Tonight’s game is the seventh of their season-high eight-game road trip… The Flyers have gone 3-2-1 thus far, but they have dropped their last three games after winning the first three prior to the holiday break… The Flyers have gone 2-2-1 in their last five games to begin the New Year, dating back to the 2008-09 season - all five games were decided by one goal as well as eight of the last nine games to begin the calendar year dating back to the 2003-04 season… Overall, the Flyers have an impressive 26-11-6-1 (6 ties) record in the first game of the New calendar year, not including the two shortened seasons (94-95 & 12-13).
This is the second overall meeting of the year, and first of three contests in Raleigh between the Flyers and Hurricanes… After dropping all four contests to Carolina in 2013-14, the Flyers earned a 5-1 win in the first meeting of the year on Dec. 13 in which 10 Flyers recorded at least a point, including five players with multi-point efforts… The Flyers are 12-3-2 in Carolina in the last 14 seasons with two of those five losses coming just last season… Overall, the Flyers have earned at least one point in 27 of the last 31 meetings, going 22-4-5… The Flyers have also scored four or more goals in 12 of their last 21 meetings against the Canes, including seven of their last 12… Ray Emery is a perfect 5-0-0 with a 0.73 GAA and two shutouts in five career games against Carolina… Scott Laughton scored his first NHL goal against the Hurricanes .
The Hurricanes come into tonight having dropped three straight games - they have not scored more than one goal in that three-game span, but have allowed just 12 goals in regulation in their last seven games, an average of just 1.7 goals allowed in that stretch… The Flyers enter a stretch in which they will face seven straight opponents from the Eastern Conference, four of which from the Metropolitan Division… Despite going without a point in two of the last three games, Jakub Voracek continues to lead the NHL in scoring with 47 points and lead in assists with 32 helpers, while Claude Giroux is third overall in the NHL’s scoring race with 43 points and is tied for second in assists (30)… The Hurricanes are the least penalized team in the NHL, averaging 7.9 penalty minutes per-game… Carolina’s 320 takeaways this season rank fourth in the NHL .
In the last meeting with the Hurricanes, Simmonds posted a goal and an assist in the 5-1 victory… He has also recorded at least a point in three straight games against Carolina, posting three goals and five points in that stretch… In his career, Simmonds averages over a point-per-game pace with eight goals and 15 points in 14 contests… Simmonds is tied for the team lead in goals (15) and leads the team with eight goals on the power play, which is tied for third overall in the NHL… He ranks third on the Flyers in total points (25) having appeared in all 37 games… Lately, Simmonds has seven goals and 10 points in his last 13 games dating back to Dec. 3.
Staal has points in three straight games for Carolina, including a two-game goal scoring streak… The Hurricanes captain leads the squad with 21 points and is second with nine goals so far this season… Staal has recorded over 20 minutes of ice-time in six of the eight games in which he has scored a goal… In his 11th NHL season, Staal recently appeared in his 800th career game and is two goals shy of 300 in his career - he currently has 709 points in 801 games… Against the Flyers, Staal scored the only goal for Carolina in their 5-1 loss on Dec. 13 and overall has 15 goals and 30 points in 40 games against Philadelphia.