Flyers Look to Cap Homestand Against Hurricanes

The Matchup:

Philadelphia Flyers (4-6-1) vs. Carolina Hurricanes (5-4-0)
Wells Fargo Center — Philadelphia, PA
1:00 p.m. on Comcast Sportsnet and 97.5 FM The Fanatic

Setting the Stage:

On Thursday, the Flyers dropped their first game in overtime of the season, losing 3-2 to the Panthers in a shootout. They outplayed the Panthers most of the game, but failed to capitalize on their power play chances late in the game.

Carolina has won their last two games since dropping to the Flyers 5-3 last Saturday. On Thursday, they beat the Senators 3-2 thanks to Jay Harrison's overtime winner.

The two teams met for the first time last Saturday with the Flyers winning 5-3. They chased Dan Ellis after scoring four goals on 12 shots.

Wayne Simmonds, who has been out since last Friday with a concussion, could return today against the Hurricanes

What to Expect:

The Hurricanes are a very good hockey team, but their goaltending has been inconsistent. Cam Ward is riding off of a 42-save win against Ottawa on Thursday, but it doesn't reflect his overall body of work, which leaves room for improvement.

For Philadelphia, goaltending has been the big difference maker in their games with Ilya Bryzgalov keeping things close.

Offense has come by the way side for the Flyers. Matt Read leads the team in scoring with four goals and eight points. Defenseman Kimmo Timonen has a team-high five assists. 

For Carolina, it's been Eric Staal on top of the scoring scene with seven goals and 11 points, scoring a point in seven straight games.. His brother Jordan has a team-high eight assists.

The Masked Men:

Ilya Bryzgalov is still rolling, and should get the start today against the Hurricanes. Through 10 starts, he's 4-5-1 with a 2.20 GAA and .923 save percentage, both 12 in the league. He is one of four goalies to make 10 starts this season.

Cam Ward has been playing much better as of late, stopping 89 shots and allowing three goals in his last two starts. This all comes after starting the season with a 1-3-0 record and dismal 4.55 GAA and .861 GAA through his first four starts.

Keys to the Game:

1. Finish. The Flyers aren't finishing their scoring chances, be it even strength or on the power play. They have been taking a lot of shots, but the work in front of the net has to be better if they want to finish.

2. Ward. Don't let Cam Ward get into a rhythm. He's been playing very well in net and the Hurricanes will need to have an answer for Bryzgalov, who has been a wall for the Flyers this season.

3. Stay out of the box. The Flyers are the top team in the NHL with 202 penalty minutes, averaging 18.36 minutes per game, second highest in the NHL behind Colorado. That's a huge problem for them, especially because their 76% penalty kill is ranked 22nd in the NHL.

Quotable:

"You live with it as a team. You’re going to get some your way, you’re going to get some against. You do your best to try and control your sticks and stay out of it when you have the lead and playing at home and sometimes things just happen."

- RW Mike Knuble on taking penalties.