Hurricanes-Flyers Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated February 08, 2013
Aside from a win over the Carolina Hurricanes last week, the Philadelphia Flyers have mostly had a hard time scoring goals. Another matchup with Carolina could be just what they need to get on track offensively. The Flyers try to continue their recent domination of the series when they host the Hurricanes on Saturday. Philadelphia's 3.2 goals per game last season were tied for second in the NHL, but it hasn't been able to replicate that success. The Flyers (4-6-1) have 25 goals this season, among the fewest in the Eastern Conference, and have scored two or fewer in nine of 11 contests. "We continue to work at it and put pucks (on net)," coach Peter Laviolette said. "I think if you do that, control the zone, control the offensive zone and the play and attempts, I think eventually they'll start to score." Philadelphia outshot Florida 32-24 on Thursday, including 5-0 in overtime, but fell 3-2 in a shootout as its three-game home winning streak was snapped. "We need to find a way to show up, especially at home," said center Claude Giroux, who has just seven points after recording 93 in 2011-12. "We need those points right now and we're a desperate team at the start of the season." The Flyers continue to play without the injured Scott Hartnell, and the status of fellow forward Wayne Simmonds is also uncertain after he missed the last three games due to concussion symptoms. Philadelphia has to like its chances to get back in the win column with Carolina (5-4-0) coming to town. The Flyers have outscored the Hurricanes 83-47 during an 18-2-2 stretch in the series and have taken seven of the last eight home meetings. Giroux and Danny Briere both tallied a goal and an assist and Philadelphia went 3 for 3 on the power play in a 5-3 home win over Carolina last Saturday. The Hurricanes, though, have picked up steam since opening their season-high six-game trip against the Flyers. Three nights after beating Toronto 4-1, Carolina pulled out a 3-2 overtime victory over Ottawa on Thursday. Alexander Semin scored the tying goal 12:26 into the third period and Jay Harrison scored in OT. Cam Ward made 45 saves and helped hold the Senators scoreless on three chances with the man advantage. "Cam's a great goaltender and he keeps us in games," said Harrison, who added an assist. "He's a huge part of our success and we owe that to him. "The fact we were able to get back on the horse in the third period and have a few big penalty kills, score a big power-play goal and then an overtime goal demonstrated we played a pretty solid road game." Ward stopped 41 shots against the Maple Leafs and appears to be rounding into form after compiling a 4.51 goals-against average in his first four starts. "He's really stepped back into his game and we're going to need him," said captain Eric Staal, who has seven goals and four assists during Carolina's 5-2-0 stretch. Ward has gone 3-2-0 with a 1.80 GAA in six road games versus Philadelphia. He stopped 11 of 12 shots after replacing Dan Ellis early in the second period last weekend. The Flyers' Ilya Bryzgalov made 39 saves in that game and is 3-1-1 with a 1.78 GAA at home.
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