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Preview: Flyers at Hurricanes

Carolina tries to end five-game losing streak; Philadelphia has won three in a row

by Kurt Dusterberg / Correspondent

FLYERS (25-19-6) at HURRICANES (21-20-7)

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


Flyers team scope

Goaltender Steve Mason will start for the Philadelphia Flyers, who take a three-game winning streak into the game at PNC Arena. The Flyers are hoping the five-day NHL All-Star break will have a positive effect, just as a recent five-day break (Jan. 16-20) helped stop a 3-9-3 slide. "It probably came at a great time for us, just mentally to get away from things," coach Dave Hakstol said. "Coming back from that, guys came back refreshed. I think they've done a good job with it. We've had a couple good practices coming off the break. Hopefully that sets us up again tonight to play well, as it did last time." Wayne Simmonds, the MVP of the 2017 Honda NHL All-Star Game on Sunday, is ready to turn his attention to a busy stretch run that includes a five-game homestand after facing the Hurricanes. "It was a good experience, it was awesome," Simmonds said about the weekend. "I'm happy to be back with my boys though. We're comfortable with the position we're in. We hold all the cards in our hands. For us, we've got to make sure we play the way we were playing before we got the break and make sure we're competing every single shift."


Hurricanes team scope

Goaltender Cam Ward will start for the Carolina Hurricanes, who will try to stop a five-game losing streak (0-5-0). "The [All-Star] break came at a good time for us," coach Bill Peters said. "We needed the break, and now we will see how we respond to it." Peters had a long talk with forward Jeff Skinner during the morning skate and said afterwards that they discussed the power play. Skinner, who did not have a shot on goal for the first time this season in a 3-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday, played down the conversation. "Everyone sort of knows where we're at, what we have left," he said. "There are going to be some big games coming down the stretch, starting with tonight." The top three lines have been juggled in an effort to jumpstart an offense that has scored five goals during the losing streak. "We're coming back with a little chip on our shoulder," defenseman Brett Pesce said. "We're still in the hunt. We're definitely going to come out with a little edge."


Flyers projected lineup

Michael Raffl -- Claude Giroux -- Jakub Voracek

Travis Konecny -- Brayden Schenn -- Wayne Simmonds

Nick Cousins -- Sean Couturier -- Matt Read

Chris VandeVelde -- Pierre-Edouard Bellemare -- Roman Lyubimov

Ivan Provorov -- Andrew MacDonald

Mark Streit -- Radko Gudas

Brandon Manning -- Shayne Gostisbehere

Steve Mason

Michal Neuvirth

Scratched: Dale Weise, Nick Schultz

Injured: Michael Del Zotto (lower body)


Hurricanes projected lineup

Jeff Skinner -- Derek Ryan -- Lee Stempniak

Brock McGinn -- Victor Rask -- Teuvo Teravainen

Sebastian Aho -- Jordan Staal -- Elias Lindholm

Joakim Nordstrom -- Jay McClement -- Viktor Stalberg

Jaccob Slavin -- Brett Pesce

Ron Hainsey -- Justin Faulk

Noah Hanifin - Klas Dahlbeck

Cam Ward

Eddie Lack

Scratched: Matt Tennyson, Ryan Murphy, Ty Rattie

Injured: Bryan Bickell (illness)

Status report

Del Zotto will miss his fourth straight game but is almost ready to return. "He's getting close. He practiced full yesterday," Hakstol said. ... Lack is back with the Hurricanes after a two-game conditioning assignment with Charlotte of the American Hockey League. Lack, who was recovering from a concussion, has not started an NHL game since a 4-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Nov. 6.


Who's hot

Simmonds has goals in three straight games and four points total. Mason has allowed two goals in his past two starts and is coming off a 2-0 shutout win at the New York Rangers on Jan. 25. … Lindholm has three goals and eight assists in his past 11 games.

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