Flyers at Hurricanes
1 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet
The Flyers (31-29-17) will mercifully finish the road portion of their schedule when they take on the Carolina Hurricanes (28-38-11) at PNC Arena Saturday afternoon.
Here’s what you need to know before puck drop:
1. Road kill
Take it away, Mark Streit.
“The road hasn’t been good this year and it’s a big part of why we’re out of the playoff race,” the veteran defenseman said Friday (see story). “[Saturday], we play a team that plays good at home. We just want to finish on a positive note. It’s a good test for us.”
The road has been an absolute nightmare for the Flyers all season. They’ve scored just 92 goals away from the Wells Fargo Center and have allowed 129 for a pitiful minus-37 differential.
The Flyers are among four teams that have failed to record more than 10 road wins in 2014-15. Their miserable road record (10-20-10) is a major reason why they were eliminated from postseason contention a week ago.
And if the Flyers fall to the Hurricanes, they will finish with their fewest wins away from Philadelphia in a non-shortened season since the 1991-92 campaign (10-26-4), according to STATS. Yikes.
2. Eye of the storm
If we were to use the Saffir–Simpson hurricane scale, this Carolina club would probably peak as a Category 2 on a good day.
Simply put, the Hurricanes have no offense. They average just 2.25 goals per game. Only the New Jersey Devils, Arizona Coyotes and Buffalo Sabres score less.
Perhaps the team’s biggest crutch is its play at even strength. The Hurricanes rank 27th in the NHL in 5-on-5 scoring (0.75).
Strangely, Carolina is solid on both the power play and penalty kill. They have the league’s 10th-best PP unit and are tied with the Pittsburgh Penguins for second in the NHL in PK effectiveness at 85.3 percent.
The Hurricanes also have the Flyers’ number. They’ve taken two of the first three matchups between the two clubs this season and have won the last four meetings in Raleigh.
The Flyers have a long list of players who will miss the final five games of the season.
Defensemen Andrew MacDonald (hand), Luke Schenn (abdomen) and Radko Gudas (knee) and forwards R.J. Umberger (hip/abdomen) and Wayne Simmonds (leg) are all out.
For the Hurricanes, forward Riley Nash and defenseman Jack Hillen are sidelined with concussions. Defenseman Rasmus Rissanen will not play because of a sprained MCL.
4. Keep an eye on …
Flyers: After scoring twice in the Flyers’ 4-1 win over the Penguins, forward Brayden Schenn is just one goal or assist away from setting a new career high in points. The 23-year-old tallied 20 markers last season, but hasn’t made the most of increase in ice time in 2014-15. He spent a large chunk of games skating on the team’s top line with Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek but enters Saturday with just 16 goals in 77 games. With five games remaining, it’s not outrageous to think he can reach the 20-goal mark for a second straight season. Anything is possible. But the Flyers will certainly be looking for more from the 6-foot-1, 190-pounder moving forward.
Hurricanes: Carolina hasn’t supplied many goals as of late, but that hasn’t stopped rookie winger Chris Terry from finding his way onto the scoresheet. The 25-year-old has potted two goals and assisted two more during his current four-game point streak. Terry is one of a handful of Hurricanes players who is playing for a job next season. He’s proved he can put up solid numbers in the AHL — 299 points in 375 games — but hasn’t yet shown the consistency needed to play every day in the NHL. The 5-foot-10, 195-pounder has good offensive instincts, and could be a solid depth forward on a rebuilding Hurricanes team. He wears No. 25.
5. This and that
• The Flyers have lost six of their last seven matchups against the Hurricanes.
• Carolina has been outscored, 12-4, during its current three-game losing streak.
• Ray Emery is 5-0-0 with a 0.74 goals-against average and .977 save percentage and two shutouts in five career starts against the Hurricanes.
• Hurricanes captain Eric Staal has six goals and six assists in his last 11 games against the Flyers.
• Streit is four points away from becoming the first Flyers defenseman to record 50 points in a season since Chris Pronger accomplished that feat in 2009-10.