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Carolina Hurricanes vs. Philadelphia Flyers

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:47 AM

Paul Branecky

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Carolina Hurricanes vs. Philadelphia Flyers
Philadelphia Flyers vs. Carolina Hurricanes

Promotions:  Brind'Amour figurine | College Night

The Hurricanes will likely get a boost when they host the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday, as Scott Walker has been activated from injured reserve.

The winger has missed the team’s last 17 games with torn cartilage in his chest, an injury he suffered in Pittsburgh on October 19th.  Since returning to practice, he had been skating on a line with Matt Cullen and Ray Whitney at even strength, and had also been playing the point on the Hurricanes’ second power play unit along with Frank Kaberle.

The team will certainly be able to use him against the Flyers, who are right behind the Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference standings.  Their record thus far is nearly identical to Carolina’s, as their 13-8-2 mark only gives them one fewer overtime loss.

Exactly one week before their upcoming match-up, the Flyers skated away from the RBC Center with a 6-3 victory, courtesy of a Danny Briere hat trick which came entirely in the third period.

“We want to return the favor,” said Canes center Matt Cullen, who figured in on all the team’s scoring with a goal and two assists in that game.  “They came in here and beat us pretty good, so we want to come out and kind of right the ship here.”

Although the Hurricanes are in the Southeast Division and the Flyers are in the Atlantic, these teams still know each other pretty well.  This will already be the third of four games between them this season, with the last coming just a few weeks from now on December 15 in Philadelphia.

“We know exactly what to expect,” said Cullen.

The Canes have yet to earn a win in the season series, losing the first meeting 3-2 in overtime.

With last week’s defeat fresh in his mind, coach Peter Laviolette says that his team will try to employ a more direct approach this time around.

“I don’t think we did a good job of penetrating their defense,” he said.  “If you try to go east-west with passes there’s a lot of turnovers in transition.  I like the straight-forward power game, put the puck on net from all angles, crash the net, bang the net.  We seem to be at our best when we’re playing with that mentality.”

While Walker will likely be in the lineup, the Canes aren’t completely healthy just yet.  Laviolette says that defenseman Mike Commodore is unlikely to play in the immediate future with his fractured left ring finger.“I can tell you that he doesn’t look good out there,” said Laviolette after Tuesday’s practice.  “He can’t pass and can’t shoot, so he definitely won’t play in the next couple of days.”

The Flyers will be without forward Scott Hartnell, who was suspended two games for his hit on the Boston Bruins’ Andrew Alberts on Monday.  It was the fourth suspension for the Flyers this season, with Steve Downie, Randy Jones and former Cane Jesse Boulerice all missing some time.

Hartnell, who initially received a five-minute boarding major and a game misconduct in the Flyers’ 6-3 loss, has 8 points in 23 games this season.

The Flyers may elect to use backup goaltender Antero Niittymaki on Wednesday.  Their designated starter, Martin Biron, has faltered of late after a fast start, most recently being pulled in middle of their last game against the Bruins.  Niittymaki, on the other hand, looked strong while beating the Ottawa Senators last weekend.

2007-2008 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Dec 15 '07 CAR 6 at PHI 5 - SO R. Brind'Amour
Nov 28 '07 PHI 3 at CAR 1 K. Timonen
Nov 21 '07 PHI 6 at CAR 3 D. Briere
Oct 20 '07 CAR 2 at PHI 3 - OT S. Gagne