Flyers-Hurricanes: Game 82 Preview

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

One more game remains on the Flyers schedule and they will be looking to try to end a disappointing 2018-19 season on a good note. The Flyers have lost four straight games since their playoff hopes were officially dashed a week ago, and have lost six of the last seven games and nine of the last 12 games.

The Hurricanes' season will continue beyond Saturday after they locked up a playoff spot with their win on Thursday. There is still positioning to play for. A loss to the Flyers could mean Carolina would face the NHL's best in the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round as opposed to a potential series against Washington as the first wildcard. There's even a chance the Hurricanes could finish third in the division if they win and the Penguins lose in regulation.

Carolina also goes for a season sweep of the Flyers as well, having won the first three meetings between the two this season.

Game time is at 7 p.m.

Team Leaders

Philadelphia Flyers GP G A P Carolina Hurricanes GP G A P
Claude Giroux 81 22 61 83 Sebastian Aho 81 30 53 83
Sean Couturier 79 32 43 75 Teuvo Teravainen 81 20 54 74
Jake Voracek 77 20 45 65 Justin Williams 81 23 30 53
James van Riemsdyk 65 27 21 48 Micheal Ferland 70 17 23 40
Travis Konecny 81 23 25 48 Dougie Hamilton 81 18 20 38
Player to Watch
14 Sean Couturier     14 Justin Williams
Last 5 Games: 1 G, 1 A, 2 P, -5 Last 5 Games: 1 G, 3 A, 4 P, +3
Since setting a new career-high in goals with 32 on the season in last Wednesday's game against Toronto, Sean Couturier has been held without a goal and has just one assist in the last four games. If he manages just two points, he will set a new career high in points. Couturier is also the likely choice to be the Flyers winner of the Bobby Clarke Trophy as the team's MVP this season. 
Former Flyer and Hurricanes' captain Justin Williams has put together a solid year offensively, but his leadership has been a huge asset to Carolina on their way to their first playoff appearance since 2009.
Goalie Matchup
79 Carter Hart 35 Curtis McElhinney
30 GP, 16-12-1, 2.79 GAA, .919 SV% 32 GP, 19-11-2, 2.57 GAA, .912 SV%

Carter Hart did a solid job in relief of Brian Elliott on Thursday, making 27 saves on 30 shots, and gets one more start in front of the home fans on Saturday night. Hart has just three wins in his last seven starts since returning from injury, but that's not a reflection of his play. 

Curtis McElhinney gets the start in the final regular season game for Carolina, presumably to give Petr Mrazek the night off ahead of the playoffs. The rest of the lineup will be game-time decisions, but McElhinney has been a solid 1A for the Hurricanes. 

Flyers Projected Lineup

Injuries: Nolan Patrick, Michal Neuvirth

Scratches: Justin Bailey, Andrew MacDonald, Brian Elliott

Left Wing Center Right Wing
28 Claude Giroux 14 Sean Couturier 11 Travis Konecny
25 James van Riemsdyk 21 Scott Laughton 93 Jake Voracek
23 Oskar Lindblom 10 Corban Knight 38 Ryan Hartman
12 Michael Raffl 44 Phil Varone  
9 Ivan Provorov 6 Travis Sanheim  
53 Shayne Gostisbehere 3 Radko Gudas  
5 Sam Morin 8 Robert Hagg 59 Mark Friedman
79 Carter Hart    

Lineup Notes

Nolan Patrick remains out of the lineup with injury, so he will miss the season finale. Corban Knight stays in the third-line center role. Mark Friedman will make his NHL debut on defense. Phil Myers was sent down, so he will not be on the roster for the final game of the 2018-19 season. The Flyers will go with 11 forwards and seven defensemen.

Hurricanes Projected Lineup

Injuries: Clark Bishop, Calvin de Haan

Scratches: Saku Maenalanen

Left Wing Center Right Wing
21 Nino Niederreiter 20 Sebastian Aho 14 Justin Williams
79 Micheal Ferland 11 Jordan Staal 86 Teuvo Teravainen
 37 Andrei Svechnikov 71 Lucas Wallmark 48 Jordan Martinook
13 Warren Foegele 42 Greg McKegg  23 Brock McGinn
74 Jaccob Slavin 19 Dougie Hamilton  
22 Brett Pesce 27 Justin Faulk  
4 Hadyn Fleury 57 Trevor van Riemsdyk  
34 Petr Mrazek    

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (24th, 16th at home), Hurricanes (19th, 13th on road)
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (26th, T-18th at home), Hurricanes (T-7th, 6th on road) 
  • Recent History vs. Hurricanes
    • Dec. 31, 2018 – Hurricanes 3, Flyers 1 (at CAR)
    • Jan. 3, 2019 – Hurricanes 5, Flyers 3 (at PHI)
    • March 30, 2019 – Hurricanes 5, Flyers 2 (at CAR)
  • Flyers Leaders vs. Hurricanes 
    • Claude Giroux – 39 GP, 10 G, 25 A, 35 P
    • Shayne Gostisbehere – 15 GP, 4 G, 9 A, 13 P
    • Jake Voracek – 35 GP, 10 G, 18 A, 28 P
    • Carter Hart – 1 GP, 0-1-0, 8.18 GAA, .700 SV%

Where to Watch
TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Radio: 93.3 WMMR