Preview: Philadelphia at Carolina
When: 7:00 PM ET, Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Where: PNC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina
Philadelphia Flyers rookie defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere doesn’t have to introduce himself to the Carolina Hurricanes, having scored in overtime in two of the three meetings this season. Riding a 15-game point streak (five goals, 13 assists), Gostisbehere looks to help the Flyers complete a four-game season sweep of their Metropolitan Division rivals on Tuesday when they visit PNC Arena.
Gostisbehere tormented Carolina with overtime goals on both Nov. 23 and Dec. 15 and added his fourth such tally just 29 seconds into the extra session of Philadelphia’s 5-4 win over Toronto on Saturday. The Flyers improved to 2-1-1 during their five-game road trip to move within one point of Carolina and five back of Pittsburgh for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. “This is playoff-style hockey, right?” Hurricanes coach Bill Peters told reporters after Sunday’s 4-2 home loss to Tampa Bay. “You’ve got to step up and play. It’s fun. It’s a great time of year.” Jeff Skinner, who has scored two goals and set up another in his last two games, recorded a hat trick in a 4-3 loss to Philadelphia on Dec. 15.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, TCN (Philadelphia), FSS (Carolina)
ABOUT THE FLYERS (26-21-11): Second-line forward Sean Couturier is in line to return on Tuesday after sitting out nine games with a lower-body injury. “Obviously, it might take a little while to get into game shape, but I’m not worried,” the 23-year-old Couturier told Philly.com. “I’m just going to try to keep it simple if I get to go and try to help the team.” The Flyers went 3-3-3 without Couturier in his most recent absence and is 5-9-4 this season without him.
ABOUT THE HURRICANES (27-23-10): Jordan Staal is riding a five-game point streak (three goals, four assists) and has 23 in his last 20 games after recording 15 in his previous 40. The 27-year-old, however, has struggled against Philadelphia this season – as he was limited to just one assist and a minus-1 rating in three encounters. Joakim Nordstrom has scored in back-to-back contests and has 10 points in his last 12 tilts after notching just nine in his previous 37.
1. Philadelphia captain Claude Giroux will miss his second straight contest on Tuesday after taking a hit to the head from Montreal D P.K. Subban during Friday’s 3-2 shootout loss.
2. The Hurricanes have scored five power-play goals in the last five games after going 2-for-30 in their previous nine.
3. Flyers LW Jakub Voracek, who has two goals and two assists in his last four contests, scored the overtime winner in a 3-2 triumph over Carolina on Nov. 14.
PREDICTION: Flyers 3, Hurricanes 2