Flyers-Hurricanes Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated November 14, 2011
The Philadelphia Flyers dominate the Carolina Hurricanes, and Scott Hartnell, Jaromir Jagr and Claude Giroux have already made sure that's continued into 2011-12. They'll get a pair of opportunities to extend that success over the next two Mondays. The high-scoring trio will be looking to shake out of a brief offensive funk when the Flyers visit the Hurricanes on Monday night. Philadelphia (9-4-3) is 15-1-2 in its last 18 meetings with Carolina (6-8-3), including a 7-1-0 record in Raleigh. The Flyers' dominance in the series continued with a 5-1 home victory Oct. 29, as Giroux scored a goal and assisted on three others, while Hartnell had three points to go with Jagr's two goals. Flyers coach Peter Laviolette improved to 6-1-0 in reunions with the Hurricanes, the team he led to the 2006 Stanley Cup. These clubs will meet again next Monday in Philadelphia. Giroux has two goals and six assists in his last five games against Carolina, and he hopes the series can help snap him out of a short slump. The Flyers' leader with nine goals and 19 points has none in the last two games. Jagr's six goals and 15 points are second to Giroux, but he doesn't have a point in the last two, either. The veteran right wing had six goals and five assists during a seven-game scoring streak before the drought. Hartnell has just one of his 13 points in his last four games, but the left wing has 11 goals and 12 assists in 22 career games against Carolina. Despite a lack of contributions from its offensive leaders, Philadelphia still beat Florida 3-2 on Sunday after opening this three-game trip with Wednesday's 2-1 overtime defeat to Tampa Bay. "I thought our guys really competed well, skated well," Laviolette said Sunday. "I thought our guys responded well and played a hard-fought game." Philadelphia is 5-1-1 on the road, and Ilya Bryzgalov may get another chance to play a role in that success. He made 31 saves Sunday to improve to 4-1-1 with a 1.99 goals-against average away from home. Bryzgalov had 24 stops against the Hurricanes last month. Carolina is looking to build on its best offensive performance of the season after beating Eastern Conference-leading Pittsburgh 5-3 on Saturday to end a four-game losing streak. Jeff Skinner had a big part in the offensive outburst, contributing a goal and two assists after failing to get a point in the previous two contests. Last season's Calder Trophy winner leads the Hurricanes with seven goals and 10 assists. He's netted three goals and set up four others in the past four home games. Skinner, however, has just one goal and one assist in five career meetings with the Flyers. Eric Staal had a goal and an assist Saturday, snapping a 10-game goal drought that included seven without a point. The Carolina captain still posted a minus-1 rating for the game and is last in the NHL at minus-17. "He's worked extremely hard," goaltender Cam Ward said. "It's just a matter of time. He's too good." Staal has no goals, three assists and a minus-3 rating in his past seven home games against Philadelphia.
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