Philadelphia Flyers (24-12-4) at Carolina Hurricanes (14-22-7)
RBC Center, 7 p.m.
TV: FS-Carolinas, CSN-Philadelphia
The Hurricanes have made yet another lineup change as it is Chad LaRose who is injured this time and replacing him will be AHL All-Star forward Jerome Samson. It is odd that I wrote the article about LaRose's value to this team yesterday because that's when he injured himself in practice and will miss tonight's game with an "upper-body injury." He's gone through a bit of a rough patch in recent games but the Canes are going ot miss a lot without him on the ice tonight. He is one of their best forwards at creating scoring chances and the play is usually north with him on the ice. He has also taken a lot of tough draws and played against top competition on the first and third lines. That's a big hole to fill even if he isn't your ideal first liner, but it is worth noting that the Canes controlled 50.8% of the even strength scoring chances when Samson was on the ice last year so it's not like we've got a scrub up here.
Samson has been a top-scorer at the AHL level for years now but none of that has translated to the NHL in the 30 games he has played. He has yet to score a goal in the NHL but despite that, coach Kirk Muller is giving him a chance to succeed right off the bat as Bowman will be playing on a line with Jussi Jokinen and Alexei Ponikarovsky tonight. The Canes have got a little more balance in their forward corps with Jokinen moving back to the second line and they will need all the balance they can get tonight as they take on the Philadelphia Flyers tonight. It will be the final meeting of the season between these two teams and the Canes are hoping to even the season series.
Lines & more after the jump