PHILADELPHIA - NOVEMBER 01: Jeff Carter #17 of the Philadelphia Flyers battles for position against Jiri Tlusty #19 of the Carolina Hurricanes on November 1 2010 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. Flyers defeat the Hurricanes 3-2. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
The Carolina Hurricanes, (26-21-7) have not had much success playing against the Philadelphia Flyers, (35-13-5) in recent years, but they will give it another try tonight at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
The Flyers are 14-0-3 in their last 17 games against the Canes, (with eight straight wins). Carolina has not won against this team in regulation since December, 2006. Will tonight be any different?
After guiding them to the Stanley Cup Finals last year, coach Peter Laviolette has done another tremendous job with the Flyers again this season and currently has them sitting in first place in the Eastern Conference. The club has won two in a row and has an 8-2-0 record in it's last 10 as well as 12-3-0 in it's last 15.
The Canes on the other hand have a 4-5-1 record in their last 10, although they have been able to slip up into eighth place in the conference and are hoping to stay there or hopefully move up even further. If the season ended today, this would be Carolina's first round matchup and it's probably the last team they would like to face.
Brian Boucher will get the start tonight for the home team while Cam Ward will make his 14th consecutive start for the Canes.
|2010 - Cam Ward||47||2691||23||17||122||2.72||1513||1391||.919||2|
|2010 - Brian Boucher||22||1221||12||6||47||2.31||581||534||.919||0|
Boucher is 5-1-0 lifetime against Carolina with a shutout.
Ward is 1-7-1 against Philadelphia in his last nine starts and has a career 3-7-2 record against the team.
It stands to reason that Justin Peters will see some action eventually, especially considering the Canes face a back-to-back situation this weekend, but it won't be tonight unless the Flyers chase Ward like they did the last time these two teams met during their 8-1 laugher at the RBC on November 11.
Peters has not played since January 9.
The Flyers are led in scoring by All Star, Claude Giroux, but the young forward has plenty of help.
|2010 - Claude Giroux||53||19||31||50||14||31||7||3||3||109|
|2010 - Danny Briere||50||26||19||45||14||65||5||0||5||168|
|2010 - Mike Richards||53||17||31||48||11||41||3||3||4||124|
|2010 - Jeff Carter||53||25||23||48||21||33||6||0||5||225|
Our friends at Broad Street Hockey will have more about the Flyers.
The Hurricanes are led by Eric Staal, with rookie Jeff Skinner now in sole possession of second place on the team's scoring list.
|2010 - Eric Staal||54||26||28||54||-11||52||8||2||6||203|
|2010 - Jeff Skinner||54||20||23||43||-2||22||6||0||2||139|
Both Staal and Skinner are riding two game scoring streaks. Ian White and Joni Pitkanen have assists in two straight, although Pitkanen will not play tonight as he joins his countryman, Jussi Jokinen, on the team's injured list. Jokinen is expected to miss another week while Pitkanen could play this weekend.
Brett Carson has been recalled from Charlotte to take the defenseman's place. Carson has played in seven games for Carolina so far this season and has a plus-3 rating. He leads all skaters in Charlotte at plus-11.
Look for Carolina's lines to start out like this:
- Staal, Cole, Samsonov
- Ruutu, Skinner, LaRose
- Sutter, Tlusty, Dwyer
- Carter, Bodie, Boychuk
- Gleason, Corvo
- McBain, White
- Harrison, Carson
The Canes should have some extra motivation to at least keep this game respectable, especially after getting shellacked last time. How will they fare against one of the league's elite teams?
The game will be televised locally by FS Carolinas starting at 7 p.m. We will have the open game thread ready to go at 6:30.