Gameday at Carolina: Flyers Seek Winning Streak
Philadelphia Flyers (4-9-0) @ Carolina Hurricanes (4-7-3)
PNC Arena — Raleigh, N.C.
TV: NBC Sports Network - Radio: 97.5 FM The Fanatic - 7:30 p.m.
Setting the Stage
These two teams personify how dreadful the Metropolitan Division is. Both teams have just four wins.
None of those wins by the Hurricanes were too terribly impressive. All four decisions were by one goal. Anton Khudobin's strong play before getting injured had a lot to do with that. Cam Ward has just two wins even with some pretty startling stats, and now he finds himself injured as well.
Hurricanes forwards Eric Staal, Jeff Skinner and Alex Semin are all off to good starts this season. Skinner leads the way with three goals and six assists. Other than that, no other players truly stand out.
On the other hand, the Flyers continually cannot score. In a back to back this past weekend, they only scored once, and still ended up with two of four possible points. Friday proved to be disastrous. Saturday proved to be an important bounce-back effort.
Vincent Lecavalier, the Flyers' leading scorer, will return after a one game absence due to a facial injury. He will wear a half shield.
What to Expect
Candidly, who knows? Justin Peters has been dreadful since taking over in net, and his defense hasn't been much better. The Hurricanes are being outscored at home by a margin of 20-11. Folks at PNC Arena have only seen one win to six losses.
That win? Against the Flyers, of course.
Last time the Flyers played Carolina, a coach was fired. While that likely won't happen after this game's result, Ed Snider is in charge of this team, so...
The Masked Men
Philadelphia: Steve Mason (3-7-0, .922 sv%, 2.42 GAA)
Mason's stats certainly took a little bit of a hit after his average performance against Washington on Friday. That game cannot be blamed entirely on him, as his teammates flat out did not compete. However, it will be up to him to keep it as close as he did the last time this team was in Carolina.
Mason stopped 32 of 34 shots on October 6 in a 2-1 loss. He gave up a gift on Carolina's first goal, but played solid otherwise.
Carolina: Justin Peters (0-5-0, .890 sv%, 3.49 GAA)
Peters has been dreadful, and he has received zero help from his teammates. In his latest effort against the New York Rangers, who as mentioned prior, cannot score, Peters allowed five goals on 38 shots in a 5-1 loss on Saturday evening.
In Peters' short NHL career, he has posted a career .896 save percentage and a 3.34 goals against average. He has mostly been the beneficiary of a now injury prone Cam Ward. It was mostly Dan Ellis who took that beating last season, but now it appears to be Peters.
Keys to the Game
1. For the love of everything good in this world, score goals.The table is set perfectly for an offensive outbreak. A bad team with a bad defense and a subpar goaltender should lend to some Flyers players getting off the schneid. That includes one Claude Giroux, who still remains without a goal this year.
2. Mason bounces back. This will be very important. Mason played well the last time the Flyers were in Carolina, but after Friday's debacle, it will be important for him to play well, and play confidently.
3. New defense plays well. Luke Schenn will remain a healthy scratch as Hal Gill will draw into the lineup again. Gill played a solid 14 minutes and was a +1. That's a tough feat when a team only scores one goal. Andrej Meszaros will also play, taking Erik Gustafsson's place.
"I don't like being in this situation. But at the same time, I am not losing any confidence over [being scratched]." - Luke Schenn