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Flyers look to rebound, close out back-to-back strong against Hurricanes

A big Festivus matchup.

Carolina Hurricanes v Philadelphia Flyers Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images

Hey would you look at that, the Flyers are on again tonight (and on Festivus, no less!) After a weird and wild showing that ended in a 4-3 loss to the Leafs yesterday afternoon, the Flyers are right back at it tonight in Carolina against the Hurricanes, for their last game in about a week.

The Hurricanes have been cruising nicely this season, they’re currently sitting at the top of the Metro division, and are coming off of a 4-3 win over the Penguins last night. So while we aren’t going to see one team with a rest advantage in this one, there is a pretty clear roster strength advantage all the same. This will be a tough one for the Flyers, and they’ll see if they can get any points out of the East Coast leg of this road trip before heading out West.

Players to watch

Joel Farabee

If there was one positive that we could take from yesterday’s game, it was a nice flash of offense from Farabee. He picked up the Flyers’ third goal of the game yesterday, getting the Flyers within one of the Leafs, but perhaps more importantly, getting him his first goal in 12 games. Now, Farabee hasn’t been playing outright poorly over that stretch, but the offense had really dried up for him, and the frustration was starting to show (his fight a couple of games back also felt like a product of that, in a way). But he’s got the monkey off his back now, and we’ll have to see if he’s able to build any momentum from here.

Samuel Ersson

With Felix Sandstrom out with an illness and unable to make the trip, Ersson was called up to back up Carter Hart. And, while we know John Tortorella is not afraid to start the game goalie in back-to-back games, given the fact that Hart had a bit of a difficult workload yesterday, and has already started the last four games in a row, it stands to reason that we might see Ersson get the nod and make his NHL debut tonight. He’s had a really solid run of play with the Phantoms this season, with nine wins on the season and a .910 save percentage on a Phantoms team that, shall we say, has given him a pretty heavy workload, so a look with the big club would feel deserved.

We’re still waiting for confirmation on the starter either way, but it would be neat (and also perhaps a little mean) to see Ersson make his debut tonight.

Wade Allison

Allison finally returned from injury on Tuesday against the Blue Jackets, and while he hasn’t immediately re-tapped into his scoring game in either of his first two games back, he’s brought his usual energy and physicality, and that’s been a welcome sight. It was bound to take a bit of time for everything in his game to come back together for him after more than a month out, but things do seem to be trending in the right direction for him. The scoring’s bound to come eventually, and the work he’s doing so far has been good, so we’ll see if tonight’s the night things start to break for him again. Wouldn’t that be fun?

The big question

Can the Flyers clean things up?

After yesterday’s game, I was talking to a friend about it and we agreed it was a “big time no brain game.” The Flyers weren’t particularly sharp, and really both sides got caught making some, frankly, pretty silly mistakes (which in some ways feels par for the course with a Flyers-Leafs game, considering how those have tended to play out recently, but we digress). Take that on top of the fact that the Flyers ended up getting burned pretty badly by the disparity in talent in their lineups, and we got, well, a less than stellar showing.

So yesterday’s game was a challenge, and so too will be tonight’s—the Flyers are heading into Carolina to face off against a very talented Hurricanes team, and will have to deal with whatever challenges the fatigue from playing the day before and traveling throws at them. Now, with all of that in mind, we’re not expecting a perfect game from the Flyers, but it would be nice to see them settle in a bit more, and get out of their own way. It’s the last game before this little holiday break, and we’d like to see them send us off on a slightly higher note. We’ll see how this goes.

Puck drops tonight at 7:00. Air your grievances below (or come do it on Spotify Live with us at 6).