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The Quest Begins: Philadelphia Flyers at Carolina Hurricanes

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Philadelphia Flyers (0-0-0) at Carolina Hurricanes (0-0-0)
RBC Center - 7:00 PM ET - Raleigh, NC
TV: The Comcast Network (Ch. 8 or 201 in HD)
Radio: 610 WIP, XM 204
This is the open game thread.
Behind Enemy Lines: 'Canes Country
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A year ago, the Philadelphia Flyers had extremely high expectations. Opening night at the Wachovia Center was electric as the Flyers hosted the hated New York Rangers. Minutes after puck drop, the Blueshirts had a four goal lead. Electricity turned to anger. Things wouldn't get better in the coming games. The orange and black would start the season winless in their first six games, and with the lost 2006-07 season still fresh in Philadelphia's collective memory, fans were antsy.

The Flyers would bounce back from that disastrous start last season, of course, but at the end, the ultimate goal was not reached. With the additions to the lineup we've seen this offseason, the returning core of extraordinary scorers, the perfect mix of veteran experience and youth energy, and a goaltender out to prove his worth to the hockey world, the expectations for the 43rd season of Flyers hockey are higher than they've been in recent memory. Tonight, our team begins their journey toward the Stanley Cup.

It begins in Carolina, a place where the Cup was hoisted just a few years ago. The 'Canes have good reason to be excited about their season, too, having made a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals just a season ago. Goaltender Cam Ward just signed a hefty contract, and with Eric Staal leading the way, Carolina is looking for another Cup of their own. The energy at Raleigh's RBC Center tonight should be electric.

Here's to hoping the Flyers can shut down the crowd early. Riley Cote and Arron Asham are scratches tonight. Darroll Powe will be taking Asham's spot on the third line, playing on the right side next to Claude Giroux and James van Riemsdyk. Ray Emery gets the nod in goal, of course. It's his first meaningful NHL game since April 2008.

Joni Pitkanen is out of the lineup for the Hurricanes. Starting in goal for Carolina is, of course, Ward. He better be playing with that money he's making now. Full lineups and questions to answer after the jump...

Carolina Hurricanes

Philadelphia Flyers

Forwards

Ray Whitney - Eric Staal - Erik Cole
Jussi Jokinen - Matt Cullen - Tuomo Ruutu
Chad LaRose - Rod Brind'Amour - Sergei Samsonov
Scott Walker - Stephane Yelle - Tom Kostopoulos

Defense
Joe Corvo - Tim Gleason
Andrew Alberts - Aaron Ward
Jay Harrison - Niclas Wallin

Scratches
Defense - Joni Pitkanen, Tim Conboy

Goalies
Cam Ward
Michael Leighton

Forwards

Simon Gagne - Mike Richards - Mika Pyorala
Scott Hartnell - Jeff Carter - Danny Briere
James van Riemsdyk - Claude Giroux - Darroll Powe
Dan Carcillo - Blair Betts - Ian Laperriere

Defense
Chris Pronger - Matt Carle
Kimmo Timonen - Braydon Coburn
Ryan Parent - Danny Syvret

Scratches
Forwards - Riley Cote, Arron Asham
Defense - Ole-Kristian Tollefsen
Goal - Brian Boucher

Goalies
Ray Emery
Johan Backlund

Questions to Answer

  1. Do the Flyers start off their season with a bang? Is inconsistency a storyline following the game?
  2. How does Ray Emery hold up in real, live, meaningful NHL competition?
  3. James van Riemsdyk, Mika Pyorala, and Danny Syvret. How do they look?
  4. Who scores the first goal of the season?

Comcast Network, 7 PM. Remember, if you're not in Philly, there's a free Center Ice preview on most cable and satellite systems until October 24. If not, there's a radio stream at the Flyers website. Join us here for the discussion, and as always, LET'S GO FLYERS!