Hurricanes seek to rebound vs. Flyers

11:55 AM, Jan 21, 2014   |    comments
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( - The Carolina Hurricanes hope to get back on track Tuesday when they visit the Philadelphia Flyers for a Metropolitan Division battle at the Wells Fargo Center.

Carolina won a season-best five straight games from Dec. 31-Jan. 9, but has since dropped three of four games. Still, the Hurricanes are only three points out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and they hope to rebound against the Flyers, who are six points ahead of Carolina in both the division and conference standings.

The Hurricanes are 2-0 against Philadelphia this season, but both previous games were played in Raleigh. The Flyers have won two straight and eight of nine on home ice against Carolina and have claimed four of six and 15 of 19 in the series overall.

After picking up a home win over Florida on Saturday, Carolina was back in the regulation loss column the following day, dropping a 5-3 decision against the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning. Tampa scored the game's first four goals en route to the win at PNC Arena.

Eric Staal had a goal and an assist in the loss, with Alexander Semin and Ron Hainsey also scoring for the Hurricanes. Justin Peters was yanked from the start in the first period after giving up three goals on just seven shots. Anton Khudobin finished the game in net and made 15 stops.

"It was a tough night," said Staal. "We did what we wanted to do and threw a lot of shots at the net, but they were able to capitalize on their chances. We didn't sulk and cry and fought back into it, but it wasn't enough."

Carolina is playing the first of two straight on the road tonight and will visit Buffalo on Thursday. The 'Canes are 9-9-4 as the visiting team this season.

The Flyers have lost four of their last six games and recently split a home- and-home series with the New York Islanders. Philadelphia rallied for a 6-4 win in the home portion on Saturday before blowing a lead late in regulation in Monday's 4-3 shootout loss on Long Island.

Kyle Okposo tied the game late in the third period and scored the game-winner in the shootout to lift the Isles to Monday's win over their division rivals. Okposo scored on a backhand to open the fourth round of the tiebreaker. Anders Nilsson, in his first action for New York since Dec. 9, turned away Sean Couturier's bid to claim just the second win of his NHL career.

Ray Emery stopped 40 shots for Philadelphia in the loss. Emery has yet to lose a game in regulation to the Islanders in his career (7-0-2)

The Flyers scored all three of their goals in the second period. Matt Read lit the lamp twice and Wayne Simmonds added career goal No. 99.

"It's something we've struggled with, letting teams back in the game. It's a matter of not moving our feet and taking stupid penalties," Read stated. "We have to learn from this and move forward."

Steve Mason expects to start in net for Philadelphia on Tuesday, as he tries to rebound from his performance on Saturday. After signing a three-year contract extension earlier in the day, Mason was pulled in the second period against the Islanders after allowing four goals on 24 shots.

Mason has excellent career numbers against the Hurricanes, going 5-1-1 with a 1.85 goals against average in the matchup.

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