Struggling Flyers Host Hurricanes
Philadelphia Flyers (2-6-0) vs Carolina Hurricanes (3-3-0)
Wells Fargo Center — Philadelphia, PA
7:00 p.m. on Comcast Sportsnet
Setting the Stage:
The Flyers are back home after going 1-3-0 on their four-game road trip. The won the first game on the trip, beating the Panthers 7-1. But they dropped their next three games to the Lightning, Rangers and Capitals, scoring a combined four goals in those losses.
Carolina has won three of their last four, the most recent being a 1-0 victory over the Senators on Friday. With six points they are sitting in the middle of the Southeast Division.
Both teams played yesterday. The Flyers fell 3-2 to the Capitals despite Washington having played the night before. Carolina's Dan Ellis was in net for their 1-0 shutout win of Ottawa.
What to Expect:
This could be another bad game for the Flyers, who may be without forward Wayne Simmonds. Simmonds, who was skating on the Flyers first line, took an elbow to the face yesterday and never returned to the game. He has a team-high five points.
They are struggling to score, having scored two or fewer goals in seven of their eight games. In their six losses they have scored only seven goals.
For Carolina, Eric Staal is on a four-game point streak. He scored the lone goal in yesterday's 1-0 win. Staal leads the Hurricanes with seven points, and his five goals are tied with Jeff Skinner for the team lead. Jordan Staal has five assists and has yet to find the net this season.
Those three players combined with Alexander Semin give the Hurricanes four dangerous offensive weapons. They have the ability to score from their top two lines.
Carolina is also completely healthy whereas the Flyers are without Simmonds along with Scott Hartnell and Andrej Meszaros. With that, expect Tye McGinn to get similar ice time to the 16 minutes he got yesterday.
The Masked Men:
Ilya Bryzgalov was in net yesterday for the Flyers, stopping 23 shots in his fifth loss of the season. Bryzgalov has been fantastic despite the 2-5-0 record, posting a 2.31 GAA and .918 save percentage
Cam Ward will be back in net for the Hurricanes after having the game off. He has looked bad early in the season. His 4.50 GAA and .861 save percentage look terrible, especially when compared to Ellis' play in his three games (two starts). If Ellis keeps playing well Carolina could have a goalie carrousel on their hands.
Keys to the Game:
1. Play physical. Besides affecting the offense, losing Simmonds is a huge blow to the Flyers hitting game. McGinn will need to step up his physicality in this game along with the other forwards on the forecheck.
2. Stopping the Staal's. Eric and Jordan Staal have a combined 12 points this season. Eric is the team leader in goals scored and Jordan leads in helpers. Jordan has 11 goals and 6 assists in 36 career games against the Flyers.
3. Just win. The Flyers are on their second three-game losing streak of the season. Their goal should be to just play a smart, complete game and beat the Hurricanes in front of their home crowd.
"Our start wasn’t good enough, our third period wasn't good enough and the team should be worn down after six periods and… obviously, it was not good enough."
-Flyers forward Brayden Schenn on being outplayed by Washington on Friday.