Flyers-Hurricanes Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated November 05, 2013
The Carolina Hurricanes have scored only five goals during a five-game losing streak. They'll try to end the skid Tuesday night at home against a Philadelphia Flyers team that can surely relate to offensive struggles. The Hurricanes (4-7-3) and Flyers (4-9-0) are two of six NHL teams averaging under 2.00 goals per game. After Saturday's 5-1 road loss to the New York Rangers, the Hurricanes are scoring 1.93 per game, which is tied for 25th in the league. "As a player, all of sudden you don't score and you want to change your stick and the length of your stick and the curve, and then you're right back to the stick you started with before the scoring slump," Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller told the team's official website. "I think everyone gets into that trap sometimes. I think we have to look at what works well for us when we're at our best. It's just a matter of no one trying to do any extra. Just going out and doing everything really well and doing your job." The Hurricanes have also allowed 18 goals in the five losses. Goaltending remains an issue for Muller, who has lost two netminders to injured reserve. Anton Khudobin has been on IR since Oct. 13 with a lower-body injury, while Cam Ward has been out with a lower-body injury since exiting the streak-starting 3-1 loss at Minnesota on Oct. 24. Replacement Justin Peters took that loss and the four that followed. "We've been chasing the game lately, and we're not getting the timely saves," Muller said. The Hurricanes beat the Flyers 2-1 on Oct. 6 in Carolina after going 0-2-1 against them last season. They enter play Tuesday in fifth place in the Metropolitan Division with 11 points, while the Flyers are sitting in last with eight. After a 5-2 win at the New York Islanders on Oct. 26, the offensive-zone struggles have returned for the Flyers. They have three goals in their last three games, but they snapped a two-game skid with a 1-0 win at New Jersey on Saturday. Brayden Schenn scored at 14:29 of the first period, and the Flyers made it stand up while allowing the Devils just 14 shots. Ray Emery earned the shutout a night after the Flyers lost 7-0 at home to Washington, which managed the scoring barrage without an injured Alex Ovechkin. "I knew the guys would be ready to go," Flyers coach Craig Berube said. "They were obviously very frustrated and upset at the game against Washington. I knew that the focus was there and (they) played a strong game." Philly has scored a league-low 21 goals and is second to last with a 1.62 average. Center Vincent Lecavalier has four goals in his last three games, but he missed Saturday's contest with a facial laceration. Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said Lecavalier would return Tuesday. His five goals lead the team and his seven points are tied with Schenn for the lead. Flyers forwards Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek, who combined for 35 goals and 94 points in 48 games last season, have accounted for one goal and 10 points through 13 games. Philadelphia's No. 1 goalie Steve Mason is 5-1 in his career against Carolina with a 1.84 goals-against average and .941 save percentage.
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