HURRICANES (4-3-3) at FLYERS (5-4-1)
TV: FS-Carolinas (HD), CSN-Philadelphia
Season series: This is the first of four games between the clubs this season. The Flyers won three of the four meetings last season.
Big Story: The Flyers may have a goaltending controversy on their hands. Ilya Bryzgalov should get the start Saturday against Carolina after giving up four goals on 10 shots in just over 34 minutes of relief in Thursday's 9-8 loss to Winnipeg. Carolina has no such issues: Cam Ward made 30 saves in a 3-0 win over Chicago on Friday.
Hurricanes: Ward's big night Friday against the Blackhawks helped the Canes stop a three-game winless streak that included an overtime to St. Louis, a regulation loss to Winnipeg and a shootout loss to Ottawa. Carolina got goals from Tim Brent, Jiri Tlusty and Brandon Sutter. Tlusty and Sutter scored in the third period. Ward made 15 of his 30 saves in the second.
This game in Philadelphia is Carolina's only road game sandwiched among five home games. Carolina returns home to face Tampa Bay and Washington next week before Dallas comes to town the following Sunday.
It's possible that ex-Flyer and current Hurricane goalie Brian Boucher will get the start against his former teammates Saturday.
"We won't see a real happy Philadelphia team (Saturday)," Carolina coach Paul Maurice told the Raleigh News & Observer.
Flyers: Didn't the Flyers pay $51 million over nine years to Bryzgalov so they wouldn't have any goaltending controversies for the foreseeable future?
Bryzgalov admitted after Thursday's brutal relief outing against Winnipeg that he's basically suffering from a crisis of confidence. He gave up four goals on 10 shots in just over 34 minutes of relief Thursday and has allowed 18 goals in his last four appearances.
"I'm lost in the woods," was his now famous quote after the Flyers scored eight goals and still lost to Winnipeg on Thursday.
Then again, Sergei Bobrovsky wasn't any better -- he faced 15 shots in almost 25 minutes and gave up five goals before being pulled.
The Flyers gave up 14 goals in a matter of 27 hours and lost to both Montreal and Winnipeg. They are 1-4-0 in their last five games after a 4-0-1 start.
"(Bryzgalov) felt great today. He came in with his swagger and it's important that his teammates saw him come in like that," goalie coach Jeff Reese told the Philadelphia Inquirer on Friday. "He was joking around and laughing and I think that was very important. He's going to turn this around, no question."
Who's Hot: For the Flyers, Scott Hartnell and Jaromir Jagr bring three-game point-scoring streaks into Saturday. Hartnell has six points and Jagr has five during their respective streaks. Philadelphia center Danny Briere has seven points in his last four games and defenseman Kimmo Timonen has six points in the last three games. Briere and Timonen each had four points in Thursday's loss. … For Carolina, Jeff Skinner had four points in two games before being held off the scoresheet Friday night. He leads the Hurricanes with 10 points in 10 games.
Stat Pack: Bryzgalov was 3-0-1 with a 2.01 goals-against average and .927 save percentage in his first four appearances this season. He's 0-4-0 with a 5.14 GAA and .802 save percentage in his last four.
Puck Drop: "I have zero confidence in myself right now," Bryzgalov said after Thursday's loss. "If you probably throw a ball instead of a puck, I couldn't stop it. I am terrible. I will now apologize in front of the fans, in front of my teammates. I don't know what's going on. I have no answer for you guys."
|J. van Riemsdyk||11||4||3||7||-4||8||1||0|