The Philadelphia Flyers know it’s time to start stringing together some wins.
They’ll look to begin that on Saturday as they try to wrap up a four-game season series-sweep of the slumping Carolina Hurricanes at the Wachovia Center.
Philadelphia hasn’t swept a season series from the Hurricanes franchise since 1992-93 when it took all three games from the Hartford Whalers.
The Flyers (16-11-2), though, have been plagued by inconsistency. With a 4-1 to Montreal on Thursday, Philadelphia has alternated wins and losses in its last 10 contests.
“It’s frustrating,” Flyers captain Jason Smith said. “As a group we talked about it. We just got to get over the hump. We are just making some mental errors and not competing when we need to in order to put wins together.”
A game against Carolina (16-14-3) might be just what the Flyers need to start a streak. The Flyers have won four straight against the Hurricanes and have outscored them 12-6 this season.
The Flyers’ Daniel Briere had three goals in Philadelphia’s 6-3 win on Nov. 21 and has four assists in the three meetings this season.
Mike Knuble scored on Thursday for Philadelphia, which was coming off an 8-2 win over Pittsburgh two nights earlier in which Joffrey Lupul and R.J. Umberger each registered their first NHL hat tricks. The Flyers have scored at least three goals in 15 wins this season, but have failed to score that many in eight of 11 regulation losses.
“It’s frustrating, not as frustrating as the other losses at home, just because I thought the effort was there tonight,” Philadelphia coach John Stevens told the Flyers’ official Web site. “I thought we created (chances), it was just a matter of execution.
“I thought we created good scoring opportunities, but now you start chasing the game, and that’s a habit that we have to get out of.”
The Flyers, who are wrapping up a three-game homestand, are 7-4-2 on their own ice. However, they are just 1-4-2 at home after opening the season with six straight wins in Philadelphia.
Mike Richards, who signed a 12-year contract extension worth a reported $69 million before Thursday’s game, has a 12-game points streak at home with seven goals and 13 assists over that stretch. He posted two assists in the Flyers’ 3-1 road win over the Hurricanes on Nov. 28.
Carolina has dropped seven of its last 10 games, including Friday’s 4-3 defeat to Calgary. The Hurricanes were coming off an embarrassing 6-0 home loss to Ottawa two nights earlier and have yielded 15 goals while losing their last three games.
“I thought that the effort was good,” Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette said. “The results were obviously not good. We looked for chances. We hunted them, worked for them and obviously came up with the short end of the stick. Tonight we showed up and worked, but … maybe you have to just dig a little more.”
Former Flyer Rod Brind’Amour has just a goal and assist in seven games this month for Carolina, but enters this contest on a six-game points streak versus his former club. Brind’Amour has two goals and four assists in that span.
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