Flyers (24-19-9) at Hurricanes (24-21-8)
WHEN: 7 p.m. Tuesday.
WHERE: PNC Arena.
BROADCAST & STREAMING: NBCSP, NBCSports.com/live, 93.3 FM
KEY PLAYERS: This is a matchup of two slumping teams battling for a playoff spot. The Flyers have lost four straight (0-3-1), and the Hurricanes have dropped their last two games. The Flyers are one point behind the Islanders, who hold the Eastern Conference’s final wild-card spot but have played two more games than Philadelphia. Carolina is a point behind the Flyers.
After Sunday’s 3-1 home loss to San Jose in front of a sparse crowd, Carolina coach Bill Peters criticized his team’s listless play and vowed to make lineup changes.
“This lineup’s been together for a while now. Maybe there’s complacency there,” he told the News & Observer. “We can’t put that group out again after that. It’s unacceptable. They let each other down, too, in the room.”
Sebastian Aho leads the Hurricanes with 19 goals, and Jeff Skinner (15), Jordan Staal (14), Elias Lindholm (14), and Teuvo Teravainen (13) are among other threats. Cam Ward will get the start in goal for the Hurricanes. The veteran is 15-7-2 with a 2.68 GAA and .909 save percentage.
For the Flyers, the good news is that goalie Brian Elliott will return after missing four games because of an undisclosed lower-body injury. While Elliott was sidelined, the Flyers lost all four games and allowed 4.5 goals per contest.
Elliott is 19-11-7 with a 2.77 GAA and .908 save percentage.
The Flyers have seven double-figure goal scorers, led by Sean Couturier (27), Wayne Simmonds (17), and Claude Giroux (15). Jake Voracek has a league-best 51 assists.
THINGS TO KNOW: Simmonds paces the Flyers with nine power-play goals. … The Flyers are 11-10-4 on the road, and Carolina is 12-9-4 at home. … The Hurricanes have earned at least a point in eight of the last nine home games against the Flyers (7-1-1). … Skinner has 13 goals in 26 career games against the Flyers. … Former Flyer Justin Williams, 36, has nine goals and 33 points in 53 games this season. … The Flyers are 0-4 in shootouts this season and 40-79 in franchise history. … Carolina allows a league-low 29.2 shots per game.
HEAD TO HEAD: The Flyers lead the overall series, 81-33-14-8. This is the first of four meetings between the teams this season. The Flyers won last year’s season series, 3-1-1.
COMING FLYERS GAMES:
Thursday: 7 p.m. vs. Montreal.
Saturday: 8 p.m. at Arizona.
Sunday: 8 p.m. at Vegas.