Flyers beat Hurricanes on Manning's shorthanded goal

Flyers Hurricanes Hockey
The Flyers' Brandon Manning (23) is congratulated by Pierre-Edouard Bellemare (78) and Chris VandeVelde (76) after Manning's shorthanded goal against the Hurricanes during the third period Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016.

RALEIGH, N.C. - The Flyers continued playing a form of pond hockey Sunday night. Lots of miscues, lots of goals, lots of scrambled play from their goaltender.

It produced another wild game, and this time the Flyers found a way to outscore their opponent.

With 12 minutes left, defenseman Brandon Manning scored the Flyers' first shorthanded goal of the season, converting a feed from Pierre-Edouard Bellemare to snap a 3-3 tie en route to a 4-3 win over Carolina at PNC Arena.

"Belly did a great job of winning a puck battle and their forwards were kind of sagging below our guys, so I saw an opportunity and Belly made a great play to get me the puck," Manning said after joining the rush and scoring from the left circle.

The Flyers (4-5-1) were coming off consecutive 5-4 losses to Arizona and Pittsburgh. They played their fifth game in seven nights Sunday, and their third set of back-to-back games in the season's first 17 days.

In Saturday's emotional loss to the visiting Penguins, the Flyers outplayed Pittsburgh for good portions but allowed three goals in a game-turning, 55-second sequence.

"Backs-to-backs are hard, and there's not much atmosphere down in Carolina," said Manning, mindful that a sparse crowd (10,353) attended the game. "They're a little harder to get up for, but coming off [Saturday's performance] I think we had a bit of momentum and a few things to build off of. Our confidence was high tonight and it was a big win for us."

"Playing back to back and then a 5 o'clock game [Sunday], I don't know if I've ever done that before," Claude Giroux said. "Maybe we didn't have our legs tonight, but we played the way we wanted to."

Goalie Michal Neuvirth (26 saves) had good and bad moments as he notched his first win since opening night in Los Angeles.

Giroux, off to a blistering start, took a slick feed from Wayne Simmonds (two assists) and scored on a one-timer from the left side of the right circle, tying the score at 3-3 with 2:46 left in the second period. It gave Giroux two points in the game and temporarily tied him for the NHL scoring lead with 12 points in the young season.

A little over six minutes earlier, a turnover by rookie defenseman Ivan Provorov (minus-8 this season) led to Viktor Stalberg's breakaway goal, putting Carolina ahead, 3-2.

The Hurricanes (2-4-2) scored three second-period goals against Neuvirth, who was brilliant in the first period but shaky in the next stanza.

Justin Faulk and Jeff Skinner also scored for Carolina in the second, sandwiched around Radko Gudas' first tally of the season, a blast from just inside the blue line.

"G had a great screen," Gudas said, referring to Giroux. "I just had to get the puck past the first guy."

Earlier, Shayne Gostisbehere's power-play goal gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead with 2:03 left in the opening period. From inside the blue line, Gostisbehere's innocent-looking shot appeared to deflect off defenseman Brett Pesce and past screened goalie Cam Ward.

"I was just trying to keep the puck in real quick," Gostisbehere said after his second goal of the season. "They didn't pressure too hard. They went to Jake's [Voracek's] side. I had a lane and was just focused on getting it by the defenseman who was in front."

After being outplayed in the first three minutes, the Flyers controlled the opening period, holding a 13-5 shots domination in the last 17 minutes of the stanza.

The Hurricanes scored three second-period goals on just eight shots. Neuvirth made amends, stopping all 12 third-period shots.

"It wasn't easy to give up three goals, but mentally I battled hard and it's a big win for me to grind it out like that," Neuvirth said.

Scoring hasn't been difficult for the Flyers, but they entered the night 29th in the 30-team NHL, surrendering 3.89 goals per game. Most of their problems have been caused by turnovers and subpar goaltending.

The Flyers overcame a 2-0 deficit and defeated the Hurricanes, 6-3, on Oct. 22. Manning also had a goal in that game.

scarchidi@phillynews.com

@BroadStBull