Game Day: Flyers / Hurricanes
The Flyers are coming off a 3-1 home victory versus the Dallas Stars Saturday night. The Flyers would score a goal a period with Darrol Powe's shorthanded goal the eventual game winner.
If you missed the game or want a recap look here.
The Hurricanes are coming off a 3-2 over time loss in New Jersey on Tuesday night and are currently sitting in the eight spot in the Eastern Conference, if the season ended today they would be the Flyers first round opponent.
Tonight's game is the third matchup of the season for these two teams, in a way it serves as a tie breaker game as they split the first two matchups.
This is the second game of a five game road trip for the Canes who are just 12-12-5 on the road this season. In 29 road games the Canes have scored 75 goals and surrendered 92 while netting 17 power play goals on 111 opportunities for a 15.32 percent rate.
The Flyers are 18-7-2 at the Wells Fargo Center in 27 home games netting 94 goals and surrendering just 68. They have scored 22 power play goals on 113 attempts for a 19.47 percent rate.
Eric Staal leads the team in points with 54 and in goals with 26, while the rookie figure skater Jeff Skinner is right behind with 43 points and 20 goals. Staal also is the leader of the team in PPG (8),SHG (2),Shots (203) and game winning goals (6).
The Flyers have two players who have over twenty goals so far this season, Briere (26) and Carter (25) with Claude Giroux (19) knocking on the door with hopes of joining them tonight.
Carter leads the team in shots with 225 and sports a poor 11.1 shooting percentage while Giroux leads the team in that area with a 17.4 shooting percentage followed closely by Leino at 16.3.
Tonight's game will be the fourth time this season the Flyers had a four day break between games. In those three games back from the break the Flyers are 0-3 and were outscored 13-4.
With numbers like that, a loss is almost certain unless tonight this is the night the Flyers come out fast instead of slow, strong instead of flat and even grab a shutout as they grab the win.
All that would be nice tonight but the reality of it is that they are winning and in first place in the Atlantic division and second in the league, and if four times a year they lose when coming off a four or more day break then so be it.
So don't be too down if the the Flyers do what they did three times before in this situation come out flat, lethargic resulting in another loss after a four day break.
You never do know how they will come out tonight but if they want to have any chance in breaking this losing trend off the break they will need to shut down Eric Staal and limit his offensive opportunities.
The best way the whole team can do this would be a relentless offensive zone forecheck. The longer the Flyers can keep the puck in the Canes zone the less chance for Staal to do damage offensively.
Staying out of the box and playing team defense will give the Flyers their best chance tonight for a win in front of the home crowd.
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