The Carolina Hurricanes are running on momentum from last night’s victory against the Ottawa Senators, hoping it will carry them through as they face the Philadelphia Flyers on their ice tonight at 7.
Despite overcoming a win-less streak last night in beating the Ottawa Senators 1-0, the Hurricanes had to hop on their private charter and head to Philly to take on the Flyers in their first meeting of the season. Last season the Canes went 1-3 against the Flyers, their only victory being November 21 in Philly, winning 4-2.
The Canes will be without Tuomo Ruutu who is still recovering from surgery and is expected to be sidelined until at least April, perhaps the entire season. The Flyers could potentially be without key forward Wayne Simmonds after he was the recipient of a high hit against the Washington Capitals last night and did not return to the game after the first period hit.
The Flyers are coming off of a 3-2 loss to the Capitals last night, playing a majority of the game without Zach Rinaldo who got ejected after his fight with Hendricks and Simmonds who sustained an undisclosed injury at the time this article was written. The Flyers have given up the fewest goals against when playing 5-on-5 hockey and look to keep that streak alive.
Eye on the Storm: The main focus for Carolina tonight should be to keep a close watch on Claude Giroux. Giroux has gone scoreless in the last three games, meaning he is way past due for some sort of action. Last season Giroux only went three straight games without a point twice on the entire season, and just four times in the last two seasons over the span of 136 games.
The Hurricanes currently have two key goal scorers for the club, one in their captain Eric Staal and the other in Jeff Skinner. Each leads the team with 5 goals, Staal having the upper hand with 2 assists as well.
Between the Pipes:
After earning his second start in the past three games and his second victory on the season, Dan Ellis is expected to sit out against the Flyers, with Cam Ward getting the nod. Ward is 1-3 on the season and sports a 4.5 goals against average and .861 save percentage.
For Philadelphia Ilya Bryzgalov got the nod last night against the Capitals and is expected in net again against Carolina. He sports a 2.31 goals against average and .918 save percentage.
The puck is set to drop at 7pm and can be seen or heard on NHL Game Center Live.