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Preview: Hurricanes at Flyers

Bryan Bickell of Carolina to play final NHL game; Robert Hagg of Philadelphia will make League debut

by Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

HURRICANES (35-31-15) at FLYERS (39-33-9)

7 p.m. ET; CSN-PH, FS-CR, NHL.TV

 

Hurricanes team scope

The Carolina Hurricanes hope to close their season on an up note after their 5-4 shootout loss against the St. Louis Blues on Saturday, their fifth straight defeat (0-4-1). "Why wouldn't you just go out in Game 82 and do it right?" coach Bill Peters said Saturday. "Why wouldn't you? Let's plan on doing that and wrap our head around the fact that everyone is going to have to be pulling on the rope. Share the workload and go out and finish properly." The game will be the last one for forward Bryan Bickell, who told NHL.com Saturday he would retire after the game Sunday. It will be Bickell's fourth NHL game since announcing he had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in November. "For me and my family [Sunday] will be the last game," he said Saturday. "I tried. But I'm not going to ever feel what I used to be. I've got a lot of friends and family coming down, so it will be special."

 

Flyers team scope

Defenseman Robert Hagg, 22, was recalled from Lehigh Valley of the American Hockey League and will make his NHL debut. In 58 AHL games he has 15 points (seven goals, eight assists) and a plus-9 rating, the best among Lehigh Valley defensemen. The improved plus/minus rating is a big sign in the maturity of Hagg's game. He was a combined minus-23 in his first two AHL seasons. He said simplifying his game has helped him succeed this season. "Not looking for a home-run play every single time," he said. "Sometimes it's just easier to put it in the glass and out, or a 5-foot pass. That's helping me in my game." The consistent growth in Hagg's game is why he's being rewarded with his first NHL game, according to coach Dave Hakstol. "From all the reports there, he's had a really solid year right from start to finish," Hakstol said, "and continually improved his game but really stayed to the foundation of the strength of who he is as a player, and I don't think there's been much wavering from that. He's done it from Day One down there and he's been excellent." With Hagg in the lineup, defensemen Brandon Manning will be a healthy scratch.

 

Hurricanes projected lineup

Sebastian Aho -- Jordan Staal -- Teuvo Teravainen

Joakim Nordstrom -- Victor Rask -- Sergey Tolchinsky

Jeff Skinner -- Elias Lindholm -- Lee Stempniak

Bryan Bickell -- Derek Ryan -- Brock McGinn

Jaccob Slavin -- Brett Pesce

Noah Hanifin -- Justin Faulk

Klas Dahlbeck -- Matt Tennyson

Eddie Lack

Cam Ward

Scratched: None

Injured: Jay McClement (lower body), Ryan Murphy (lower body)

 

Flyers projected lineup

Travis Konecny -- Claude Giroux -- Jakub Voracek

Jordan Weal -- Valtteri Filppula -- Wayne Simmonds

Dale Weise -- Sean Couturier -- Brayden Schenn

Nick Cousins -- Mike Vecchione -- Pierre-Edouard Bellemare

Ivan Provorov -- Andrew MacDonald

Robert Hagg -- Shayne Gostisbehere

Michael Del Zotto -- Nick Schultz

Anthony Stolarz

Steve Mason

Scratched: Brandon Manning, Roman Lyubimov, Chris VandeVelde

Injured: Michael Raffl (lower body), Matt Read (upper body), Michal Neuvirth (upper body), Radko Gudas (upper body)

 

Status report

The Hurricanes did not hold a morning skate Sunday. … The Flyers had an optional morning skate after a 4-2 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday. VandeVelde will miss his first game of the season. Cousins had been out the past 12 games with an upper-body injury. 

 

Who's hot

Skinner has six goals in his past eight games and 20 points (16 goals, four assists) in his past 16 games. … Schenn has 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in his past 14 games. … Gostisbehere has seven points (one goal, six assists) in his past seven games. 

 

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