Philadelphia at Carolina
When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, March 17, 2018
Where: PNC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina
The Carolina Hurricanes have lost 10 of 13 (3-8-2) to fall out of favor in the Eastern Conference playoff picture while the Philadelphia Flyers are on the fast track to a similar fate should their woeful performance in March continue. The Flyers look to put the brakes on their current slump on Saturday when they visit the Hurricanes at PNC Arena.
"We just need to put it behind us and somehow get our confidence back," Philadelphia captain Claude Giroux said after his team fell to 1-6-1 in its last eight following Thursday's 5-3 setback versus Columbus. The 30-year-old has scored a goal in three straight contests and is riding an eight-game point streak (four goals, five assists) that began with an assist in a 4-1 setback to Carolina on March 1. The Flyers are clinging to third place in the Metropolitan Division via a tiebreaker, although they reside one point removed from the final wild-card spot and just four points ahead of surging Florida. Carolina's swoon has dropped it nine points out of the final wild-card spot, prompting forward Lee Stempniak to admit the following: "We still think we are going to make the playoffs and we believe we can, but it gets harder with each loss."TV:
7 p.m. ET, NBCS Philadelphia, FS CarolinasABOUT THE FLYERS (35-25-11):
The honeymoon apparently is over for Petr Mrazek, who finished February with a 3-0-0 run before a disastrous 1-5-1 mark and 4.04 goals-against average in March has landed him on the bench. Former Yale star Alex Lyon has been confirmed to start Saturday after turning aside all 18 shots he faced in relief versus the Blue Jackets. "It's exciting for me to come in and play well," the 25-year-old Lyon said. "At the same time, I think everybody's objective right now has to be, 'How can the Flyers secure a spot in the playoffs?' I don't want to excuse myself from that because I haven't been here very long. I just want to embrace that mentality."ABOUT THE HURRICANES (30-29-11):
Known affectionately as "Mr. Game 7," Justin Williams began a strong seven-game stretch with two goals and an assist in the last meeting against the team (Philadelphia) that drafted him in 2000. The 36-year-old Williams scored three goals and set up another in his next six outings, although his 15th tally of the season went for naught on Tuesday as Carolina yielded five unanswered goals in the third period of a disastrous 6-4 setback to Boston. Teuvo Teravainen, who also scored in the last meeting with the Flyers, had a goal and an assist against the Bruins to increase his point total to 11 (eight goals, three assists) in as many games.OVERTIME
1. Carolina LW Sebastian Aho has three goals and four assists this month, including one of each versus Philadelphia.
2. Flyers C Sean Couturier (team-leading 29 goals) is mired in a 13-game goal drought.
3. The Hurricanes have five power-play goals in their last four contests heading into a date versus Philadelphia's 30th-ranked penalty kill.PREDICTION:
Hurricanes 3, Flyers 2
Stats and Records