The Carolina Hurricanes will welcome the Philadelphia Flyers to PNC Arena on Wednesday, as they begin a five-game homestand in Raleigh.
For just the fifth time in 16 games, the Hurricanes will play on their home ice, as they look to cut into the Rangers’ Metropolitan Division lead.
At 9-6 overall, they sit five points behind New York and tied at 18 points with Washington, who has played in one less contest.
Now that their lineup features healthy skaters, Wednesday’s matchup is an opportunity to at worst split the season series against the Flyers.
Carolina earned a 3-2 victory in their first matchup on the season on Oct. 30th, which was Freddie Andersen’s last appearance in net for the Hurricanes.
Since then, Carolina is 3-2 with wins over the Islanders, Sabres, and Lightning, while Philadelphia is 3-3 with victories against Buffalo, Anaheim, and Los Angeles. They currently sit at 7-7-1 overall.
Even with their last game coming on Saturday, Carter Hart is expected in net for the Flyers, where he has earned a 4-3 record with a .913 save percentage.
For the Hurricanes, their three days break following Saturday’s win gives them a chance to place either Pyotr Kochetkov or Antti Raanta in net. There is nothing definitive, but if they were to continue their one-game rotations, then Raanta would be the first off of the ice in the morning skate.
Puck drop is set for 7:30pm at PNC Arena.
In other hockey news, Buffalo Sabres forward Tage Thompson is expected to miss ‘significant time’, according to head coach Dan Gronato.
“Tage is going to miss some time here. Probably significant time, unfortunately,” said Granato. “He fought through the first injury but couldn’t fight through the second one. Credit to him to battle, but it’s unfortunate.”
Thompson suffered an upper-body injury in Tuesday’s contest against Boston, as he blocked a Charlie McAvoy shot attempt in the second period.
At 7-8-1 overall, Buffalo sits only ahead of Ottawa in the Atlantic Division, and will face even tougher sledding with the absence of their star forward.
Thompson currently sits second on the roster in goals with six and third in points with 12, one behind Casey Mittelstadt and Jeff Skinner.
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