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Hurricanes at Flyers: Preview

Buncha Canes-related stuff in the news so we're going to get to it first and then everything you need to know as the Canes wrap up a four-game road trip in Philly tonight.

Faulk Yeah. Justin Faulk leads the NHL in power play goals and was awarded the league's third star of the week.
Faulk Yeah. Justin Faulk leads the NHL in power play goals and was awarded the league's third star of the week.
Jamie Kellner

Carolina Hurricanes at Philadelphia Flyers
December 15, 2015 - 7:00 pm ET
Wells Fargo Center - Philadelphia, PA
Fox Sports Carolinas - 99.9 FM - WRALSportsFan app
SB Nation Rivals - Broad Street Hockey

Vital Statistics

Hurricanes Flyers
Record 12-14-4 12-12-6
Points 28 30
Division Rank 7th Metro 6th Metro
Conference Rank 14th EC 12th EC
Last 10 Games 5-4-1 6-3-1
Streak Won 2 Lost 1

Goals/Game 2.47 2.03
Goals Against/Game 3.03 2.70
ES Goals For % 43.1% 44.0%
Shots/Game 30.1 30.4
Shots Against/Game 25.9 32.4
ES Corsi For % 53.6% 49.8%
Faceoff % 54.2% 49.1%
ES PDO 96.6 99.2
Power Play % (Rank) 17.2% (24) 17.2% (24)
Penalty Kill % (Rank) 75.3% (29) 80.2% (17)
PIM/Game 06:30 11:39

Goaltender #1 Ward Mason
Record 9-8-3 5-8-4
ES Save % .899 .926
GAA 2.73 2.93

Goaltender #2 Lack Neuvirth
Record 3-6-1 7-4-2
ES Save % .886 .943
GAA 3.28 2.00

*Stats from and War on Ice

Canes News

  • The NHL has named Justin Faulk the league's Third Star for the week ending December 13. Faulk scored three goals and three assists in three games last week, and his 12 power play goals lead the league and tie a Hurricanes franchise single season record (Risto Siltanen had 12 power play goals in 75 games played during the 1983-84 season). Faulk Yeah. [] []
  • Down in Charlotte, Brock McGinn was awarded the AHL's Player of the Week. McGinn scored five points in two games, including an overtime game-winner, with the Checkers last week. Despite missing time in Charlotte with two recalls with the Canes (where he has played 14 games and tallied two goals and an assist), McGinn is second on the Checkers with nine goals and has 12 points in 12 games played. []
  • In not-so-good news, Ryan Murphy has been suspended three games by the AHL for an illegal hip check (clipping) to Devin Shore, who was injured on the play, in a game played against the Texas Stars on December 11. Murphy is currently with the Checkers but has played 18 games with the Canes this season. []
  • Michal Jordan, who has played in 10 games for the Canes but has been a healthy scratch since November 16, has been assigned to Charlotte for a conditioning stint. Under the terms for conditioning assignments, Jordan can remain with Charlotte for up to 14 days and will be paid his NHL salary during the assignment. []
  • Yesterday the Canes announced [via twitter] that they will not be making Noah Hanifin available to Team USA for the upcoming World Juniors Championship. Hanifin is the only active player on the Canes roster eligible for the tournament (under the age of 20). The Canes do have four prospects participating: Haydn Fleury and Roland McKeown will represent Canada, Alex Nedeljkovic will represent USA, and Sebastian Aho will represent Finland. The tournament begins on December 26.

