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Gameday: Hurricanes at Flyers

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes /

PHILADELPHIA - Road trippin'.

This is the gameday hub, where you can find all the latest news and information related to tonight's Metropolitan Division showdown between the Carolina Hurricanes and Philadelphia Flyers in one handy location. Make this a regular stop throughout the day, as we update it with notes, photos and more as puck drop draws near.

In the second half of a back-to-back with travel in an incredibly busy month, the Hurricanes will not hold a morning skate. Still, you'll find all your gameday-centric content right here.

Last updated: 7:15 p.m.

7:15 p.m.

Mike Maniscalco details tonight's Blue Cross and Blue Shield three Tools to Victory.

1. Make Them Play D

Jakob Voracek, Wayne Simmonds and Claude Giroux like to score goals. They don't like playing defense. These are dangerous players that provide the bulk of Philly's points, but on the season they are a combined minus-63. Make them play in their own end and positive results for the Canes should follow.

2. Stay Out of the Box

Don't take penalties for obvious reasons, but don't turn this into a special teams battle, especially coming off a rugged game last night against Nashville. Roll four lines and stay fresh for 60 minutes.

3. Live in Front of the Net

Jordan Staal and Jeff Skinner each scored goals against Nashville by getting in front of the goalie. Philly has a tough time clearing out the front, so buy some real estate there and make life tough on the defense and netminder.

7:00 p.m.

Cam Ward will get the start in net for the Hurricanes in the second half of this back-to-back. Otherwise, the Canes will roll with the lineup that got them two points last night against Nashville.

Nordstrom-Brown-Di Giuseppe



The puck drops at Wells Fargo Center in 30 minutes!

Tweet from @NHLCanes: On the ice to start a four-game #Redvolution road trip. #CARvsPHI

2:15 p.m.

I had a chance to catch up with Canes head coach Bill Peters around lunch today before the team held its power play meeting. Peters confirmed there would be no changes to his group of 18 skaters but he couldn't yet commit to a starting goaltender. Eddie Lack has made 57 saves on 60 shots in his last two games, both victories for the Canes.

I noted last night that defenseman Klas Dahlbeck has been playing a physical game as of late, cleaning up around the crease at and after the whistle. This has not gone unnoticed by the head coach, who said, "I don't want to take bite out of our lineup."

Valentin Zykov, who is nursing an upper-body injury, is on this trip with the Hurricanes but will not play tonight. Speaking of returning from injury, Phil Di Giuseppe drew back into the lineup last night. Look for that fourth line of Joakim Nordstrom, Patrick Brown and Di Giuseppe to see some added minutes tonight in a back-to-back situation.

6:00 a.m.

Over the next week, the Carolina Hurricanes will traverse the East Coast, but not in a conventional fashion.

They first go north to Philadelphia to face off with the Flyers in the latter half of a back-to-back situation before continuing south to Florida, north again to Montreal and south again to New Jersey - and then returning home.

Philadelphia was sitting idle on Saturday night, while the Hurricanes scored their second consecutive win over a Central Division squad in playoff position. The Canes bested the Nashville Predators, 4-2, led by Jeff Skinner's pair of goals and Eddie Lack's 27 saves.

"I thought we were dangerous," head coach Bill Peters said. "I thought we had some really good looks. I liked the way we managed the puck. I thought we played very well. We got contributions from all four lines and started the game on time. … I thought the guys were ready to play."

Skinner's second, a skillful display of hands and feet and body position to backhand in a rebound at the top of the blue paint, proved to be the game-winning goal. Skinner now has tallied eight goals and six assists in 11 career games against the Predators.

"He's an offensive guy," Peters said. "When he competes and plays the game right, he gets rewarded."

With the win, the Hurricanes improved to 4-0-2 in their last six games, five of which were played at PNC Arena, where the team has won 21 of 35 games this season. The challenge now is to replicate that success on the road, where the Canes have won just nine of 34 games.

"We've got to put a couple together in a row on the road, and it's been a little harder for us there," Lack said. "It's going to be a fun, challenging week coming up."

"Real happy with the way we're playing," Peters said. "Now we've got to take this on the road and continue to find out about ourselves."

The Flyers were last in action on Wednesday and Thursday, as they shut out the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-0 at home before losing 6-2 in New Jersey the next night. The Canes' win on Saturday night vaulted them over the Flyers by virtue of points percentage; Carolina has 72 points in 69 games (30-27-12), while Philadelphia has 72 points in 70 games (32-30-8).

CANESPR NOTES: Sebastian Aho has seen success against the Flyers in his extremely young career. He's got six points (3g, 3a) in three games against Philadelphia this season. … Elias Lindholm scored an empty-net goal in the final minute of Saturday's win over Nashville. He's now tallied points (2g, 4a) in each of his last six games.




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