Flyers face Hurricanes to end homestand
Philadelphia Flyers (4-6-1--9pts)
1. COMING INTO TODAY
Carolina Hurricanes (5-4-0--10pts)
TV: CSN - RADIO: 97.5 The Fanatic
The Hurricanes come into today in the middle of their season-high six-game road trip and have won three of their last four games, including two straight games… The Flyers end their four-game homestand having earned at least a point in their previous three games, going 2-0-1… The Flyers have killed 17 of their last 19 shorthanded situations over the past four games, while Carolina’s power play has gone 4-for-12 (33.3%) in its last three games.
2. CANE KILLERS
This is the second of three games against Carolina this season and second in an eight-day span, having earned a 5-3 win last Saturday over Carolina… In that game, five different Flyers scored, while four Flyers recorded two-point nights, led by Claude Giroux and Danny Briere who had a goal and an assist… The Flyers have earned at least one point in 22 of the last 25 meetings, going 19-3-3, and are 23-4-4 in their last 31 games against Carolina going back to November 28, 2003.
3. THIS & THAT
Carolina leads the NHL in shots on goal, averaging 36.9 shots through nine games so far this season… The Hurricanes have had a defenseman score a goal in six of its last seven games, while the Flyers have had a defenseman score in three of their last five games and at least a point in four of their last five… Jordan Staal has earned an assist in seven of his last eight games and leads the team in assists (8)… Claude Giroux is averaging over a point-per-game against Carolina, recording 14 points (5g-9a) in 13 career games, while Matt Read averages a point-per-game with five points (2g-3a) in five games against the Canes.
4. Player to watch FLYERS: Kimmo Timonen
Timonen has recorded points in three of his last five games, including a two assist game in the Flyers' 5-3 win over Carolina on Feb. 2… Timonen leads the Flyers this season in assists with five helpers… Timonen has recorded over 30 assists in each of his last nine seasons in the NHL and is currently 19 games shy of 1,000 NHL games played, having played over 400 of them with the Flyers.
5. Player to watch HURRICANES: Eric Staal
Eric Staal comes into today with a seven-game point streak where he has posted seven goals and 11 points, including goals in four of his last five games… He also leads the team with a plus-minus rating of +7… His 11 points lead the Hurricanes and he has led Carolina in scoring for each of the last three seasons.
"I enjoy playing the games. It's kind of fun. Obviously everybody has to take extra care of themselves off the ice [with] injuries, making sure you don't get tired and you're in top shape, but if you do all the right things its a fun season to be a part of."
- Danny Briere
Season series: This is the second of three meetings between the teams this season. Last Saturday the Flyers went 3-for-3 on the power play in a 5-3 win in Philadelphia.
Big story: The Hurricanes are back in Philadelphia to continue the six-game trip they began there last Saturday - but they're coming in after back-to-back wins at Toronto and Ottawa. Philadelphia is 2-0-1 on its four-game homestand despite a 3-2 shootout loss to Florida on Thursday.
Hurricanes: Cam Ward hasn't had the best start to his season, but he appears to have rediscovered his form, and now he's returning to the place where all that started.
In his first four games Ward was 1-3-0 with a 4.55 goals-against average and .861 save percentage. He watched backup Dan Ellis make two straight starts, but when Ellis struggled the second game in Philadelphia, Ward came on and stopped 11 of 12 shots. He's started both games since then, allowing a total of three goals on 89 shots in the back-to-back wins at Toronto and Ottawa.
"[Ward] was real solid," Hurricanes captain Eric Staal said after Ward made a season-high 45 saves in Thursday's 3-2 overtime win at Ottawa. "He's really stepped back into his game and we're going to need him and he helped us get the win."
Flyers: The shootout is in its eighth season, but the Flyers still have yet to take advantage of it. While one of the biggest wins in franchise history came via the shootout -- a final-day victory that earned the Flyers a berth in the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs, a run that culminated with a trip to the Stanley Cup Final -- that's more the exception than the rule.
The Flyers' shootout loss to the Panthers Thursday dropped their all-time record to 23-42. The 23 wins are tied for the fewest in the League, and their .354 winning percentage is 30th.
Who's hot: Hurricanes captain Eric Staal has points in seven straight games, including a goal and an assist in the teams' previous meeting. ... Flyers captain Claude Giroux has taken a League-high 272 faceoffs and has won 55.9 percent of them. He's won at least 50 percent of his draws in nine of 11 games.
Injury report: Outside of the long-term hip injury to Tuomo Ruuttu, the Hurricanes are a healthy team. … Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds (concussion) is questionable. Forward Scott Hartnell (foot) and Andrej Meszaros (shoulder) are out.