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Notes: Wings looking to overcome Philly hex

Green available to play after coming off injured reserve

by Dana Wakiji @Dwakiji /

PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia may be known as the City of Brotherly Love but the Flyers have not been so loving to visiting teams.

The Flyers are 7-1-4 at Wells Fargo Center this season with their only regulation loss coming Oct. 19, a 4-1 defeat at the hands of the Dallas Stars.

One of the reasons for that is young goaltender Carter Hart, who is 7-5-3 with a 2.54 goals-against average and .900 save percentage in 16 games.

Hart, 21, won his first NHL game against the Red Wings on Dec. 18, 2018.

"I got a chance to see Carter play in junior, too," Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. "He's a really good goalie. He's calm, he's got a real calm demeanor about him. He knows how to fill the net well. He's athletic. His first game was a good first game for him because we didn't make it very hard on him.

"We gotta make sure we drive the middle ice, we gotta make sure we stop in front of the net. We gotta make sure we have a net presence. We haven't done a good enough job of having a net presence or a middle presence with our middle drive so those are two things that we can do to make the game way harder on Carter."

Tweet from @DetroitRedWings: Coach Blashill speaks a head of #DETvsPHI. #LGRW

Hart is 3-0-0 with a 2.65 goals-against average and .918 save percentage in three career starts against Detroit.

Another factor in the Flyers' success is their ability to win face-offs.

They currently lead the league in team face-off percentage at 54 percent with Claude Giroux (60 percent) and Sean Couturier (58.6 percent) leading the way.

"We gotta make sure our coverages are great," Blashill said. "We're going to have to have good face-off jump. I think face-offs lots of times come down to the line of scrimmage mentality where there's those 50-50 pucks and we gotta find a way to win those 50-50 pucks, then you can help your percentage. You don't want to lose face-offs clean so that's up to the centers. Then everybody else has to help with those 50-50 pucks.

"If you do lose them clean, you gotta do a heck of a job in your coverage. The cleaner you lose them, the easier it is for them to run face-off plays so make sure we muddy the waters, don't allow us to lose them clean and then win those 50-50 pucks."

Luke Glendening leads the Wings at 53.8 percent, Dylan Larkin is second at 51.59 percent and Valtteri Filppula is third at 50.16 percent.

REINFORCEMENTS HERE: Veteran defenseman Mike Green, who has missed the last four games with an upper-body injury, was taken off injured reserve and Blashill said he was available to play against the Flyers.

Adam Erne, who was ready to go last game but did not play, is also available.

Blashill said the Wings placed goaltender Jimmy Howard (lower body) on injured reserve.

Although Blashill said Jonathan Bernier was available to play, Calvin Pickard was recalled from the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins and could start against Philadelphia if Bernier is still a bit under the weather.

"Picks is a good goalie," Blashill said. "I've seen him over the years, both in his stops in the NHL and in the American League. I thought he did a real good job for us in the preseason. He's a great, great person, he's a great character guy, he's shown that he can be a good goalie in this league at different times. When he plays for us at some point here, we'll need him to play great hockey and he's certainly capable of it."

The Wings have not had much success in Philadelphia.

Their only victory since the 1997 Stanley Cup Finals came on Nov. 8, 2016, a 3-2 shootout win. They are 1-14-2 since 1997.

The Wings are in the midst of a seven-game winless skid (0-5-2) and had a difficult night Wednesday, losing 6-0 to the Toronto Maple Leafs at home.

"Today is a new game," Blashill said. "The Toronto game's over. I said that before, what's happened there's nothing we can do about it except learn from it. So we have to learn, we have to get better. The biggest thing is we gotta come out here and play a good Philly team, we gotta find a way to play great. We'll feel way better about ourselves if we come into the locker room with a win than if we come in after a loss. Let's go find a way to win a hockey game tonight, play the right way, get our team built back to playing the way we were playing previous."

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