injured Cam Ward.
''We gave up the late goal, but for us to stay with it was rewarding,'' Peters said. ''We played the right way. We want to use this momentum. It feels good, and we've got to want this again.''
The Flyers, who have lost three of four, have scored more than two goals only once this season in 14 games.
Carolina was 0-of-4 on the power play, including a 5-on-3 advantage that carried over into the third period.
Philadelphia, which has the 29th ranked power play in the NHL, went 1 for 4 with a rare man-advantage goal. Mason made a season-high 36 saves on 38 shots, also a season high.
Mason, 5-2 in his career against Carolina, made a season-high 36 saves on 38 shots, also a season high.
- Carolina activated RW Radek Dvorak from the injured list after he missed three games because of a lower-body injury.
- Philadelphia captain Claude Giroux is seeking his first goal of the season. Dating to last season, Giroux hasn't scored in 19 games.