RALEIGH, N.C. - The Flyers' Carolina connection was at work last night against the Hurricanes at the RBC Center.
Getting his second consecutive start was goalie Michael Leighton, whom the Flyers claimed Dec. 15 on reentry waivers from Carolina.
Brian Boucher remained sidelined with a lacerated ring finger and was listed as day to day. Boucher practiced with the team yesterday morning but still experienced soreness.
"I feel OK - the vibrations hurt a bit on pucks off the stick," said Boucher, who served as Leighton's backup last night. "That was the first step, I guess, to see how it held up. I made it through practice. I just have to find a way to limit the vibrations off the stick - it was really painful."
Boucher said he probably could play tonight against the host New York Islanders.
"I think we'll hold off on starting him until he gets some more work and the injury settles down a bit," Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said before last night's game.
Like Leighton, Laviolette was making a return to Carolina, facing the Hurricanes for the first time since they fired him early last season.
"Obviously, when you have success, you have great memories here," said Laviolette, who was hired by the Flyers on Dec. 4. "I enjoyed my time here, but it's not really about that tonight. We're in need of another win and taking another step forward here - and make sure we follow up the last win with another one. Really, that's the most important thing."
When they were shown on the video scoreboard just before last night's opening face-off, Laviolette and Leighton received loud ovations.
During pregame warm-ups, Ryan Parent suffered back spasms, which had affected him slightly during the morning skate, so he did not play last night. That left the team with just five defensemen. Parent is listed as day to day.
Danny Syvret will be recalled from the AHL's Phantoms for tonight's game on Long Island.
Goalie Johan Backlund was sent back to the AHL's Adirondack Phantoms. . . . At a corresponding point last season, the Flyers were 20-10-7. . . . They began last night ninth in the 30-team NHL on the power play (21 percent success rate) and 26th on the penalty kill (77.9 percent). . . . Carolina center Rod Brind'Amour (minus-20) and defenseman Joni Pitkanen (minus-16), a pair of former Flyers, entered the game a combined minus-36. Defenseman Andrew Alberts, another former Flyer playing with the Hurricanes, was minus-2. . . . The Flyers started last night with a 63-24-14-4 lifetime record against Carolina, including the years when the team was based in Hartford, Conn., and nicknamed the Whalers.
- Sam Carchidi