The Philadelphia Flyers (4-9-0) go on the road this evening to take on a division rival, the Carolina Hurricanes (4-7-3).
7:30 | PNC Arena – Raleigh, North Carolina | CSN Philly; NBC Sports Network
In the first meeting between these two teams on October 6th, the Flyers lost 2-1 in what ended up being Peter Laviolette’s final game as the Flyers Head Coach. Luke Schenn scored the Flyers lone goal, but was also credited with the giveaway that led to the Hurricane’s game winning goal. Steve Mason kept the Flyers in the game after letting in a soft goal early in the first period. The Flyers were thoroughly outplayed by the Hurricanes and deserved to lose by a much wider margin.
On the injury front, the Flyers will be without forward Steve Downie who is out indefinitely with a concussion. Vincent Lecavalier will return to the line-up, but will most likely wear some sort of face shield. Luke Schenn and Erik Gustafsson figure to be scratched again along with either Tye McGinn or Jay Rosehill. According to reports, the Flyers lines may look something like this:
Scott Hartnell – Claude Giroux – Vincent Lecavalier
Jakub Voracek – Brayden Schenn – Wayne Simmonds
Michael Raffl – Sean Couturier – Matt Read
McGinn/Rosehill – Adam Hall – Zac Rinaldo
The Flyers will start the same defensive pairings that they started on Saturday. They should look like this:
Kimmo Timonen – Braydon Coburn
Mark Streit – Nicklas Grossmann
Andrej Meszaros – Hal Gill
Steve Mason (projected starting goalie)
Here are a few things thoughts concerning tonight’s game:
– The Flyers must take advantage of the Hurricanes goaltending situation. The Hurricanes began this season with Cam Ward as their starter and Anton Khudobin as his back-up. Right now, both of them are injured and the Hurricanes are relying on 27 year old Justin Peters. Peters has a career GAA of 3.34 and a career SV% of .896. He has started the last five games for the Hurricanes , has gone 0-5, and has let in 17 goals. There is no excuse for the Flyers forwards to have a poor showing.
– How will Voracek adjust to the left wing? In practice yesterday Voracek practiced on a line with B. Schenn and Wayne Simmonds. Voracek usually plays right wing, but with the return of Lecavalier to the line-up Voracek was elected to make the switch. The projected second line has a good mix of speed, skill, and grit, but if Voracek does not make the proper adjustments, the line could have a long night.
– The Flyers defense has to pick up where they left off on Saturday night. The Flyers defense corps turned in a solid performance Saturday night. The pairing of Hal Gill and Andrej Meszaros was a steadying presence, while Coburn and Streit both played well. The Flyer limited the Devils to just 14 shots on goal and earned a shutout win. Although Emery had to make a few key saves, the shutout was the result of strong defensive play by the team as a whole. The Flyers will need to continue this strong play in their own end if they want to be successful against a fairly skilled Carolina line-up.
The Flyers have a great chance to gain ground this week against a couple of weak divisional opponents. This game could be the start of a bright future, or it could bring even more frustration. Feel free to post your thoughts and predictions in the comment section. Go Flyers!