Caps' homestand continues against Flyers
FIVE THINGS TO KNOW
FLYERS (35-21-7--77pts) at CAPITALS (32-27-5--69pts)
1. SEASON SERIES
The Flyers and Capitals have traded victories in each others home building in the first two meetings of the season… The Flyers have had seven different players record all seven of their goals against the Caps this season, while Alex Ovechkin leads the Caps with two goals in the season series.
2. CAPS SOARING
The Capitals have won three of their last four games after going 1-5-1 in their previous seven games… During that four-game span, the Caps penalty kill has allowed just one goal, killing off 12 of its last 13.
3. GOALS KEEP COMING
The Flyers continue to lead the NHL in the goal-scoring department… Leading in goals-scored (207), goals per-game (3.29) and goals on the power play (54).
4. Player to watch CAPITALS: Alex Ovechkin
Ovechkin has a pair of goals and four points in his last four games for the Capitals… He also has 22 goals and 37 points in just 24 career games against the Flyers.
5. Player to watch FLYERS: Claude Giroux
Giroux has recorded at least a point in five of his last seven games, posting 12 assists and 13 points in that span, including three helpers in their last game, a 6-3 victory over the Islanders on Thursday.
TV: NBCSN (HD), TSN2
: Philadelphia 5-5-0; Washington 4-6-0.
: This is the third of four meetings between the teams. They've split the first two games, as Philadelphia evened things up with a 5-1 win at the Verizon Center on Dec. 13.
: Despite their rocky start that ultimately cost Bruce Boudreau his job as coach, the Capitals still have an awfully good chance of having home-ice advantage in the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Washington, which dropped a 5-0 decision to the New Jersey Devils on Friday, enters Sunday's action just three points back of the first-place Florida Panthers in the Southeast Division.
"You don't want to wake up in the morning and see that you're not in the playoffs," forward Brooks Laich said. "There's a lot of hockey left. Sometimes you're gonna lose hockey games. That's the way it goes. We've got to rebound."
: Philadelphia has alternated wins and losses over its last seven games, as it followed last Tuesday's 1-0 loss at San Jose with a 6-3 victory against the Islanders at the Wells Fargo Center on Thursday. Matt Read
scored twice for the Flyers, while Jaromir Jagr
tallied the go-ahead goal.
"It is a very nice and important two points for the standings ... (we're) trying to climb," goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov
said. "Especially the last couple of games against the Islanders were tough. It wasn't that much easier tonight, but the team put in a very good effort and I think we deserved the win."
: It's the third of a five-game homestand for Washington, which rallied to beat the Islanders in overtime last Tuesday before Friday's dud against the Devils. With 18 games remaining in their regular season, the Caps know they can't put forth any more performances like the one against New Jersey.
"Obviously, you don't want to lose a game like that," defenseman Dennis Wideman said. "We played right into their hands. The one thing you can't do when you're playing the Devils is turn the puck over. You can't put anything in the middle. Pretty much all of their goals, except their power-play goal, we turned the puck over."
: Flyers center Claude Giroux
had 3 assists against the Islanders and has a goal and 6 assists over his last five games. … Alex Ovechkin has 2 goals and 2 assists in his last four contests.
: Philadelphia will be without James van Riemsdyk
(foot) and Tom Sestito
(groin). … Washington will be missing Nicklas Backstrom (concussion symptoms) and Tom Poti (groin).
: Philadelphia has scored at least four goals in five of its last seven games but was shut out in the other two. … With Friday's loss, Washington fell to 4-19-1 when Ovechkin is held without a point.
: "I thought we packed it in. We looked like a real timid, beaten-down hockey team. We have to address that and make sure there is no quit in us, ever." -- Caps forward Troy Brouwer after Friday's 5-0 loss to New Jersey