The Flyers top producer this season has been Read in the early going. He leads the team with four goals (all coming against the Panthers) and is tied for second on the team with four assist, trailing team-leader Kimmo Timonen by one assist. Read also leads all Flyers with a +3 rating. Two of the Flyers top forwards, Giroux and Voracek, both are performing well at home with two goals and two assists a piece at home. Voracek netted one Thursday night on the power play and Giroux netted one last Saturday on the power play against the Hurricanes. Despite the loss, the Flyers have collected five of six points over their last six games. After starting the season 0-3-0, the Flyers are 4-3-1 over their last eight games.
Between the Pipes: Ilya Bryzgalov (4-5-1, 2.20 GAA, .923 SV%). Bryzgalov is off to a scorching start this season despite what his record might show. He has just two starts, (1/22 vs. NJ and 2/1 vs. WSH) in which he has registered a SV% lower than .900. Both of those nights he had 23 saves on 26 shots. Bryzgalov was in net last Saturday against Carolina and he helped pace the Flyers in the 5-3 win. The Hurricanes fired a season-high 42 shots at Bryzgalov and the Russian made a season-high 39 saves.
Pretty much every top offensive category for the Hurricanes is led by a Staal. Captain Eric Staal leads Carolina with seven goals and 11 assists. His brother Jordan Staal, who was acquired from the Pittsburgh Penguins in June, leads the team with eight assists. Combine their productivity with the production of Jeff Skinner (five goals, five assists, 10 points) and the Hurricanes have a formidable offensive team. Their defense was lacking last Saturday especially on the penalty kill. The Flyers went 3-for-3 on the power play and chased goaltender Dan Ellis after allowing four goals in less than 21 minutes of action. Since the loss to the Flyers, the Hurricanes are 2-0 with wins north of the boarder over the Maple Leafs and Senators.
Between the Pipes: Cam Ward (3-3-0, 3.17 GAA, .909 SV%). Ward got off to a shaky start to the season having lost three of his first four games. His goals against average is still trying to rebound from the start of the season but his play against the Flyers seemed to turn him around recently. He relieved Ellis last Saturday making 11 saves on 12 shots in 37:29 of action. This week Ward was in net against Toronto on Monday when he stopped 41 of 42 shots en route to a 4-1 victory. He came back on Thursday against Ottawa and the Senators fired 47 shots his way and Ward made 45 stops. The Hurricanes would go on to win 3-2 in overtime. Ward might’ve turned around his poor start with his relief performance on Saturday against Philadelphia.
Puck drop is slated for 1:00 pm at the Wells Fargo Center. The game can be seen on Comcast Sportsnet and heard on 97.5 The Fanatic.
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