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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 MTL 62 41 16 5 171 135 87
2 NYI 64 41 21 2 205 179 84
3 NYR 61 38 17 6 192 152 82
4 TBL 64 38 20 6 210 171 82
5 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
6 PIT 62 36 17 9 181 155 81
7 WSH 64 34 20 10 188 159 78
8 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
9 FLA 63 28 22 13 154 178 69
10 PHI 63 27 25 11 168 183 65
11 OTT 60 27 23 10 171 163 64
12 NJD 63 26 27 10 141 164 62
13 CBJ 62 26 32 4 160 196 56
14 CAR 61 24 30 7 142 162 55
15 TOR 63 25 33 5 170 193 55
16 BUF 63 19 39 5 123 212 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Voracek 63 19 46 5 65
C. Giroux 62 18 41 2 59
W. Simmonds 63 25 18 -1 43
M. Streit 63 8 32 -4 40
B. Schenn 63 12 23 -5 35
S. Couturier 63 12 16 1 28
M. Del Zotto 51 8 17 -5 25
M. Read 63 6 18 -9 24
M. Raffl 48 14 4 6 18
V. Lecavalier 45 7 10 -8 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 12 13 7 .926 2.25
R. Emery 10 10 4 .893 3.15
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