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Flyers beat Hurricanes in OT as Voracek ends slump

Jake Voracek, playing left wing for the first time in four years, seemed to find a new home on Tuesday night.

Brayden Schenn scores on Hurricanes goalie Eddie Lack.
Brayden Schenn scores on Hurricanes goalie Eddie Lack.Read more(Steven M. Falk/Staff Photographer)

Jake Voracek, playing left wing for the first time in four years, seemed to find a new home on Tuesday night.

Voracek had a goal, two assists and seven shots as the Flyers outlasted the Carolina Hurricanes, 4-3, in overtime at the Wells Fargo Center.

Voracek set up Shayne Gostisbehere for the game-winner with 3 minutes, 18 seconds left in OT, slipping a slick backhand pass to the rookie on a two-on-one.

The winning sequence developed after Gostisbehere broke up Carolina's two-on-two.

"In overtime, you're waiting for someone to make a mistake . . . waiting for someone to blow a tire or something," Gostisbehere said. "You pick your spots, wait for your chances and make smart hockey plays."

The speedy player they call Ghost has three overtime goals in 15 games.

"He did a good job of driving to the backdoor because if he just hung back, he would never get there," Voracek said.

"He's unbelievable; he's a special player," winning goalie Michal Neuvirth said. "It's fun to watch him."

Voracek seemed energized playing on a new line. He finished with his first three-point game of the season, then downplayed his performance.

"I think as a line, we had a great game," said Voracek, who was on a unit with Sean Couturier and Wayne Simmonds, "but it's just one game."

Voracek's outstanding performance was nearly upstaged by Carolina's Jeff Skinner, who had his second hat trick in the last three games.

Skinner, allowed to skate freely into the zone, scored from the slot by knocking a knuckleball-type shot into the left corner of the net, tying the score at 3-3 with 10:53 left in regulation. It gave Skinner his fourth career hat trick and nine goals in the last six games.

Late in the second period, the Flyers got an early Christmas present.

Couturier's backhander was turned aside by backup goalie Eddie Lack, but it deflected off the left skate of Carolina defenseman Jaccob Slavin and into the net, giving the Flyers a 3-2 lead with 3:31 remaining in the period.

"I was just trying to put it on net for a rebound and got a lucky bounce," Couturier said after scoring his fourth goal of the season.

Voracek, playing on a new line and used at left wing for the first time since his first year with the Flyers, scored his second goal of the season - and just second five-on-five tally in the last 63 games.

Voracek redirected Radko Gudas' point drive past Lack 23 seconds into the second period.

"I almost forgot how," he said when asked about his goal-scoring celebration.

Last season, Voracek finished tied for fourth in the NHL with 81 points, but he has struggled to turn on the red light.

"I was pretty excited," Couturier said about learning Voracek would play left wing on his line. "Jake is one of the best in the league for a reason. He controls the puck so well and he can create plays off not much at all. I'm trying to keep my feet moving, going to the net hard, and trying to create some space for him, too."

Just 3:14 after Voracek's first goal in 14 games, Skinner's second goal of the night gave Carolina a 2-1 lead. With the Hurricanes on a power play, Skinner scored by swatting a rebound out of the air and past Neuvirth.

Fifty-eight seconds after Skinner's goal, Brayden Schenn answered for the Flyers (13-12-6).

After a feed from Michael Raffl, Schenn's one-timer from the slot knotted the score at 2-2 with 15:25 left in the second.

Later in the period, Simmonds fought Brad Malone after the Carolina center had knocked down Raffl. Simmonds received 17 minutes in penalties (instigator, fighting, 10-minute misconduct), while Malone got seven minutes (fighting, kneeing).

A little less than two minutes after the game started, Skinner skated into the Flyers zone, got Gostisbehere turned around with a nifty move, and fired right-circle shot that went between Neuvirth's legs.

It was the third straight game between the teams that went past regulation this season. In the first two, the Flyers registered 3-2 overtime victories.

Voracek had one of the game-winners and assisted on the other two.