RALEIGH, N.C. – Erik Cole scored with 3:03 left to lift the Carolina Hurricanes past the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 on Friday night.
Chad LaRose and Jeff Skinner scored early goals about 2½ minutes apart for the Hurricanes, who played before a packed house and seemed inspired by a pregame ceremony to retire former captain Rod Brind'Amour's No. 17 jersey.
Carolina allowed the Flyers to rally late but used Cole's clutch goal to deny Philadelphia its second straight season sweep and a 10th straight win in the series.
Jussi Jokinen found Cole with a cross-ice pass, and the Carolina veteran one-timed the puck past Sergei Bobrovsky's glove for the go-ahead goal.
Braydon Coburn tied it at 2 with 5:11 to play after Blair Betts scored a short-handed goal for the Eastern Conference-leading Flyers.
Philadelphia, which had won two straight and 15 of 19 since New Year's Day and has the NHL's best road record, lost in Raleigh for the first time since 2007.
But if the standings hold up, this won't be the last time these teams see each other. Philadelphia — which won the previous three matchups by a combined 13-4 — entered with a comfortable margin atop the conference while the Hurricanes have steadily climbed to the No. 8 spot.
Bobrovsky finished with 26 saves for the Flyers, who scratched captain Mike Richards late with flu-like symptoms.
All-Star Cam Ward stopped 21 shots — including a gem for the highlight tape during a Philadelphia power play midway through the second period. Matt Carle uncorked a shot that appeared headed for the back of the net when Ward, lying on his side, reached his glove hand up and robbed the Flyers defenseman.
The Hurricanes played their first home game since Feb. 5 — and just their third since they hosted the All-Star game — while going 1-2-2 during a stretch of five straight on the road. But LaRose and Skinner scored 2 minutes, 25 seconds apart to give them an early 2-0 lead.
First, LaRose wound up being credited for an unusual deflected goal. Joe Corvo uncorked a slap shot that appeared to click off two Flyers — Sean O'Donnell and Andrej Meszaros — before LaRose redirected it through Bobrovsky's pads for his 11th goal and first since Jan. 20.
Skinner then made it 2-0 when he skated up the left side on a 2-on-1 rush and uncorked a hard blast that found its way past Bobrovsky, giving the 18-year-old rookie his 22nd goal.
Betts pulled the Flyers to 2-1 fewer than 3 minutes into the second with his first goal since Nov. 4. He skated across the blue line and whipped a shot that got past Ward's glove.
NOTES: Before the game the Hurricanes swung a pair of trades with San Jose, sending D Ian White to the Sharks for a second-round draft pick in 2012 and also acquiring D Derek Joslin from San Jose in exchange for future considerations. ... The crowd cheered loudly when it was pointed out on the scoreboard late in the second that both the Flyers and Hurricanes had registered exactly 17 shots on goal. Brind'Amour wore jersey No. 17 for both teams. ... The Flyers killed a 2-minute,