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Gameday: Hurricanes at Flyers

by Michael Smith / Carolina Hurricanes
Michael Smith

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PHILADELPHIA – It’s a Saturday matinee in the City of Brotherly Love!

This is the gameday hub, where you can find all the latest news and information related to tonight’s game in one handy location. Make this a regular stop throughout the day, as we update it with notes, photos and more as the day rolls on.

With the 1 p.m. start time at Wells Fargo Center, neither team will hold a morning skate, but we’ll be sure to pass along anything and everything pertinent to this afternoon’s game leading up to puck drop.

Last updated: 12:15 p.m.



START TIMES, RANKED
12:15 p.m.

This has been something I’ve noodled on for a while, so with a 1:00 p.m. faceoff approaching today, what better moment to rank start times?

A few notes about the rankings: One, these are in local time because, obviously, 10:30 p.m. EST starts are no good. Two, these are from a writer/web producer’s perspective, and based on who I’ve talked to, opinions can vary wildly depending on roles (broadcaster, player, etc.).

So, without further ado, (common) NHL game start times ranked.

1. 1:00 p.m.
The pinnacle of start times. Wake up, get to the rink and get after it. The game is over by 3:30 p.m., and you’ve got the evening in front of you.

2. 7:00 p.m.
The old tried and true. Don’t mess with what works. It’s a routine, and that’s why it ranks so high. Otherwise, it would probably drop a spot or two.

3. 3:00 p.m.
Another afternoon start time. Not as good as 1 p.m., but the game is still over by dinner time.

4. 5:00 p.m.
The only reason this is No. 4 and not No. 3 is because of the awkward press meal time of 3 p.m. It’s just a bit of a strange time altogether – not quite an afternoon game, and not a standard 7 p.m. game. Just caught right in the middle.

5. 8:00 p.m.
It should be noted that this is a distant No. 5. It’s no good. Don’t do it.

6. 7:30 p.m.
But if there’s anything worse than an 8 p.m. start, it’s a 7:30 p.m. start, even if it begins and ends 30 minutes earlier. Games should start on the hour. It makes everything easier for us all.

Agree? Disagree? Let’s hear your thoughts.



KHUDOBIN TO START, TLUSTY STILL QUESTIONABLE
11:15 a.m.

Anton Khudobin will get the start in net today for the Hurricanes, head coach Bill Peters said. Khudobin's last start came on Dec. 4 against Washington; he made 26 saves on 28 shots in a 2-1 loss. In five career appearances versus Philadelphia, Khudobin is 4-1-0 with a 2.54 goals-against average.

Jiri Tlusty is a game-time decision. He'll take warm-ups, and his status for the game will be determined afterward. If he cannot play, the Hurricanes will dress 11 forwards and seven defensemen.



CANES PROJECTED LINEUP
12:00 a.m.

As of Friday afternoon, the Hurricanes’ lineup for Saturday against Philadelphia had yet to be finalized due to an injury to Jiri Tlusty, who did not practice with the team. According to head coach Bill Peters, Tlusty’s status is going to affect the personnel that dress.

“We’ll find out how he is in the morning,” Peters said. “There might be some changes due to the injury.”

If Tlusty is able to play, expect to see the same forward lines as utilized in Tampa Bay on Thursday night. As a refresher:

HURRICANES at FLYERS
Hurricanes at Flyers
WELLS FARGO CENTER | 1 p.m.
TV: FOX SPORTS CAROLINAS | RADIO: 99.9 FM
ARTICLES
RECAP: TB 2, CAR 1
INFOGRAPHIC: TB 2, CAR 1
VIDEOS
ROAD REPORT: DEC. 12
CAM WARD ROBS FILPPULA
GAMEDAY LINKS
COOL BARS: WILMINGTON
COOL BARS RAFFLE ITEMS
IN-GAME TWITTER
FIRST GOAL CONTEST
Skinner-E. Staal-Tlusty
Gerbe-Nash-Lindholm
Terry-Rask-Boychuk
Malone-McClement-Dwyer

If Tlusty is unable to dress, the Hurricanes will play with 11 forwards and seven defensemen, Peters said.

A decision on the starting goaltender had also not been made as of Friday afternoon with Peters wanting to sit down with goaltending coach David Marcoux to discuss a plan for the next six games leading up to the Christmas break.



CANES AIM TO SNAP FUNK
12:00 a.m.

Since defeating the Nashville Predators 2-1 in the first game of December, the final month of the 2014 calendar year has gone in the opposite direction with the Carolina Hurricanes having dropped four straight games, three of which by just a goal’s difference.

Thursday night’s 2-1 defeat in Tampa Bay seemed to be the most cosmically injustice of them all with two ugly bounces going against the Canes, the second coming with just 30 seconds remaining in regulation – the fine line between at least a point and another loss.

“We’ve got to continue to work hard because as soon as you take your foot off the gas in the work ethic department, you have no chance,” head coach Bill Peters said after practice on Friday. “It would have been nice last night to get that at least to overtime, if not get it done in regulation. It didn’t happen, and we know we have to continue to peck away and work hard. As we work hard, we’ll start to get some breaks.”

The Hurricanes have tallied just a goal in each of their last four games, a funk they’d like to snap out of against the Philadelphia Flyers in a Saturday afternoon faceoff. Though the Flyers are under .500 (10-13-5, 25 points), they hold a 7-4-2 record at Wells Fargo Center.

“They’re playing better. They’re a hard-working team with three good sets of D,” Peters said. “They’ve got good players and a good team that’s playing well. They’re desperate, and I expect a hard-fought game tomorrow.”

Last season, the Hurricanes swept the season series between the two divisional opponents, winning four one-goal games.

“We’d like some finish,” Peters said simply, pointing to the team’s 0-for-12 power play in this recent scoring drought.

Cam Ward has been the Hurricanes’ most valuable player in the team’s first 28 games. He made 25 saves on Thursday against Tampa Bay, including one on Valtteri Filppula that belongs in the save-of-the-year conversation.

“Especially early, I thought he did a real good job of keeping us in it and giving us a chance," Peters said after the game. “It would have been nice to get one for him coming down the stretch."

Justin Faulk has been another bright spot for the Hurricanes, and his offensive contributions have been especially welcome. Faulk scored a goal in his second consecutive game in Tampa Bay on Thursday, and the 22-year-old defenseman ranks 16th among NHL blueliners with 17 points (5g, 12a).

NOTES: The Hurricanes are 3-6-2 in their last 11 games in Philadelphia. … Jeff Skinner remains two points shy of 200 in his career.



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