Game Notes

  • The Canes wrap up a four-game road trip in the city of brotherly love tonight against the Metro division rival Flyers. This will be the third of four meetings this season. In the previous two games, the home team has jumped out to a 2-0 lead only to have the visitors tie it up to force overtime. Unfortunately, in both instances the Flyers have been the team to capture the extra overtime point.
  • The Flyers have been off since Friday, when they wrapped up back-to-back road games against the Blues and the Stars. They won 4-2 against the Blues but faced a tough battle in a 3-1 loss to the Stars, where after the first period they were out-skated and had to kill off six penalties. Michal Neuvirth started both games in net and was solid in both, and he most likely will get the start in net again tonight. His .939 save percentage is the best among active goaltenders with 10 or more starts.
  • Claude Giroux leads the Flyers in goals (11) and points (28). The Flyers have only scored 61 goals this season, so Giroux has factored into 46% of the total Flyers offense. Jakub Voracek is still struggling to find the back of the net. He has only one goal on the season, not surprisingly it was against the Canes, the overtime game winner on November 14. Voracek is being moved to left wing for tonight's game in an effort to get his offense going, so he'll be one to watch. Another player to watch is rookie defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere, who has nine points (4g, 5a) in 14 games, including the other overtime game-winner against the Canes on November 23.
  • After back-to-back wins in Anaheim and Phoenix, the Canes traveled on Sunday and practiced yesterday, though there was no update provided so the assumption is that the lineup is stable and will probably remain intact for tonight's game. With five goals scored in four straight games and with a power play that has been clicking at a torrid 55.6% pace (5-for-9) during the road trip, few adjustments should be needed.
  • Eddie Lack was solid winning first star honors with 31 saves in the 5-1 win on Friday against the Ducks, and was good early but faded late in the 5-4 overtime win against the Coyotes the following night. Bill Peters typically awards the winning goaltender with the next start, so Lack may remain in net for tonight's game. Eddie also has a two-game point streak with assists (his first NHL points) in each of the last two games.
  • Eight other Canes players have point streaks heading into tonight's game including Jordan Staal and Brett Pesce with points in two straight games, Jeff Skinner and Phillip Di Giuseppe with points in three straight, Victor Rask, Justin Faulk, and Elias Lindholm with points in four straight, and Andrej Nestrasil with points in five straight games.
  • As always, stay tuned for updates following each team's respective morning skate.

Projected Lineups

Hurricanes (12:00 pm: reported by Flyers media)

Kris Versteeg - Eric Staal - Elias Lindholm
Joakim Nordstrom - Jordan Staal - Andrej Nestrasil
Jeff Skinner - Victor Rask - Phillip Di Giuseppe
Brad Malone - Jay McClement - Chris Terry

Ron Hainsey - Justin Faulk 
John-Michael Liles - Brett Pesce
Noah Hanifin - Jaccob Slavin

Eddie Lack
Cam Ward

Injuries and scratches: James Wisniewski (IR ACL), Nathan Gerbe (ankle), Riley Nash (healthy)

Flyers (11:00 am: confirmed from morning skate)

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

Michael Del Zotto - Radko Gudas
Nick Schultz - Evgeny Medvedev
Brandon Manning - Shayne Gostisbehere

Michal Neuvirth
Steve Mason

Injuries and Scratches: Sam Gagner (concussion), Luke Schenn (lower body), Mark Streit (groin), Vincent Lecavalier (healthy), Andrew MacDonald (healthy)

Storm Debris

  • Canes Game Day Hub []
  • Jeff Skinner is back to his old rhythm with new linemates. [Today's Slapshot]
  • The Hurricanes recent scoring burst presents exciting opportunities [Triangle Sports Network]
  • Anaheim Ducks forward Nate Thompson has been suspended 3 games for his illegal check to the head against Justin Faulk in Friday's game []
  • Down on the farm, the Checkers and ECHL Everblades are switching goalies Altshuller and Tirronen []
  • The Flyers will try to jump-start struggling Voracek by moving him to left wing. [The Score]
  • Almost nobody helps their team more than Claude Giroux helps the Flyers [Broad Street Hockey]
  • Flyers are getting confidence in the crease []
  • Auston Matthews, consensus number one in the 2016 draft, blazes a new route to the NHL [NY Times]
  • Thanks to support from the Hurricanes and Defending the Blue Line, Cape Fear Youth Hockey is able to serve those who serve. [USA Hockey]
  • RECENTLY ADDED: If you can only click on one item from this list today, take the time to listen to Section 328's interview with Patrick O'Sullivan, who recently published a book about his challenges growing up as a victim of childhood abuse. A serious subject and one that deserves a listen. [Section 328]
  • RECENTLY ADDED: The Hurricanes are kicking off two community initiatives this week. The annual Toy Drive begins, and fans can receive buy one/get one free vouchers for an upcoming game and register to win prizes [Link to Promotion]. Also, Canes players will participate in a community service day on Thursday, visiting area hospitals and assisting youth in the area with holiday shopping [News Release].