NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, February 18th
(All times eastern)
Philadelphia Flyers (38-14-5) at Carolina Hurricanes (27-23-8), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Scoring depth has made the Flyers one of the hardest teams
to beat in the NHL. That sort of dominance isn't anything new to the
Hurricanes, who haven't beaten the Eastern Conference leaders in nine games.
Philadelphia tries to extend its 18-game point streak versus the Carolina
Hurricanes with a third straight win this evening in a matchup at RBC Center.
This will be the last time this season that the Hurricanes will get a chance
to earn a regular-season victory over the Flyers. Philadelphia has won all
three meetings this year by a 13-4 margin and nine straight overall. The
Flyers haven't lost in regulation to the Hurricanes since Dec. 19, 2006, going
Philadelphia has also won seven straight trips to Carolina and is hoping to
avoid its first loss there since an overtime setback on March 22, 2007.
Flyers forward Jeff Carter has dominated the Hurricanes, posting 10 goals and
19 points over a 12-game point streak against them. He recorded a hat trick in
an 8-1 victory at Carolina on Nov. 11.
Philadelphia has won five of its last six and is 15-4 in 2011 following
Wednesday's 4-2 victory over Florida. The Flyers come into this matchup five
points ahead of the Penguins for first place in the East and trail the NHL-
leading Canucks by two points.
Mike Richards scored for the first time in 11 games in Wednesday's victory,
while Andreas Nodl snapped a 19-game goal drought. James van Riemsdyk also
scored and Danny Briere added an empty-net goal and two assists as the Flyers
nearly blew a 3-0 third-period lead.
"It's not the way we wanted to end the game, but we survived." Briere said,
"At the end of the day, that's what matters the most."
Kris Versteeg assisted on Richards' goal for his first point in two games
since being acquired by the Flyers from the Maple Leafs. Sergei Bobrovsky
ended with 33 saves in the win.
The Flyers were without Ville Leino due to a lower-body injury and the forward
is listed as day-to-day.
Philadelphia has won the first two games of a four-game road trip and eight of
its last 10 overall as the guest to improve its NHL-leading road record to
Carolina, meanwhile, returns home after a 1-2-2 road trip that included a
setback in Philadelphia on Feb. 10. The Hurricanes began the swing with a 3-2
overtime setback in New Jersey on Feb. 8 and capped it with another 3-2
setback on Wednesday in the Garden State.
Sergei Samsonov and Tuomo Ruutu lit the lamp in the third period to account
for the final score for the Hurricanes, who have dropped six of eight overall
and are two points up on Buffalo and Atlanta for the eighth seed in the East.
Cam Ward, making his 17th consecutive start, stopped 19-of-22 shots in defeat.
"Our quickness just wasn't there for whatever reason," said Hurricanes head
coach Paul Maurice, whose club begins a four-game homestand tonight and has
won six of its last eight at RBC Center.
The Hurricanes will honor former captain Rod Brind'Amour before the game by
sending his No. 17 into the rafters. Brind'Amour ranks 16th in league history
with 1,484 games played, notching 452 goals, 732 assists and 1,184 points in
The two-time Selke Trophy winner spent eight-plus seasons with the Flyers
before getting traded to the Hurricanes during the 1999-2000 campaign. He
spent his next nine-plus seasons in Carolina, winning a Stanley Cup with the
club in 2006 with current Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette.
02/18 10:46:50 ET