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McGinn's shootout winner lifts Hurricanes past Flyers

McGinn's shootout winner lifts Hurricanes past Flyers
Published On: Sun, Apr 09
Apr 9, 2015; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Arizona Coyotes forward Tye McGinn (20) skates against the Vancouver Canucks during the second period at Rogers Arena. The Vancouver Canucks won 5-0. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

PHILADELPHIA -- Brock McGinn scored two goals in regulation and netted the winner in the shootout, but it was the emotional final game of Bryan Bickell's career that had many of the Carolina Hurricanes wiping tears from their eyes following their 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers in their final game of the 2016-17 season.

"It was an emotional game," Hurricanes forward Teuvo Teravainen said after seeing Bickell score a goal in the shootout on the final shot of his career. "There has been a lot of tears in this locker room."

Bickell, 31, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in November and announced on Saturday that he would be retiring after playing in parts of 10 NHL seasons and winning three Stanley Cups with the Chicago Blackhawks.

"I think I sweated all the tears out, so I don't have much left," Bickell said after being given a symbolic championship belt by his teammates. "It's been an emotional week leading into this day. Seeing my family here, all the people that supported me through it all, I'm just happy."

"I played with him in Chicago and we got traded to Carolina and he's a great teammate and a great guy," Teravainen said. "He's a true winner and it's nice to have a win for Bicks."

Sebastian Aho sent the game into overtime when he scored a power-play goal with 5:10 remaining in regulation.

Goaltender Eddie Lack topped 41 shots to earn the win for the Hurricanes, who finished the season with a 36-31-15 record and 87 points.

Forward Dale Weise scored a pair of goals and Wayne Simmonds netted his team-high 31st goal for the Flyers.

Rookie goaltender Anthony Stolarz stopped 32 shots in the loss. The Flyers finished the season with a 39-33-10 record and 88 points, eight fewer than they had last season when they reached the postseason as a wild-card team.

Carolina coach Bill Peters said he regretted not selecting Bickell for the shootout against the St. Louis Blues Saturday night and made up for it by letting Bickell take the first shot of the shootout against the Flyers. It was only the second career shootout attempt by Bickell and he scored.

"Thank God it worked out," Peters said. "I was a little disappointed in myself for not being on top of that. Usually, I'm a little keener in that situation. We were lucky to get a second chance at it. I'll never forget his goal, the reaction from his teammates and the emotion he had."

"It does feel good when you think about it," Bickell said on scoring on his final NHL shot. "It was special. The first time I lifted the Cup was here in Philly (in 2010). To end it here was nice."

The most touching moment of the game occurred during a stoppage 7:50 into the opening period when Bickell received a standing ovation from the Philadelphia fans and a farewell stick tap from players on both teams.

Unlike the Flyers, who became the first team in NHL history to win 10 games in a row (Nov. 27 through Dec. 14) and still miss the playoffs, the Hurricanes started the season with just three wins in their first 13 games (3-6-4) and never fully recovered.

The Hurricanes made a late run by going 10-2-6 from Feb. 28 to March 30, but seemed to run out of gas in the final two weeks of the regular season when they lost five of their final six games.

The Flyers' troubles began immediately after their 10-game winning streak. They went 3-9-3 from Dec. 17 through Jan. 21 and played just three games over .500 the remainder of the season to fall out of contention.

"It was very frustrating," Flyers captain Claude Giroux said. "Some games during the year we had a lot of confidence playing our game and if we would have played like that the whole year we would have been more successful than we are right now. But at the same time, I really think we're going in the right direction and we have a lot of pieces here."

The Hurricanes will look to add scoring around left winger Jeff Skinner (37 goals) and shore up a defense that appears thin after losing Ron Hainsey in a trade with the Penguins.

Looking ahead, the Flyers will need to address a struggling offense (they ranked 28th in the NHL in 5-on-5 goals) and identify a starting goaltending. Starting goaltender Steve Mason (26-21-8) led the team in appearances and wins but is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

The Hurricanes opened the scoring 5:42 into the first period when McGinn snapped a 29-game goal drought by scoring his sixth goal of the season. Carolina center Derek Ryan picked off a pass by Flyers rookie Travis Konecny and fed McGinn, who beat Stolarz off his catching glove.

The Flyers answered 8:46 into the second period when Weise scored his seventh goal -- and fifth in 14 games -- off a centering pass from Sean Couturier.

The Hurricanes again took the lead on McGinn's second goal of the game, a deflection of Noah Hanifin's slap shot with 8:39 gone on the third period. But the Flyers tried it again just 2:19 later on Weise's second goal of the game.

Simmonds gave the Flyers their first lead of the game with 7:55 remaining in regulation with his team-high 31st goal of the season, but after a tripping minor to Flyers rookie Ivan Provorov, the Hurricanes tied it at 3-3 on Aho's 24th goal of the season and sixth on the power play.

NOTES: Rookie C Mike Vecchione, signed by the Flyers out of Union College, played in his second NHL game and first in Philadelphia. Flyers scheduled to become unrestricted free agents this summer include forwards Chris VandeVelde and Jordan Weal, defensemen Michael Del Zotto and Nick Schultz, and goaltender Steve Mason, who served as a backup in the season finale. ... Hurricanes scheduled to become unrestricted free agents include forwards Bryan Bickell, Jay McClement and Derek Ryan, and defensemen Matt Tennyson. ... Jakub Voracek finished the season as the Flyers' point leader with 61 (20 goals, 41 assists). Jeff Skinner led the Hurricanes with 63 points (37 goals, 26 assists). Several players from both teams may be recruited to play for their countries in the IIHF World Championships, which will take place from May 5-21 in Paris, France and Cologne, Germany. Among those who could be selected are Skinner (Canada), Sebastian Aho (Finland) and D Justin Faulk (USA) from the Hurricanes and Wayne Simmonds, Claude Giroux (Canada), Voracek (Czech Republic) and D Ivan Provorov (Russia) from the Flyers. Flyers general manager Ron Hextall will be selecting Team Canada as its GM.

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