The Philadelphia Flyers (24-12-4) have struggled since the start of the New Year. They have surrendered leads in all four of their games in the month of January and are 1-2-1 during that span.
Tonight they will look to turn things around against the Carolina Hurricanes (14-22-7), a team who they have dominated in the past. The Flyers have won two of the three meetings this season and are 35-13-7 overall and 17-3-3 since the 2006 season (9-1-1 in Carolina).
In order to keep this trend going the Flyers will need a bit more production from their top line as they did not manage a point in the weekend series against Ottawa.
Ilya Bryzgalov’s time in Philadelphia has been contentious to say the least.
Coming into town on the back of one of the most dramatic shakeups in team history (in addition to one of the largest contracts in league history), the 31-year old goaltender had a giant “X” on his back long before he ever wore an orange sweater.
For a franchise that has had inconsistency at the position since the late 1970s, Bryzgalov is expected to add stability to a role that has been lacking.
Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case thus far.
Matt Brigidi explains why there is no reason to worry about Bryzgalov
As Claude Giroux’s beautiful backhanded flip went over the shoulder of Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, Philadelphia’s Winter Classic seemed like it would be a total success. The Flyers had taken a 2-0 lead on Giroux’s team-high 18th goal in front of their home fans. In Citizens Bank Park, the majority of almost 47,000 people were ecstatic.
With just 5:39 remaining in the second period, the Flyers were in the driver’s seat to victory.
Instead, they let the Rangers sit behind the wheel for the last 35 minutes en route to a 3-2 New York victory.
Mike Rupp scored his second goal of the season just 30 seconds after Giroux’s pretty tally which brought New York within a goal after two periods. A little under three minutes into the third period, Rupp doubled his season goal total and tied the game at 2-2.
The Philadelphia Flyers (22-10-4) and the New York Rangers (23-9-4) will meet today at Citizen's Bank Park and take part in the fifth annual Bridgestone Winter Classic.
Although the rivalry between the Flyers and Rangers is a familiar one, the confines in which this game will be played is not. There will be some factors in this game that can not be game planned for, one of which is the wind.
Nothing is going to stop this Flyers team it seems.
With their captain and leading scorer on the shelf for an extended period of time, the Flyers persevered another big challenge.
The Canadiens had an answer for the Flyers first three goals. But it was the final tally early in the third period that Montreal couldn't respond to and the Flyers went on to win, 4-3, Thursday night in Montreal.
It was the seventh straight win for the Flyers, who are rolling despite finding out their leader Chris Pronger will miss the rest of the season with severe post-concussion syndrome. They improved to 12-4-1 on the season without their captain, an impressive feat when looking at his impact when on the ice.