Flyers vs. Hurricanes – 1 p.m., CSN
Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia
The Flyers’ four-game homestand will come to a close when they host the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday afternoon in the second of three meetings between these two clubs this season.
Offensive struggles have plagued the Flyers in the early going. They have scored just 25 total goals and have two or fewer markers in nine of 11 contests this season.
Although the Flyers haven’t had success finding the back of the net, they have been dominant against the Hurricanes over the past few seasons and will look to continue that trend on Saturday.
Flyers: 4-6-1 (Fifth in Atlantic Division, 13th in Eastern Conference)
Hurricanes: 5-4-0 (Second in Southeast Division, eighth in Eastern Conference)
The Flyers used three power-play tallies to take down the Hurricanes in a 5-3 victory last Saturday. Claude Giroux and Danny Briere each had a goal and an assist to help the orange and black end a three-game losing skid. Netminder Ilya Bryzgalov turned aside a season-high 39 shots.
The Flyers have gone 19-2-3 in their last 24 meetings against Carolina, including a 9-1-2 record at the Wells Fargo Center.
Matt Read and Jakub Voracek each scored for the Flyers, but that wasn’t enough in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Florida Panthers on Thursday night. Florida’s Jonathon Huberdeau and Peter Mueller both beat Bryzgalov in the shootout, while Jose Theordore turned aside attempts from Read and Giroux to help the Panthers snap the Flyers’ three-game home winning streak.
Cam Ward made 45 saves and Jay Harrison scored in overtime to lead the Hurricanes to a 3-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Thursday. Carolina, which has won five of its last seven games, also received goals from Chad LaRose and Alexander Semin in regulation.
Keep an eye on ...
Eric Staal has points in seven straight games, including a goal and an assist in last Saturday’s loss to the Flyers. The Hurricanes’ captain has seven goals, four assists and is a team-high plus-7 through nine games this season.
Eric’s younger brother, Jordan, who was acquired by the Hurricanes in a trade this past offseason from the Pittsburgh Penguins, is off to solid start in Carolina. He has one goal, eight assists and 25 shots on goal in nine games.
Giroux has taken an NHL-high 272 faceoffs so far this season and has won 55.9 percent of those draws. The Flyers’ captain is second on the team in scoring with seven points (three goals, four assists).
When scored on first, the Flyers are 0-4-1 this season. The New Jersey Devils and the Calgary Flames (both 0-1-2) are the only other teams that are winless after allowing the first goal.
Did you know?
The Flyers are just 3 for 34 (8.8 percent) on the power play in their seven losses, compared to 6 for 15 (40 percent) on the man-advantage in their four wins.
Read (four goals, four assists) is leading the Flyers in scoring this season with eight points. The only clubs with a lower team point leader than the Flyers are the Los Angeles Kings -- Dustin Brown, Kyle Clifford, Simon Gagne, Anze Kopitar, Mike Richards and Justin Williams each have five -- and the Nashville Predators -- Martin Erat and Colin Wilson each have seven.
Flyers: Wayne Simmonds, who has missed the last three games with a concussion, took full practice on Friday and said he feels “ready to play.” Simmonds has two goals and three assists in eight games this season.
Scott Hartnell is still on the mend from a broken left foot. He had the cast removed on Thursday and could start skating next week, according to general manager Paul Holmgren.
Andrej Meszaros (left shoulder) is expected to be out for at least another two weeks.
Hurricanes: Tuomo Ruutu had hip surgery before the NHL lockout ended and is expected to miss the entire regular season.
The Flyers will begin a season-long, six-game road trip against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday at 7 p.m. They will return home on Feb. 21 for a 7 p.m. matchup with the Panthers.
Carolina will continue its six-game road trip with a 7 p.m. contest against the New York Islanders on Monday night.
What do you think the Flyers need to do to turn things around on offense?