Flyers look to Rebound against Hurricanes
The Philadelphia Flyers (5-4-1) will be hosting the Carolina Hurricanes (4-3-3) tonight at Wells Fargo Center.
It will be the first of four meetings between the two teams.
The Flyers will be looking to replicate their performance from last season where they defeated the Hurricanes in three of four meetings. With the exception of an 8-1 victory early in the season, each game was decided by a single goal.
Statistically, Philadelphia dominated Carolina. They bested the Canes in every category including shots, goal differential and faceoffs won.
The most impressive statistic from last season was the Flyers special teams performance.
Philadelphia held Carolina scoreless on 19 separate power play opportunities, their single best performance of the season. In addition, the struggling Flyers power play scored five times on 16 chances, their second most successful performance against any team that they played two or more times.
Special teams may become a huge component in this season’s series as well.
Carolina is ranked in the bottom third in both special teams categories. They have only converted on 13.7% of their power plays this season (ranked 23rd) and have only stopped their opponents on 78.6% of their penalty kills (21st).
In comparison, the Flyers power play is ranked in the top five, converting successfully 24.5% of the time (4th).
But Philadelphia’s penalty kill is becoming a problem.
The Flyers are ranked 21st in the league only stopping their opponents 80.4% of the time. In their last five games, the team has dipped below their season average only killing off 76% of penalties taken.
Moving forward this could become an issue.
Through ten games, the Flyers have had to kill off five or more penalties in eight games. Only on one occasion has the team taken less than three penalties in a single game.
Following the team’s 9-8 loss to Winnipeg on Thursday night, the defense in general maybe becoming a concern as well.
In their last five games, the Flyers have allowed their opponents to score four or more goals four times. In their first five games they had only allowed opponents to score more than three goals on one occasion. The team has been outscored 25-17 through their last five games after outscoring opponents 19-10 in their first five.
The Canes are coming off of a 3-0 home win over Chicago last night. Carolina is 2-1-2 in their last five and have scored three or more goals three times over that span.
Carolina has seven players with five or more points on the roster. Last season’s rookie of the year, Jeff Skinner leads the team with 10 points (four goals, six assists). Skinner has registered 4 points in his last three games, scoring two goals and two assists.
In comparison, the Flyers have 11 players with five or more points, with two players, Claude Giroux and Daniel Briere, in double digits.
Ilya Bryzgalov will be getting the start in net tonight for the Flyers. Coming off two embarrassing performances where he allowed a total of nine goals on 38 shots, Bryz will be looking to return to his early season form.
Former Flyer, Brian Boucher will be starting for the Hurricanes. Boosh has made two starts this season and is 0-1-1 with a .850 save % and a 4.46 GAA. He has yet to hold an opponent to under four goals this season.
Will the Flyers take more than four penalties?
Will the Hurricanes score a power play goal?
Will the Flyers score more than three goals?