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Game Day: Canes vs Flyers

Welcome to 2015. So far this year the Hurricanes are undefeated. Can they keep it up for one more day?

Captain Eric Staal has goals in each of his last two games and points in three straight.
Captain Eric Staal has goals in each of his last two games and points in three straight.

Carolina Hurricanes vs. Philadelphia Flyers
January 2, 2015 - 7:00 pm ET
PNC Arena - Raleigh, NC
TV - Fox Sports Carolinas
Radio - 99.9 FM The Fan
SB Nation Rival Blog - Broad Street Hockey

Fancy Stats

Hurricanes Flyers
Record 10-23-4 14-16-7
Points 24 35
Division Rank 8th Metro 6th Metro
Conference Rank 16th EC 13th EC
Streak Lost 3 OT 1

Power Play % 17.2% 22.0%
Penalty Kill % 85.3% 74.0%
Goals/Game 1.95 2.78
Goals Against/Game 2.62 2.92
Shots/Game 29.2 29.5
Shots Against/Game 28.1 30.8
ES Goals For % 39.7% 49.6%
ES Corsi For % 50.9% 48.1%
ES PDO 96.7 100.5
PIM/Game 7.8 9.1

Goaltender Ward Mason
Record 9-15-2 6-11-6
ES Save Percentage .916 .933
GAA 2.39 2.57

Goaltender Khudobin Emery
Record 1-8-2 7-5-1
ES Save Percentage .903 .919
GAA 2.71 3.04

Stats via and War on Ice

Game Notes

  • Tonight the Canes and Flyers kick off 2015 with their second game of five this season and the first at PNC Arena. The teams met in Philly on December 13th in one of the Canes' worst performances of the season, giving up a goal just 53 seconds into the game, which was never as close as the eventual 5-1 loss might indicate.
  • The Canes closed out 2014 in what has become a too-familiar scenario, a 2-1 loss, this one at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Particularly painful was the absence of recently-returned Jordan Staal due to a late scratch, and the eventual game-winner scored with less than two minutes to play in regulation by one of the players traded for him, Brandon Sutter.
  • It was the 18th time this season, and the 11th time in the month of December, that the Canes were only able to score one goal (or less). With 24 points in 37 games, the Canes are now on pace for 53 points. For comparison purposes, that pace is eight points worse than the 61 points earned in the 2002-03 season (the season that brought the Canes Eric Staal as the second overall pick in the draft).
  • The other Jordan, defenseman Michal Jordan, suffered a severely dislocated finger in Wednesday's game, but was able to return after head trainer Pete Friesen was apparently able to pop it back in to place. He was feeling well enough yesterday to tweet a picture of his injured finger (click here if so inclined).
  • Eric Staal now leads the team in points with 21 (9g, 12a). He has a three-game point streak including goals in two straight games, and is two goals away from 300 career NHL goals. Jiri Tlusty continues to lead the team in goals (10) and has assists in both games in which he has played since returning from injury.
  • The Canes didn't practice yesterday, so there have been no updates about any line-up changes heading into tonight's game (UPDATE: from morning skate, Jordan Staal is back in the line-up, Jeff Skinner is out with flu-like symptoms, and Michal Jordan is the healthy scratch on defense).
  • The Flyers are currently nine points out of a wild card spot, and are winding down an eight-game road swing with Raleigh being their seventh stop. The road trip started well with three straight wins but they've now gone winless in their last three. Their last game was on New Years Eve in Colorado, squandering a lead when their penalty kill (currently ranked last in the league) gave up the game-tying goal, then losing to the Avalanche 4-3 in overtime.
  • The Flyers have a rather potent power play these days (ranked seventh at 22%) and they converted two power play opportunities Wednesday night. Jakub Voracek was responsible for one. He leads the NHL with 46 points and has nine points in his last six games. The other power play goal was scored by noted Canes-killer Claude Giroux, who is a career point-per-game player against the Canes with 19 points in 19 games played. Voracek and Giroux also scored against the Canes in the December 13th game, along with Wayne Simmonds who is also a point-per-game player with 13 points in 13 games against the Canes.
  • Defenseman Michael Del Zotto had been a healthy scratch for the Flyers for nine games before getting back into the line-up against the Avalanche. His return was eventful as he was cut in the neck by Daniel Briere's skate and required 20 stitches. Del Zotto was also gracious enough to share photos of his injury on social media (click here if so inclined).
  • Like the Canes, the Flyers had an off-day yesterday and did not skate. Any player updates and roster changes will be updated after the morning skates (UPDATE: no changes from previous game).

Projected line-ups

Hurricanes depth chart (from today's practice)

Eric Staal - Jordan Staal - Elias Lindholm
Jiri Tlusty - Victor Rask - Nathan Gerbe
Chris Terry - Riley Nash - Patrick Dwyer
Brad Malone - Jay McClement - Zach Boychuk

Andrej Sekera - Justin Faulk
Ron Hainsey - Brett Bellemore
Tim Gleason - Ryan Murphy

Cam Ward
Anton Khudobin

Injuries and scratches: Andrej Nestrasil (IR upper body), John-Michael Liles (IR illness), Alexander Semin (DTD upper body), Jeff Skinner (illness), Michal Jordan (healthy)

Flyers depth chart (from today's practice)

Matt Read - Claude Giroux - Jakub Voracek
Brayden Schenn - Scott Laughton - Wayne Simmonds
R.J. Umberger - Sean Couturier - Michael Raffl
Chris VandeVelde - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Vincent Lecavalier

Nicklas Grossmann - Mark Streit
Nick Schultz - Braydon Coburn
Andrew MacDonald - Michael Del Zotto

Steve Mason
Ray Emery

Injuries and scratches: Kimmo Timonen (IR blood clot), Zac Rinaldo (healthy), Luke Schenn (healthy), Carlo Colaiacovo (healthy)