Flyers-Hurricanes: 5 things you need to know

Flyers-Hurricanes: 5 things you need to know

Are the Flyers spending too much time in box?

January 22, 2014, 9:00 am
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Let's try this again.

The Flyers (25-19-6) and Carolina Hurricanes (20-19-9) were supposed to face off on Tuesday, but a massive snowstorm that hit Philadelphia forced the NHL to move the game to Wednesday evening (see story).

Tickets issued for Tuesday's game will be honored on Wednesday.

Puck drop is set for 6 p.m. (TCN) at the Wells Fargo Center.

Here are five things you need to know for the game:

1. Stay out of the box
Although the Flyers came away with one point against the  Islanders on Monday afternoon, there’s one major reason why they failed to claim two: Penalties.

On the scoresheet, the Flyers -- who are the most-penalized team in the NHL -- surrendered two power-play markers to the Isles, but it was essentially three. New York’s second goal in its 4-3 shootout win came right after Adam Hall’s hooking call expired and was for all intents and purposes a PP tally.

A familiar culprit was in the box for the Isles’ two credited goals on the man advantage. Steve Downie took a roughing penalty in the first period and John Tavares cashed in. Then in the third, Downie was whistled for a lazy holding minor after his entire line was caught on the ice completely gassed. Kyle Okposo made the Flyers pay for that infraction, tying the game at 3-3 and forcing extra play.

Bottom line: The Flyers were their own worst enemy. There’s no ifs, ands or buts about it. They’ve been undisciplined for most of the season, and it finally came back to bite them.

“It’s something we’ve struggled with lately, letting teams get back in the game or get momentum in a game,” Matt Read said (see story). “It’s a matter of not moving our feet and taking stupid penalties. We have to learn from this.”

2. The 'Canes?
For whatever reason, the Flyers haven’t had success against the Hurricanes this season.

Carolina is coming off back-to-back wins over the Orange and Black -- both 2-1 home victories, on Oct. 6 and Nov. 5.

The last time the Hurricanes beat the Flyers twice in a row was in 2000. What about three straight? Actually, the franchise hasn’t ripped off three consecutive victories over the Flyers since a six-game winning streak as the Hartford Whalers from Dec. 22 to April 15, 1992.

But the Flyers have one thing going for them in this contest: Home-ice advantage. The Flyers have won eight of their last nine meetings with Carolina at the Wells Fargo Center.

Earning a victory in South Philadelphia will be no easy task for the Hurricanes. The Flyers are 11-1-1 at home since Nov. 8 and will be looking to bounce back from a frustrating letdown on the road.

3. Wayne train
How good has Wayne Simmonds been?

The Flyers’ forward registered his team-leading 17th goal Monday and is putting together another impressive streak. He has at least one point in each of his last four games and has two goals and five assists over that span.

Simmonds has been on a tear since he scored in the Flyers’ 5-2 win over the Capitals on Dec. 17. He’s simply taken over offensively and has climbed to second on the team in scoring (37 points), trailing only Claude Giroux (44 points).

Over his last 17 games, the 25-year-old has found the back of the net 12 times and has 22 points.

There’s no arguing that Steve Mason was the Flyers’ most valuable player in the early going, but if Simmonds keeps up his current level of play, he could find himself earning the Bobby Clarke Trophy at the end of the season.

4. Injuries
Forward Zac Rinaldo remains sidelined with a high left ankle sprain.

Defenseman Marc-Andre Bourdon (post-concussion syndrome) was activated from the injured/non-roster list and loaned to the Adirondack Phantoms on Monday (see story).

For the Hurricanes, goalie Cam Ward and forward Drayson Bowman are day to day with lower-body injuries. Defenseman and ex-Flyer Joni Pitkanen (left heel surgery) is on injured reserve and will miss the entire season.

5. This and that
• The Flyers have given up 23 goals over their last six games.

• The Hurricanes are 3-14-4 when trailing after two periods.

• Read has three goals and one assist in his last four games. He is also a point-per-game player vs. Carolina in his career.

• Jeff Skinner has three goals and four assists in his last six games against the Flyers.

• Mason is 0-1-1 with a 1.98 goals-against average and .944 save percentage against Carolina this year.

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