Flyers vs Hurricanes Preview: Huge Eastern Conference playoff implications

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Philadelphia enters tonight’s matchup losing 4 straight games. The Flyers look to build off a hard earned comeback on Saturday to the Senators and end their 4-game skid.

Carolina enters tonight’s matchup losing 2 straight games. The Hurricanes look to make a jump up the standings by defeating the Flyers, the team in the last playoff spot.

Flyers Lineup (Projected 2/5)

Giroux – Couturier – Konecny

Voracek – Patrick – Simmonds

Raffl – Laughton – Weal

Leier – Filppula – Lehtera

 

Provorov – Gostisbehere

Hagg – MacDonald

Manning – Gudas

 

Elliott

 

Brian Elliott Returns
Before the Flyers last for Raleigh, NC on Monday, they made a move that will hopefully sure up the backend. The Flyers activated Brian Elliott of IR and sent Alex Lyon back to the Phantoms.

Since being put on IR, the Flyers are 0-3-1. One thing that stands out in those 4-games has been the goaltending. Flyers goalies, in those 4-games, allowed 5, 5, 4, & 3 goals respectively.

However, with Elliott coming back from injury, Flyers fans are hoping that all changes. Elliott has been the Flyers clear #1 goalie this season. Before his injury, Elliott posted a 19-11-7 record with a .907% & 2.77 GAA.

 

Patrick’s Confidence Growing
With a recent promotion to the 2nd line, Flyers Nolan Patrick is gaining more and more confidence each and every game. And, it is showing.

Since being promoted, Patrick has 2 goals and 1 assist in the 3-games with his new line-mates. However, this has been time in the making for the rookie center.

Patrick was plagued by injuries last season during his draft season with the Brandon Wheat Kings. The injuries led to a surgery that Flyers, Claude Giroux & Shayne Gostisbehere, had during the offseason two years ago.

Them, like Patrick, struggled with conditioning and the overall speed of the game before becoming fully healthy. However, at almost the same time, midway through the next season, their games caught up to them.

This season, Patrick’s game looks like it is catching up to him at the same point in time. A good sign for the Flyers rookie who had only 3 goals and 6 assists through his first 40 games of his NHL career

 

Big Playoff Implications
Tonight’s matchup has big playoff implications. The Flyers enter tonight’s game just 1-point ahead of the Hurricanes. But, two things stick out with tonight’s game.

First, with a Flyers win, the Flyers will pull 3-points clear ahead of the Hurricanes with a game in hand. A potential for a 4-point swing. Creating a cushion that will be hard for the Hurricanes to come back from.

Second, with a Hurricanes win, the Eastern conference wildcard picture becomes extremely tight. The Flyers would then fall 1-point behind the Hurricanes and would then have to win their game in hand to jump the Hurricanes. A potential for a 4-point swing in the opposite direction.

 

Game 53 : Carolina Hurricanes, Raleigh NC 7:00pm, NBCSports Philadelphia 

 

Mandatory Credit: Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

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