NHL Preview from The Sports Network |
Tuesday, March 23rd
(All times eastern)
Philadelphia Flyers (38-18-14-6) at Carolina Hurricanes (26-30-13-6), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Philadelphia Flyers hope to leap into the Eastern
Conference penthouse tonight after facing the Carolina Hurricanes at RBC
With 96 points, the Atlantic Division leaders are one behind the Tampa Bay
Lightning in the standings. Boston sits third in the race with 95 points.
On Saturday, Robert Esche stopped 24 shots for his third shutout of the season
and eighth of his career, as the Flyers triumphed over the New York Rangers,
3-0, at the Wachovia Center.
Simon Gagne, Claude Lapointe and Mattias Timander scored for the Flyers, who
have earned points in five of their last six games (3-1-2) and moved to 5-0
against the Rangers this year.
Esche improved to 5-1-1 in his last seven starts, but Sean Burke is expected
to receive the start tonight. Burke is 0-2-1 in his last four appearances --
one no-decision included -- and has given up 10 goals in that span.
On the injury front, the Flyers could be welcoming back centers Jeremy Roenick
(shattered jaw/concussion) and Keith Primeau (concussion), and defenseman Eric
Desjardins in the near future. Roenick, who was pondering retirement after
suffering his injuries last month, could be back as early as Thursday against
the NY Islanders.
Philly is just 1-3-2-1 in its last seven road games.
Carolina, meanwhile, has won two of its last three games. On Saturday, Bret
Hedican scored the game-winning goal with a minute left in overtime to lift
the Hurricanes to a 3-2 victory over Ottawa at the Corel Centre.
Josef Vasicek notched the game-tying tally with 8:58 left in the third period
for the Hurricanes, who set a franchise record by earning at least a point in
11 straight road games (7-0-1-3). Sean Hill scored a goal and assisted on
another in the winning effort.
Arturs Irbe stopped 27 of 29 shots he faced to earn the win, including
13 saves in the third period. The Canes won for just the second time this
season when trailing after two periods (2-23-0).
Carolina will host Florida on Thursday.
Philadelphia is 1-0-2 against Carolina this season, and 3-0-4 in the last
seven meetings overall.
03/23 10:47:30 ET