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'Canes, Philly Tie It Up

Coach Paul Maurice has seen the best and worst of his Carolina Hurricanes recently.

Fortunately they saved some of their best for their possible first-round opponents in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

"We've played some good games the last two or three weeks and we've also played some stinkers," said Maurice after Martin Gelinas scored at 11:05 of the third period to help Carolina battle back from a pair of two-goal deficits to tie Philadelphia 3-3 Tuesday night.

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  • The Flyers began the day in sixth place and would play the Southeast Division-leading Hurricanes in the first round if the standings remain the same.

    "We have not been able to score goals and to score three goals tonight is certainly a positive," Maurice added. "I can't say enough about how we responded. We were easily the better team the last 25 minutes of the game."

    Gelinas, streaking in from the blue line, took a pass from former Flyer Andrei Kovalenko and fired through a screen to spoil a memorable night by Philadelphia goaltender Ron Hextall, who tied a club record with two assists.

    "It was a tough play," said Hextall about the tying goal. "The guy comes straight at you and then kind of sweeps the puck. I should have had it in my glove."

    Gelinas was elated with the comeback.

    "To tie against Philly was a huge point," the Carolina forward said. "Hopefully we will be able to carry on going in the right direction."

    Ray Sheppard and Marek Malik also scored for the Hurricanes, who have won only one of their last six (1-3-2). Philadelphia is 3-1-1 in its last five games.

    Rod Brind'Amour had a goal and an assist and Mikael Renberg and Steve Duchesne also had goals for the Flyers, who did all their scoring on the power play.

    Renberg put the Flyers ahead at 2:24 of the first period when he ripped a slap shot from just inside the blue line past Carolina goaltender Treor Kidd, who failed for the seventh straight start (0-4-3) to win his 100th NHL game.

    Hextall picked up an assist on the play and added the other on Brind'Amour's goal to tie the Philadelphia record set by Mark LaForest on Dec. 4, 1988 against New Jersey.

    Hextall was in no mood to talk about assist records after the game. He was more concerned about Carolina's third-period comeback.

    "You could just feel the momentum shift," Hextall said. "We stopped forechecking and we stopped getting the puck in deep and we stopped doing the things that we did to dominate the first two periods."

    The NHL record for assists by a goaltender in one game is three, set by Calgary's Jeff Reese against San Jose on Feb. 10, 1993.

    Duchesne, who was obtained from the Los Angeles Kings on March 23 to add some punch to Philadelphia's power play, did just that when he scored 57 seconds into the second period. The veteran defenseman found the net from the left circle after taking a cross-ice pass from Brind'Amour.

    Sheppard brought Carolina within 2-1 at 17:32 of the second period when he slipped in a backhander after taking a pass from behind the net from Ron Francis.

    Brind'Amour's shot from the slot made it 3-1 Philadelphia with 31 seconds left in the period. Carolina's Malik made it 3-2 when his slap shot from the left circle caught Hextall out of position at 3:00 of the third period.

    "It was a game we should have won," said Philadelphia coach Roger Neilson. "We would like to be airtight every time, but we were playing a desperate team. You have to give them credit."

    The Flyers were without captain Eric Lindros, who was serving the second of a two-game suspension for high-sticking Petr Nedved of the New York Rangers last Saturday.

    Carolina left wing Paul Ranheim appeared in his 700th career NHL game.

    Philadelphia finished the season unbeaten (2-0-2) against Carolina.

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