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Flyers, Hurricanes look to change recent losing ways

RALEIGH, N.C. -- There are changes coming for the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Philadelphia Flyers would like to alter their recent script as well.

Two teams jockeying for position near the Eastern Conference playoff cut line meet Tuesday night at PNC Arena.

Back-to-back losses for the Hurricanes left coach Bill Peters particularly irritated. He didn't like anything about the 3-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Sunday.

"The lineup will be different Tuesday," Peters said. "There's three healthy bodies (who've been scratched), and if it's not those three, there's a group down in Charlotte (where the organization has its American Hockey League affiliate)."

Regardless of how the lineup is configured, it's clear there will be tweaks if not wholesale adjustments.

"You can't put that group out again after that," Peters said. "It's not acceptable. They let each other down, too."

The Hurricanes are 2-2-0 at the midpoint of a season-long eight-game homestand.

Philadelphia (57 points) and Carolina (56 points) have been even in the playoff chase as recently as a few days ago. While there are other teams among the cluster of clubs vying for playoff spots, these are two of them and their head-to-head matchups carry a certain importance.

"We've got Philly, which is going to be a huge game," Carolina defenseman Justin Faulk said. "We've just got to know inside this room that we've got to be ready to go."

Tuesday night's game will be the first of four meetings between the Metropolitan Division teams this season.

Philadelphia is in a 0-3-1 stretch, gaining its lone point during Saturday's shootout loss to Ottawa.

Perhaps fortunately for the Flyers, the hometown Eagles have taken attention from the team on the way to winning the Super Bowl.

"We need to play a better 60-minute effort," Flyers center Sean Couturier said.

The Flyers could have top goalie Brian Elliott back after missing the last four games with an undisclosed injury. Goalie Michael Neuvirth had been battling illness last week, though he played.

The 17 goals allowed by the Flyers in the past four games reflect the most allowed by the team in a four-game stretch this season.

"Through this last stretch of four games, we're doing a lot of good things in our play with the puck," Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said. "We're not giving up a ton defensively, but one of the things we need to do and we can do within our control is clean up some of the (top-notch) opportunities."

The Hurricanes have mostly relied on goalie Cam Ward, though he suffered his first defeat in his last four appearances in Sunday's game.

"We've got to play a full game if we want to compete in this league," Hurricanes center Jordan Staal said. "We definitely know what's at stake. It's big points, every game. I don't know if it's the pressure or not."

Peters said it doesn't matter if the Hurricanes occupy the eighth, ninth, 10th or first spot in the conference, the effort must improve.

"I hope they bring some energy and some passion and some pride," Peters said.

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