Sunday night’s matchup between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Carolina Hurricanes leaves little to be gained in the standings from both sides. Both the Hurricanes and the Flyers are floundering at the bottom of the Metropolitan Division and are both tied with 72 points and are seven points back of the last wildcard spot in the Eastern Conference. So barring a miracle, these two teams at this point of the season are playing for pride as well as their jobs for next season.
Flyers would have to finish 11-1-0 to have a 64% chance of making the playoffs
— HockeyIceStorm.com (@HockeyIceStorm) March 19, 2017
The Flyers’ season has been one of the more interesting stories in the NHL. Looking to take the next step in head coach Dave Hakstol’s second season behind the bench, the Flyers started out roughly a .500 team for the first few months of the year. Then they hit their stride, from mid-November through mid-December the Flyers went on a 10-game winning streak that propelled them up the ranks in the NHL as a team that had finally arrived. However, things have gone completely array since the end of that streak.
Since the end of their winning streak, the Flyers have gone 13-20-5, and are closer to becoming the first team ever, in NHL history, to have a winning streak of 10 games or more and not make it into the playoffs.
As for the Hurricanes, they have officially caught up to the Flyers in the standings and have passed them despite being tied for points at 72 because they have a game in hand. On Saturday night, the Hurricanes won their second straight game, beating the visiting Nashville Predators 4-2.
Carolina Hurricanes vs. Philadelphia Flyers
Wells Fargo Center – 7:30 p.m. EST
Broadcast channels – CSN-PH, FS-CR; 97.5 The Fanatic
2016-17 Season Series: Philadelphia 2-1
Carolina Hurricanes: 30-27-12 – 72 Points
Road Record: 9-17-8
Hot Players: Jeff Skinner, Cam Ward
Scratches: Scratches: Matt Tennyson (healthy), Phillip DiGiuseppe (questionable, upper body), Jay McClement (doubtful, lower body), Valentin Zykov (doubtful, upper body).
20 Sebastian Aho – 11 Jordan Staal – 86 Teuvo Teräväinen
23 Brock McGinn – 49 Victor Rask – 16 Elias Lindholm
53 Jeff Skinner – 33 Derek Ryan – 21 Lee Stempniak
42 Joakim Nordström – 36 Patrick Brown – 34 Phillip DiGiuseppe
74 Jaccob Slavin – 27 Justin Faulk
5 Noah Hanifin – 22 Brett Pesce
6 Klas Dahlback – 7 Ryan Murphy
30 Cam Ward
Philadelphia Flyers: 32-30-8 – 72 Points
Home Record: 20-11-4
Hot Players: Brayden Schenn, Travis Konecny
Scratches: Nick Schultz (healthy), Roman Lyubimov (healthy), Michael Raffl (IR, lower body), Nick Cousins (day-to-day, upper body).
40 Jordan Weal – 28 Claude Giroux – 17 Wayne Simmonds
11 Travis Konecny – 51 Valtteri Filppula – 93 Jakub Voracek
22 Dale Weise – 14 Sean Couturier – 10 Brayden Schenn
76 Chris VandeVelde – 78 Pierre-Édouard Bellemare – 24 Matt Read
9 Ivan Provorov – 47 Andrew MacDonald
23 Brandon Manning – 53 Shayne Gostisbehere
15 Michael Del Zotto – 3 Radko Gudas
35 Steve Mason
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]1)[/miptheme_dropcap] Mason will get the start in goal Sunday night for the Flyers, his 9th start in the last 10 games. His performance over the last three weeks of the season will very tell whether or not the Flyers decide to give him a contract extension before he is eligible to become a free agent in July. It’s not only Mason playing for his job but also Michael Del Zotto, Jordan Weal, and Chris VandeVelde who are all in the final year of their contracts.
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]2)[/miptheme_dropcap] The Hurricanes’ Jeff Skinner is coming off perhaps one of his best games this season, scoring his 24th and 25th goals on Saturday night against the Predators. With his 25th goal, Skinner now has scored 25 or more goals in four of his six seasons in the NHL. As impressive as that is, Skinner has yet to have appeared in a playoff game in his six years with the Hurricanes.
— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) March 19, 2017
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]3)[/miptheme_dropcap] The Flyers have beaten the Hurricanes in two of the three games the teams have played against each other this season. However, the last meeting between the two teams was a 5-1 routing by the Hurricanes on the back of rookie Sabastian Aho’s first career hat-trick.
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]4)[/miptheme_dropcap] Brandon Manning is set to return to the lineup for Philadelphia after missing the last couple of games due to an upper-body injury. For the Hurricanes, Phil DiGiuseppe (upper body) participated in Saturday’s morning skate and is questionable for Sunday but could play. Both Jay McClement (lower body) and Valentin Zykov (upper body) are doubtful to play.