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Struggling Flyers host Hurricanes

by Adam Kimelman

HURRICANES (3-3-0) AT FLYERS (2-6-0)

TV: FS-Carolinas, CSN-Philadelphia

Season series: This is the first of three meetings between the teams this season. The Flyers won three of their four meetings last season.

Big story: Can the Hurricanes continue their hot play? Or will a return home help the Flyers snap a three-game losing streak?

Team Scope:

Hurricanes: Dan Ellis has come a long way from the goaltender who was sitting home, wondering if he ever would find his way back to the NHL. Playing his third game of the season Friday, he stopped 33 shots in a 1-0 win against the Ottawa Senators, his first NHL shutout since Nov. 9, 2010.

Ellis played just 10 games last season due to a serious groin injury and signed with the Charlotte Checkers, the Hurricanes' American Hockey League affiliate, during the lockout. He performed well enough there to earn an invitation to Carolina's training camp when the season started, and has done a more than admirable job backing up Cam Ward, winning both his starts and allowing just two goals on 87 shots.

"Any time you take the long route as opposed to the short one, you learn to appreciate where you're at and learn to be a bit more grateful," Ellis told

Flyers: Coming off two days of practice and watching the Washington Capitals play Thursday, the Flyers felt they would be able to take advantage of a tired team when they arrived in Washington on Friday and ride a strong start to a much-needed win.

Instead, 14 minutes into the first period the Capitals were outshooting the Flyers 10-2, and while both teams finished with 11 shots and no goals, the tone of the game was set as Philadelphia went on to lose 3-2.

“When you play a hockey team that played the night before, gets in late, you need to get a jump on them early," forward Brayden Schenn told "Our start wasn’t good enough, our third period wasn't good enough and the team should be worn down after six periods and … obviously, it was not good enough."

Then Washington went on to score two in the third while the Flyers could manage just one goal on six shots.

"They had a really strong third period, and we didn't have enough jump right from the get-go," Schenn said.

Who's hot: Hurricanes captain Eric Staal scored the game's only goal in the Hurricanes' 1-0 win Friday. He extended his point-scoring streak to four games in the process.

Injury report: The Hurricanes are a healthy team. … The Flyers could be without forward Wayne Simmonds, who sustained what GM Paul Holmgren called "a head injury and a little bit of a whiplash" when he was elbowed in the face during Friday's game. Also missing for the Flyers are forward Scott Hartnell (foot) and defenseman Andrej Meszaros (shoulder).

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