Hurricanes (27-25-11) @Flyers (34-19-10)
WHEN: 7 p.m. Thursday
WHERE: Wells Fargo Center
BROADCAST & STREAMING: TV– NBCSP; radio–93.3 FM.
SOCIAL MEDIA COVERAGE: Twitter, @BroadStBull @samdonnellon
KEY PLAYERS: Carolina’s Sebastian Aho has registered eight points in his last nine games eight games (3g, 5a). He is second on the team in points (48) and leads the team in goals (22) and is the first Hurricanes player since Jeff Skinner (2010-12) to score 20 goals in each of his first two NHL seasons. Teuvo Teravainen has 13 points in his last 15 games (4g, 9a), including a goal and an assist in Tuesday’s loss to the Bruins. The goal, his 16th, is a new career high. Signed in the offseason as free agent, 36-year-old Justin Williams, who began his clutch and productive career as a Flyer in 2001, has 38 points for the Canes and hasn’t missed a game this season. Over the last seven games all but one of the six Flyers defensemen have scored goals. Oddly the one who has not? Shayne Gostisbehere, who has eight assists over that span. With Boston’s Patrice Bergeron suffering a broken foot, Claude Giroux and his 74 points are looking even better in the Hart Trophy race. Petr Mrazek, who recorded his 14th career shutout in Monday’s 1-0 shootout victory over Montreal, is expected to start for the fourth game in a row.
THINGS TO KNOW: With Washington idle, the Flyers could jump back into first place of the Metro Division with a victory. After tonight, each team will have played 64 games. The Hurricanes are 0-3-2 in their last five games and 3-4-3 over their last 10. They lost on the road to the Bruins 4-3 in overtime Tuesday after jumping out to a 3-1 first-period lead They have been penalized less than any team in the NHL this season, averaging 6.4 minutes per game. The Flyers finished the month of February at 10-1-2. Following tonight’s game they begin a brutal stretch in which six of the seven opponents they face are currently in the playoff mix – including Boston and Las Vegas, two teams that have been as hot as them over the last three months.
HEAD TO HEAD: Including playoffs, the Flyers are 82-41-14 all time against Carolina. They are 45-18-5 at home. In their only meeting so far this season, the Flyers emerged with a 2-1 overtime victory in Carolina on Feb.6. The teams meet again in Carolina on March 17 and in the next-to-last game of the season in Philadelphia on April 5.
Saturday @ Tampa Bay, 1 p.m.
Sunday @ Florida, 3 p.m.