Series (Game 4 of 4)

Philadelphia leads 4-0

Game 1: Friday, October 2nd
Game 2: Saturday, October 31st
Game 3: Saturday, December 26th
Game 4: Saturday, January 23rd

Hurricanes 2

(15-28-7, 37 pts)

Flyers 4

(26-21-3, 55 pts)

1:00 PM ET, January 23, 2010

Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

1 2 3 T
CAR 1 0 12
PHI 1 2 14

J. Carter (Flyers - C): Goals: 2, Assists: 1

C. Pronger (Flyers - D): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

D. Carcillo (Flyers - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Hurricanes-Flyers Preview


The Carolina Hurricanes decided coach Peter Laviolette was the problem last season, firing him after a mediocre start.

He could be providing the solution for the Philadelphia Flyers.

In his second meeting with his former team, Laviolette will try to lead his current one to a season sweep of the Hurricanes on Saturday as the surging Flyers look for a sixth straight home victory.

Laviolette coached Carolina to the franchise's only Stanley Cup in 2006, but he was replaced with predecessor Paul Maurice on Dec. 3, 2008, after the Hurricanes started 12-11-2.

The Flyers were 13-11-1 and had lost six of seven when they fired John Stevens and replaced him with Laviolette on Dec. 4, 2009. While the struggles continued initially, Philadelphia is 10-3-1 in its last 14 games to climb within one point of playoff position in the Eastern Conference.

During their five-game home winning streak, the Flyers (25-21-3) have outscored opponents 23-9, and they're coming off a 2-0 win over the New York Rangers on Thursday night.

Philadelphia's Dan Carcillo was involved in two of the four fights between the teams, including one with Rangers leading scorer Marian Gaborik, but Laviolette said he was happy with his team's entire game.

"I liked all of it, I really did," Laviolette told the Flyers' official Web site. "It's hard to pull out one thing or just one point. I thought the guys were committed to the way they played the game from the start to the finish."

Mike Richards scored his seventh goal in 14 games, rookie James van Riemsdyk scored for the fifth time in eight games and Ray Emery made 24 saves for his first shutout since the season opener.

It was the third straight start for Emery after he missed 17 games due to abdominal surgery. He allowed five goals while losing his first start but has won the last two.

"It's difficult when you have some time off, you've got to think about things when you get back in there," Emery said. "(Now) you don't have to think about as much as I did two, three games ago."

Goalie Michael Leighton, waived by the Hurricanes last month, made 37 saves for the Flyers in their 4-3 shootout win at Carolina on Dec. 26 in Laviolette's initial reunion.

Philadelphia also beat the Hurricanes twice in October by a combined 8-1 score. The Flyers haven't lost in regulation to Carolina since a 2-1 defeat Dec. 19, 2006, going 11-0-3 since.

While Carolina (15-27-7) has steadied somewhat following its disastrous 2-12-4 start, the Hurricanes still have an NHL-low 37 points. They snapped a three-game losing streak with a 5-2 win at Atlanta on Thursday night.

In his first game since replacing Rod Brind'Amour as Hurricanes captain, Eric Staal notched his ninth career hat trick and first of the season. After dealing with injuries and struggles early in the season, Staal has seven goals and 10 assists in his last 10 games.

"It's a challenge," Staal said of being captain. "We've had great leadership here for a long time. I'm excited for the opportunity to learn from a great captain who won us a Stanley Cup."

Starting his 19th straight game, Cam Ward made 32 saves against the Thrashers for his 130th career win, tying Arturs Irbe's franchise record for victories.

Carolina has won four of six road games after going 1-13-4 in its first 18.