Game 18 Preview: Flyers at Hurricanes

Philadelphia Flyers (9-4-3) at Carolina Hurricanes (6-8-3)
7 p.m. RBC Center
TV: FS-Carolinas, CSN-Philadelphia

I described the Canes last game against the Flyers as a “burn the tape” kind of game because of the disaster of a third period the Canes had. Seems that has been a recurring theme since then because Carolina’s endured numerous third period meltdowns ever since that loss. Even in their 5-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins they took a 3-0 lead into the third period only to have Pittsburgh tie it. Let’s hope the team has tightened things up since then and will try to not let the Jagr-Giroux-Hartnell line dominate them like last time. *knocks on wood*

Analysis, lines & more after the jump

Hurricanes

Staal – Sutter – LaRose
Skinner – Jokinen – Ruutu
Ponikarovsky – Brent – Dwyer
Tlusty – Dalpe – Boychuk

Gleason – Harrison
Allen – McBain
Kaberle – Joslin

Ward

Flyers

Hartnell – Giroux – Jagr
Van Riemsdyk – Breire – Simmonds
Voracek – Talbot – Read
Zolnierczyk – Couturier – Rinaldo

Pronger – Carle
Timonen – Coburn
Lilja – Meszaros

Bobrovsky

Getting to know the Flyers

The Flyers have one main line carrying the mail for them and if you remember the last game well then you should know which line I am talking about. Hartnell-Giroux-Jagr have been a force this year and have accounted for 1/3 of their goals. With JVR, Briere and Voracek struggling, this line coming up big really helps the Flyers. They’re also getting some good play from their fourth line, which is surprising when you consider how bad it was last year. I think putting Sean Couturier there has a lot to do with that. I am going to go ahead and assume that Max Talbot’s 13.33% on-ice shooting percentage won’t last very long. He scored on us twice last time, though so I don’t want to jinx anything. The Flyers are borderline in terms of driving possession with a corsi of .491 with the score tied. There’s a few guys under performing, though so I think that number should improve.

Game Notes

  • Staal will stay on the wing to start this game but Paul Maurice hinted that he might be double shifted with Jiri Tlusty and Zach Boychuk. That is something that I want to see but not if it’s going to decrease Zac Dalpe’s minutes even more. It’s progress, at least…
  • I really hope we put a different defense pairing on the Jagr line because after the beating Jay Harrison took from Evgeni Malkin and James Neal last game, I’m not sure how him and Gleason will play against Philly’s first line which destroyed us the last time.
  • Cam Ward is making his fifth straight start tonight. The last time Brian Boucher started was the Canes last meeting against the Flyers all the way in late October.
  • Flyers have a similar predicament to us when it comes to their fourth line and how it is used. They have their former first round pick Sean Couturier playing on that line with two goons (usually Zac Rinaldo & Jody Shelly) and usually only get 7-9 minutes of ice time per game. The Canes, on the other hand, do not have any goons playing on their fourth line, just young underutilized talent. Sigh.
  • The last time the Hurricanes scored a powerplay goal in a close game was two weeks ago against Tampa Bay. When I typed that out I said to myself “wow that game was really only two weeks ago?” Feels like an eternity, doesn’t it? Hopefully we won’t give up two shorthanded goals this game.
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