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Flyers-Capitals Preview

Thursday, 11.03.2005 / 12:00 AM / News
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Flyers-Capitals Preview
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Philadelphia spent the offseason putting together a potential Stanley Cup contender. However, the Flyers will have a decidedly different look when they host the Washington Capitals.

Much has been made of Philadelphia's high-profile acquisitions like Peter Forsberg and Derian Hatcher, but when they take the ice on Thursday, the Flyers will have three rookie centers in the lineup.

Not many NHL teams have that many first-year players at such a critical position, but coach Ken Hitchcock has no qualms about using Jeff Carter, Mike Richards and R.J. Umberger.

"The future starts (Thursday)," Hitchcock said after practice Wednesday.

Umberger was called up to replace the injured Keith Primeau. With the All-Star center sidelined indefinitely with a concussion, Umberger could be around for a while.

"Players get hurt and we don't how long they're going to be out for," Hitchcock said. "We're going to get a real hard look at these guys right away."

Richards has gotten off to a quick start and is tied for fifth among NHL rookies in scoring with nine points.

After a slow start, Carter has goals in two of the last three games.

The Flyers said Umberger, who made his NHL debut in Sunday's 5-3 win at Ottawa, was one of the most impressive players in the preseason.

"We just love his competitiveness," Hitchcock said. "He's a reckless player, and that type of player seems to have a lot of success in the NHL right now."

Adding to the drama will be the Flyers' first regular-season look at Washington rookie sensation Alexander Ovechkin, who leads all first-year players in goals with eight.

"If I lived in Washington, I would pay whatever the season ticket was to watch this kid play," Hitchcock said of Ovechkin. "He's a special player, a unique player who comes around once every 10 years."

Unfortunately for the Caps, he's been about the only bright spot during a sluggish 4-7-0 start to the season.

Ovechkin scored two goals, including a short-handed score, in a 4-2 loss at Tampa Bay on Oct. 28.

The team hasn't played since as its game at Florida on Sunday was wiped out by Hurricane Wilma.

The last time these teams met in the preseason, Jon Sim sparked Philadelphia's five-goal third period with three scores, including one with 16.2 seconds left that forced overtime and led to a 7-6 shootout win on Oct. 1.

STANDINGS: Capitals - 8 points, 4th place (tied), 9 PB, Southeast Division. Flyers - 13 points, 2nd place (tied), 2 PB, Atlantic Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Capitals- Ovechkin, 8 goals and 13 points; Steve Eminger, 7 assists; Eminger and Brendan Witt, 27 PIM. Flyers - Simon Gagne, 10 goals; Forsberg, 17 assists and 19 points; Donald Brashear, 22 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Capitals- Power play: 11.2 percent (7 for 62), 29th in NHL. Penalty killing: 76.0 percent (70 for 92), 27th. Flyers - Power play: 19.7 percent (16 for 81), 11th. Penalty killing: 75.0 percent (54 for 72), 28th.

GOALTENDERS: Capitals - Olaf Kolzig (4-6-0, 0 SO, 3.76 GAA); Brent Johnson (0-1-0, 0, 5.07). Flyers - Robert Esche (4-2-1, 0, 3.14); Antero Niittymaki (2-1-0, 0, 4.59).

LAST MEETING: Oct. 1; Flyers, 7-6 (preseason). Stefan Ruzicka scored the only goal in the shootout to give Philadelphia a wild, come-from-behind victory over Washington, which squandered a 5-1 lead.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Capitals - 1-4-0 on the road; Flyers - 4-1-0 at home.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Giroux 82 28 58 7 86
J. Voracek 82 23 39 11 62
W. Simmonds 82 29 31 -4 60
S. Hartnell 78 20 32 11 52
M. Streit 82 10 34 3 44
B. Schenn 82 20 21 0 41
M. Read 75 22 18 -4 40
S. Couturier 82 13 26 1 39
V. Lecavalier 69 20 17 -16 37
K. Timonen 77 6 29 5 35
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 33 18 7 .917 2.50
R. Emery 9 12 2 .903 2.96
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