Three things to watch Tuesday as the Carolina Hurricanes, who lost five straight games before the NHL All-Star break, host the Philadelphia Flyers at PNC Arena:
After scoring five goals in the five-game slide, the Canes have new-look lines for the top nine. Canes coach Bill Peters moved Derek Ryan back to the middle and Teuvo Teravainen out of the middle. Jeff Skinner and center Victor Rask, who have played together much of the season, will be on different lines.
“I think (Peters) is looking for a spark on offense,” said Ryan, who will have Skinner and Lee Stempniak as wingers. “We need more looks in the offensive zone.”
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Jordan Staal will center Sebastian Aho and Elias Lindholm, and Rask will have Brock McGinn and Teravainen on his wings. The fourth line, with Jay McClement at center and Viktor Stalberg and Joakim Nordstrom on the wings, remains unchanged.
The Flyers (25-19-6) scored a power-play goal in each of two victories over Carolina this season, winning the second game 4-3 at PNC Arena.
The Canes (21-20-7) put in special-teams work Monday at practice and some of it was unconventional. The penalty killers used blade-less sticks, allowing the power-play units more freedom of puck movement.
What was that about? Peters smiled, saying to ask assistant coach Rod Brind’Amour, who handles the power play. Something new and different, for sure, but the Flyers won’t be without their blades.
Neither the Canes nor the Flyers should be lacking energy after the All-Star break. The Flyers won their last three games before the break and are hoping for a carryover. The Canes put in a good practice Monday and should have plenty of zip, plenty of gas in the tank, so to speak.
The assumption was the All-Star break came at a good time for the Canes, that they needed physical and mental rest, as evidenced by the five-game losing streak.
Ryan disagreed, saying, “I never felt bogged down or tired. We had plenty of time off and rest and stuff. It will be lot harder stretch in the last six weeks of the season.”