Game 33 Preview: Philadelphia Flyers @ Washington Capitals

Image courtesy of The Orange Update

 

Philadelphia Flyers (14-15-3) @ Washington Capitals (17-12-3), 3:00pm, NHL-CA/CSN-Philly/CSN-DC

After concluding their lengthy road trip with a 7-2 beating from the Chicago Blackhawks, the Philadelphia Flyers rebounded with a 2-1 decision over the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday at home. The Orange and Black seemed to have returned to their defensive play, as they only allowed one goal against in the win after allowing four goals against or more in the previous three contests.

Today will be another challenge for the Flyers, as they take on the squad that is currently second in the Metropolitan Division. Hopefully for Philly, the team remembers what happened when the clubs met on November 1st in a 7-0 loss in front of their home crowd. On top of the seven-goal loss, Ray Emery provided the infamous shellacking of Braden Holtby.

The Flyers have seemed like a different team since that loss on the first day in November. The roster may be the same, but Craig Berube’s defensive system has seemed to step up a notch since the loss to Washington. The last time the Flyers played the Caps, the line of Matt Read-Sean Couturier-Steve Downie had yet to form and Claude Giroux had yet to score a goal. In theory, the impactful third line for Philly should at least slow down, if not shut down, Alex Ovechkin today, while the newly formed first line of Michael Raffl-Giroux-Jakub Voracek should produce more offense than the first time the squads met.

After today’s game, the team will meet again on Tuesday in Philadelphia. Hopefully for the Flyers, they’ll be looking for their third straight win.

RECORDS
Philadelphia Flyers
Overall: 14-15-3
Away: 6-8-3
Against the Eastern Conference: 11-9-2
Against the Metropolitan Division: 5-4-1

Washington Capitals
Overall: 17-12-3
Home: 6-5-3
Against the Eastern Conference: 10-6-2
Against the Metropolitan Division: 6-4-0

PROJECTED LINEUPS
Philadelphia Flyers
Michael Raffl – Claude Giroux – Jakub Voracek
Scott Hartnell – Brayden Schenn – Wayne Simmonds
Matt Read – Sean Couturier – Steve Downie
Chris VandeVelde – Adam Hall – Zac Rinaldo

Kimmo Timonen – Braydon Coburn
Mark Streit – Nicklas Grossmann
Luke Schenn – Erik Gustafsson

Steve Mason
Ray Emery

Washington Capitals
Marcus Johansson – Nicklas Backstrom – Alex Ovechkin
Eric Fehr – Mikhail Grabovski – Troy Brouwer
Jason Chimera – Martin Erat – Joel Ward
Aaron Volpatti – Jay Beagle – Tom Wilson

Karl Alzner – Mike Green
Dmitri Orlov – John Carlson
Nate Schmidt – Steven Oleksy

Braden Holtby
Philipp Grubauer

TEAM LEADERS
Philadelphia Flyers
Goals: Matt Read and Vincent Lecavalier, 9
Assists: Claude Giroux, 17
Points: Claude Giroux, 23
Power-Play Points: Claude Giroux, 12
Plus/Minus: Sean Couturier and Erik Gustafsson, plus-4
PIMs: Zac Rinaldo, 83
Average TOI: Braydon Coburn, 22:51
GAA: Steve Mason, 2.29
Save Percentage: Steve Mason, .927

Washington Capitals
Goals: Alex Ovechkin, 26
Assists: Nicklas Backstrom, 26
Points: Alex Ovechkin, 35
Power-Play Points: Alex Ovechkin, 19
Plus/Minus: Mikhail Grabovski, plus-6
PIMs: Tom Wilson, 58
Average TOI: John Carlson, 24:34
GAA: Philipp Grubauer, 1.52
Save Percentage: Philipp Grubauer, .957

INJURIES
Philadelphia Flyers
Vincent Lecavalier – Back (Two-to-Three weeks)

Washington Capitals
John Erskine – Upper-body injury (probable)
Brooks Laich – Groin (out)
Michal Neuvirth – Lower-body injury (out)
Jack Hillen – Leg (out)

FORMER PLAYERS
Former Flyers in Washington’s organization
With Washington: Adam Oates (head coach)
With the Hershey Bears (AHL): Julien Brouillette (Greenville Road Warriors), Mike Haviland, head coach (Trenton Titans)
With the Reading Royals (ECHL): Mike Banwell (Trenton Titans), Marvin Degon (Trenton Titans), Doug Clarkson (Adirondack Phantoms), Dustin Gazley (Greenville Road Warriors), Jesse Todd (Trenton Titans)

Former Capitals in Philadelphia’s organization
With Philadelphia: Craig Berube, John Paddock (drafted by Capitals in 1974 NHL Entry Draft)
With Adirondack Phantoms (AHL): Terry Murray (head coach)
With the Greenville Road Warriors (ECHL): Dwayne Zinger (assistant coach)