RALEIGH, N.C. – The Flyers on Tuesday night will be facing a Carolina team torched by coach Bill Peters for its listless play recently.
Flyers coach Dave Hakstol expects the Hurricanes to have a chip on their collective shoulders.
“I think they’re going to probably give one of their best pushes through the 60 minutes of the year,” he said after the Flyers’ morning skate Tuesday. “We talked about that, but more importantly, we talked about the importance of our own game and the importance of the two points for ourselves.”
Taylor Leier echoed those sentiments.
“We talked about it a little bit, but at the end of the day, our fate comes from how we play,” the rookie left winger said. “With that stuff going on in their locker room, we know they’re going to come out hard. We just have to match their intensity on the road. Like I said, our wins and losses stem from us. We don’t focus too much on the other side.”
Leier will be on a speedy third line Tuesday that includes Scott Laughton and Jordan Weal.
“That’s a strength they have to use to their advantage,” Hakstol said of the line’s quickness.
Michael Raffl will drop down to the fourth line and will play alongside Val Filppula and Jori Lehtera.
“We need to get great minutes out of everybody, individually and collectively as their units as well,” Hakstol said.
Left winger Oskar Lindblom is the Flyers’ ace in the hole. He could be promoted from the Phantoms if the Flyers don’t get the production they are seeking.
Brian Elliott (19-11-7, 2.77 GAA, .908 save percentage), who has missed the last four games with a lower-body injury, will face Carolina’s Cam Ward (15-7-2, 2.68 GAA, .909 save percentage ).
In his career, Ward, 33, is 11-11-5 with a 2.76 goals-against average and .902 save percentage against the Flyers.
Elliott, 32, has a 7-6 record, 2.73 GAA, and .904 save percentage against the Hurricanes.
Right winger Wayne Simmonds will play his 500th game with the Flyers on Tuesday. This is his seventh season with the club.
Since being acquired as part of the stunning deal that sent Mike Richards to Los Angeles, Simmonds has flourished. He has 180 goals in 499 games with the Flyers after managing 39 goals in 240 games with the Kings.
Simmonds, one of the league’s most consistent scorers, is second on the Flyers with 17 goals this season. He has scored between 28 and 32 goals in four of his five full seasons with the Flyers, and had 15 goals in 45 games during the lockout-shortened 2012-13 campaign.