Tonight's battle in Philadelphia is a tale of two opposites.
The Philadelphia Flyers are riding high, sitting atop of the Eastern Conference standings with an 11-5-3 record as the 2011-12 season nears the quarter mark.
New offseason additions Ilya Bryzgalov (8-4-2, 2.65 GAA) and Jaromir Jagr (six goals, 17 points, plus-seven) have sparked Philly and helped them earn 14 points in their last nine games.
On the other end of the rink are the Carolina Hurricanes, who have done nothing but struggle through their autumn so far. The 'Canes stand second to last in the East with a dismal 7-11-3 mark, including just four points in their last nine.
Jeff Skinner's eight goals and 20 points in 21 games have remained a bright spot, but the slumps of Eric Staal and newcomers Alexei Ponikarovsky and Tomas Kaberle have left the team reeling.
In addition to their on-ice players, both head coach Paul Maurice and general manager Jim Rutherford have faced questions of job security of late.
The two teams have faced each other twice this year with predictable outcomes in both matchups—the Flyers won 5-1 at home on Oct. 29 and 5-3 on Nov. 14 in Raleigh.
Stay tuned for up-to-the-minute updates—and more importantly, analysis, stats and thoughts on the inner workings of the game—through Bleacher Report's unique, one-of-a-kind live blog feature.
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