RALEIGH, N.C. - For the first time in five-plus weeks, the Flyers' winning streak reached (drum roll, please) two games with tonight's 4-3 shoot-out win over the Carolina Hurricanes.
Despite a collapse in which they blew a late 3-0 lead by allowing three goals in a 7-minute, 23-second span, the Flyers survived - thanks to shoot-out goals by Danny Briere and Mike Richards.
It is the first time the Flyers have won two straight since Nov. 16 and 18, when they scored one-goal wins over New Jersey and Los Angeles, when John Stevens was the coach and Peter Laviolette was a TV analyst.
Centers Richards and Jeff Carter, the heart and soul of the Flyers' offense, scored goals in the same game for just the fifth time this season - and only the second time in their last 25 games.
Briere made it 3-0 with a power-play goal with 11 minutes remaining.
Third-string goalie Michael Leighton, claimed off reentry waivers from Carolina on Dec. 15, played admirably for most of the game and was closing in on his first shutout since he blanked Detroit on Dec. 28, 2003.
But Carolina scored three goals in a 7:23 span to forge a 3-3 tie.
Twenty-four seconds after Briere's goal, Jussi Jokinen scored when his backhander from the left circle deflected off the left skate of defenseman Kimmo Timonen with 10:36 to go.
With 4:02 to play, Joni Pitkanen sent a long pass off the backboards that Brandon Sutter knocked past Leighton on the power play.
With 3:13 remaining, Jokinen converted an Eric Staal cross out front, sending it off Leighton's pad and tying the score, 3-3.
The 16,000-plus fans at the RBC Center were in a frenzy.
Earlier, Leighton was given a margin for error by Richards and Carter, who are candidates for Team Canada. The roster will be announced Wednesday.
Richards took a slick pass from Claude Giroux and scored on his own rebound with 10:13 left in the first period, giving the Flyers a 1-0 lead.
"It was a turnover just inside the blue line. G [Giroux] made a good play, and the puck just found me and I batted her in," Richards said.
The goal, Richards' team-high 16th, was scored on the Flyers' first rush after defenseman Matt Carle prevented a Carolina goal by alertly clearing a Jokinen shot that bounced off Leighton and trickled to the goal line.
Twenty seconds after Richards' goal, Darroll Powe knocked a shot past Cam Ward. But the goal was disallowed when it was correctly ruled that the puck had deflected off Powe's arm and into the net.
The Flyers, for the second straight game, took a 2-0 lead when Carter rifled a shot from the high slot past Ward with 6:05 remaining in the opening period. Braydon Coburn made a nice around-the-boards pass to Scott Hartnell, who deftly hit Carter with a feed from the left corner.
It was the 13th goal of the season for Carter, who had managed just one goal in his previous eight games. He started the night leading the NHL with 160 shots.
In the opening period, Carolina outshot the Flyers, 11-9, but Leighton was superb. He made his best save after a Coburn giveaway gave the 'Canes a great scoring chance in the final minute of the first period. Prone on the ice, Leighton got his left leg out at the last instant and stopped a backhanded rebound off the stick of Matt Cullen with 45 seconds remaining.
Leighton, making his second straight start in relief of injured Brian Boucher, made a kick save on Sutter's ticketed shot with 14:30 left in the game.