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Flyers back home for date with Hurricanes

by Mike G. Morreale
HURRICANES (7-11-3) at FLYERS (11-5-3)
Last 10:
Carolina 3-7-0; Philadelphia 6-2-2
Season series: This is the third of four meetings and second at Wells Fargo Center. The Flyers have won the previous two encounters, 5-1 in Philadelphia on Oct. 29, and 5-3 in Raleigh on Nov. 14. In the most recent contest, Claude Giroux scored a pair of goals and Sergei Bobrovsky needed just 17 saves to earn the victory. Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward had 13 saves on 17 shots before being pulled in favor of Brian Boucher.
Big story: The struggles of Carolina captain Eric Staal and job security of Hurricanes head coach Paul Maurice have dominated the headlines in Raleigh in recent weeks. Maurice has been line-shuffling in an attempt to right the ship, but the club just cannot get untracked. After suffering consecutive shutouts, the Canes rebounded with a 3-2 victory over the Maple Leafs on Sunday.
Team Scope:
Hurricanes: The Hurricanes are playing their third game in four days. Jeff Skinner finished with a goal and an assist, and Staal chipped in with a pair of assists to lead the Hurricanes past the Leafs for only their second win in nine games. Ward, who had lost five of his previous six starts, made 22 saves in the triumph. Rookie defenseman Justin Faulk notched his first NHL point with an assist on Jussi Jokinen's power-play goal in the second period. Faulk also earned 21:41 of playing time.
Flyers: Philadelphia dropped a 6-4 decision to the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre on Saturday -- its first loss in regulation since the Jets' 9-8 victory at the Wells Fargo Center on Oct. 27. The Flyers had been 6-0-2 since the NHL's highest-scoring game in 15 years. The Jets opened a 5-1 lead before the Flyers pulled within 5-4 on Matt Read's second of the game. Giroux had 3 assists, marking the fourth time this season he had three points or more in a game. Chris Pronger had 2 assists and is now two points shy of 700 for his career and Scott Hartnell had a pair of goals including his 100th as a Flyer. Bobrovsky lost for the first time in regulation in four starts (2-1-1) this season, stopping 34 shots in defeat. Ilya Bryzgalov is 2-3-1 with a 3.07 goals-against average and one shutout in six games against the Hurricanes.
Who's hot: Read, the Flyers' third-line left wing, scored the game-winning goal with 18.8 seconds left in a 2-1 win over Phoenix on Thursday, and has 5 goals, 6 points and a plus-3 rating in his last four games. His 5 goals in four games is the best stretch for a Flyers rookie since Mikael Renberg scored five in three games from Feb. 15-18, 1994.
Injury report: For the Flyers, forwards Jaromir Jagr (undisclosed) and Andreas Nodl (left knee) are day-to-day, Brayden Schenn (left foot) is doubtful and defenseman Erik Gustafsson (wrist surgery) will miss the next five weeks. … Carolina defenseman Joni Pitkanen (lower body) has missed the last four games and is listed day-to-day.
Stat pack: Philadelphia right wing Zac Rinaldo leads the League with 75 penalty minutes through 15 games. Ottawa forward Zenon Konopka is second with 73 PIM. … Hurricanes forwards Brandon Sutter and Patrick Dwyer are tied for the NHL lead with two shorthanded goals apiece.
Puck drop: Jokinen's power-play goal 7:05 into the second period of Sunday's victory over the Maple Leafs snapped an 0-for-23 slump for Carolina with the man advantage.

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