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Flyers-Capitals Preview

Thursday, 11.3.2005 / 12:00 AM ET / 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 x - NYR 73 47 19 7 224 168 101
2 MTL 75 46 21 8 197 167 100
3 TBL 75 46 22 7 244 194 99
4 NYI 75 44 26 5 228 208 93
5 PIT 74 40 23 11 204 186 91
6 DET 73 39 22 12 212 201 90
7 WSH 74 40 24 10 215 182 90
8 OTT 73 37 25 11 213 195 85
9 BOS 74 36 25 13 195 193 85
10 FLA 74 34 26 14 184 202 82
11 PHI 75 30 29 16 196 216 76
12 CBJ 74 35 35 4 203 230 74
13 NJD 74 31 31 12 166 189 74
14 CAR 73 27 36 10 170 201 64
15 TOR 75 27 42 6 194 241 60
16 BUF 74 20 46 8 141 249 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Voracek 75 21 53 7 74
C. Giroux 74 22 46 1 68
W. Simmonds 75 28 22 -5 50
M. Streit 75 9 36 -10 45
B. Schenn 75 14 25 -7 39
S. Couturier 75 13 17 1 30
M. Read 73 7 22 -7 29
M. Del Zotto 57 9 19 -5 28
M. Raffl 60 19 6 6 25
V. Lecavalier 51 7 11 -10 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 15 17 10 .926 2.25
R. Emery 10 10 6 .892 3.15
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