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Flyers vs. Hurricanes - 2/9/13


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http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Bill-Meltzer/Flyers-Gameday-2913-vs-Hurricanes/45/49158#.URZx1B1ZWSo

Hoping to close out a four-game homestand with seven of a possible eight points, the Philadelphia Flyers (4-6-1) take to Wells Fargo Center ice for Saturday matinee with the Carolina Hurricanes (5-4-0). The game starts at 1 p.m. EST and will be televised locally on Comcast Sportsnet Philadelphia.

This is the second of three meetings between the teams this season, and the final one in Philadelphia. Last Saturday night, the Flyers chased Dan Ellis from the net early in the second period en route to a 5-3 win. Philadelphia survived a rather shaky defensive game courtesy of 39 saves by Ilya Bryzgalov and 32 blocked shots.

In the match last weekend, the Flyers got power play goals from Kurtis Foster, Danny Briere and Claude Giroux as well as even strength tallies by Braydon Coburn and Mike Knuble. The Canes received goals from Joni Pitkanen, Eric Staal and Patrick Dwyer.

Since the teams last faced one another, the Flyers gritted out a 2-1 win over Tampa Bay and then lost 3-2 via shootout to Florida. The Flyers have been held to two or fewer goals in nine of the 11 games thus far.

Today, the Flyers expect to have Wayne Simmonds back in the lineup. He missed three games -- including the previous game against Carolina -- with a mild concussion sustained after being elbowed in the face and hitting his head on the ice in Washington.

Carolina is in the fourth game of a six-game road trip that began in Philly last weekend. After losing to the Flyers, the Hurricanes captured victories over the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators. Goaltender Cam Ward made 45 saves for Carolina in the 3-2 overtime win against the Senators.

The Flyers remain without Scott Hartnell (foot) and Andrej Meszaros (shoulder) but both players are making progress from their injuries. Barring setbacks, they could return to the lineup within the next two weeks. For Carolina, Tuomo Ruutu remains out with a hip injury.

After tonight's game, the Flyers head out on the road, where fatigue could become a factor. By Tuesday, the Flyers will have played three games in four nights in three cities (Philadelphia to Toronto to Winnipeg) with significant travel involved. In order to navigate that gauntlet successfully, it's crucial for the Flyers to get it started with a home win today.

PROJECTED LINEUPS (subject to change)

FLYERS

17 Wayne Simmonds - 28 Claude Giroux - 48 Danny Briere

24 Matt Read - 14 Sean Couturier - 9 Mike Knuble

15 Tye McGinn - 10 Brayden Schenn - 93 Jakub Voracek

26 Ruslan Fedotenko - 25 Max Talbot - 36 Zac Rinaldo

44 Kimmo Timonen - 22 Luke Schenn

5 Braydon Coburn - 27 Bruno Gervais

8 Nicklas Grossmann - 3 Kurtis Foster

30 Ilya Bryzgalov

[49 Michael Leighton]

HURRICANES

19 Jiri Tlusty - 12 Eric Staal - 28 Alexander Semin

53 Jeff Skinner - 11 Jordan Staal - 39 Pat Dwyer

21 Drayson Bowman - 36 Jussi Jokinen - 59 Chad LaRose

29 Tim Wallace - 37 Tim Brent - 8 Kevin Westgarth

25 Joni Pitkänen - 4 Jamie McBain

77 Joe Corvo - 27 Justin Faulk

44 Jay Harrison - 24 Bobby Sanguinetti

30 Cam Ward

[31 Dan Ellis]

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The refs are calling some weak, if not manufactured, penalties in this game. Rinaldo for "embellishing" and Knuble for interference when he and another guy incidentally collided. Lame, and interferes with the flow of the game.

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Is it just me, or does Bryz look way more athletic of late, in general, quicker getting up and quicker movement. It's promising. The other thing that stood out is the tremendous phyical presence Grossmann is providing.....gives me hope for the defense, the whole defensive corps seems to be tightening things up sice early Jan....nice to see.

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Is it just me, or does Bryz look way more athletic of late, in general, quicker getting up and quicker movement. It's promising. The other thing that stood out is the tremendous phyical presence Grossmann is providing.....gives me hope for the defense, the whole defensive corps seems to be tightening things up sice early Jan....nice to see.

Bryz looks like a different goalie this year. Even though he had stretches of fine play last year, he looks 10x more confident this year.

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Is it just me, or does Bryz look way more athletic of late, in general, quicker getting up and quicker movement. It's promising. The other thing that stood out is the tremendous phyical presence Grossmann is providing.....gives me hope for the defense, the whole defensive corps seems to be tightening things up sice early Jan....nice to see.

He looks a little more athletic, but still sluggish side to side / crap reflexes. The team is playing better in its own zone, which is helpful.

Bryz I find is getting hit with more pucks than intentionally saving. He still can't track pucks or stop/control rebounds, but his initial positioning is stronger. I'll take it as progress, though it isn't where I would like to see him skill-wise.

How about Briere showing up in OT? A little lucky, but the goal and win still count the same. Let's hope there is more to come from him and B Schenn (the latter of who had a strong game overall).

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