Flyers host ‘Canes in matinee

(SportsNetwork.com) – The Carolina Hurricanes hope to use their recent success
against the Philadelphia Flyers to end a four-game slide, as the Metropolitan
Division rivals meet Saturday in the City of Brotherly Love.

Carolina has lost four straight in regulation and dropped the opener of a
three-game road trip Thursday against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Hurricanes
have scored just one goal in each of their last four games, but the club was
able to dial up the offense at a prolific rate the last time they visited
Philadelphia.

The ‘Canes won all four meetings against the Flyers in 2013-14, culminating
the season series sweep with a 6-5 shootout win at the Wells Fargo Center on
April 13. The victory pushed Carolina’s record in Philly to 3-1-1 over the
last five meetings.

The Flyers, however, enter this afternoon’s tilt playing their best hockey in
a while. Philadelphia, which hasn’t put together consecutive wins since early
November, has posted victories in two of its last three games and also is on a
four-game point streak (2-0-2).

Philadelphia earned a 4-1 win in its most recent outing, beating the New
Jersey Devils in the opener of a four-game stay at Wells Fargo Center. Matt
Read and Sean Couturier picked up a goal and assist each to lead the Flyers to
a much-needed win.

Read recorded just his third goal of the season and also ended an eight-game
point drought. He had 22 goals and 18 assists in 75 games for the Flyers last
season, and hopes Thursday’s performance can get his offensive game back on
track.

“Just keep doing the little things right and eventually something’s going to
go your way,” Read noted. “It’s good to get one but you have to work hard
every night and do the little things right and do the little things to help
your team win.”

Wayne Simmonds and Jakub Voracek also lit the lamp for the Flyers, who kicked
off their final homestand of calendar year 2014. After Craig Berube’s club
finishes this homestand it will head out on an eight-game road trip before
finally returning to South Philly on Jan. 6 to face Ottawa.

Claude Giroux and Mark Streit chipped in a pair of assists to back a 17-save
effort by Ray Emery.

Steve Mason is expected to man the crease today for the Flyers. He is 5-2-1
with a 2.00 goals against average in eight career games against Carolina.

The Hurricanes also were last in action on Thursday when they dropped a 2-1
decision to the Lightning. It was a tough loss for Carolina, which was tied
with Tampa heading into the final minute of regulation before Nikita Kucherov
supplied the game-winner for the hosts with 30.3 seconds left.

Kucherov’s second goal of the contest was a fluke deflection. He appeared to
attempt a pass across from the left circle, but the puck instead changed
direction off the skate of Hurricanes defenseman Ron Hainsey in the slot and
slid over the goal line.

Justin Faulk tallied and Cam Ward made 25 saves for the Hurricanes, who have
lost three games by one-goal margins during their current 0-4 slide.

“We should’ve capitalized on more than just the one goal,” said Ward.

Carolina, which will cap its swing Tuesday in Montreal, fell to 3-10-2 as the
visiting team.

Ward could start again today despite owning a 5-10-3 mark and 3.16 GAA in his
career against Philadelphia. Fellow Carolina backstop Anton Khudobin is 4-1-0
with a 2.54 GAA in five career outings versus the Flyers.

The Hurricanes enter Saturday last in the Metro — six points behind the
Flyers.