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Thursday, February 22nd (All times eastern)

Philadelphia Flyers (16-36-8) at Carolina Hurricanes (30-25-7), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Carolina Hurricanes will try to improve their shaky playoff status tonight, when they welcome the lowly Philadelphia Flyers to the RBC Center.

The Hurricanes come into this evening's action with 67 points and a tenuous hold on the eighth and final postseason berth in the Eastern Conference. Toronto and the New York Islanders are just one point back, while Montreal is one point ahead of Carolina in seventh place.

Carolina lost for the second time in three games Tuesday, as it was handed a home setback by the rival Atlanta Thrashers. Johan Hedberg made 33 saves and Marian Hossa notched a goal and an assist to lead the Thrashers to the 3-1 victory.

Rod Brind'Amour scored the lone Carolina goal and Cam Ward made 20 saves in net for the Hurricanes, who are also four points behind Tampa Bay and Atlanta for first place in the Southeast Division.

Carolina, which is 15-12-4 as the host this year, is wrapping up a brief two- game homestand tonight.

Meanwhile, the Flyers, owners of the worst record in the NHL, have dropped two straight and three of their last four games. The most recent setback came Tuesday evening in Buffalo, as Daniel Briere posted a goal and two assists to lead the Sabres to a 6-3 win.

Simon Gagne continued his torrid play of late with two goals and Mike Richards notched a career-high three assists for the Flyers. Gagne has recorded nine goals and four assists in his last seven games.

Philadelphia netminder Robert Esche, making his first start since February 3, gave up four goals on 14 shots before being pulled early in the second period.

The Flyers have played better on the road than at home this year and are 11-19-1 as the visiting team.

Philly and Carolina have split a pair of meetings this year. The Flyers have taken three of the last five overall encounters and have won two straight in Raleigh, including a 5-2 triumph at the RBC Center on December 31.

02/22 10:42:42 ET


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