Flyers-Capitals: Game 44 Preview

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By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

A six-game road trip came to a sour end with a 5-4 overtime loss in Carolina on Tuesday night for the Flyers. A trip home should be just what the doctor ordered, given that the Flyers have a league-best 13-2-4 record on home ice this season, including four straight wins and seven in their last eight games.

That said, the Flyers schedule may just get tougher that on the road. The next four games are against top teams in the league. It starts with the team right at the top of the NHL standings, the Washington Capitals, who dominated their way to a 6-1 win over Ottawa on Tuesday night.

Game time is 7:30 p.m.

Team Leaders

Philadelphia Flyers GP G A P Washington Capitals GP G A P
Travis Konecny 40 13 24 37 John Carlson 44 13 41 54
Sean Couturier 43 12 23 35 Alex Ovechkin 44 26 16 42
Jake Voracek 43 8 26 34 Evgeny Kuznetsov 41 16 25 41
Claude Giroux 43 13 18 31 Jakub Vrana 44 18 17 35
Ivan Provorov  43 9 15 24 Nicklas Backstrom 36 8 25 33
 
Player to Watch
93 Jake Voracek 8 Alex Ovechkin
Last 5 Games: 0 G, 7 A, 7 P, +2 Last 5 Games: 3 G, 2 A, 5 P, -3
 
Jake Voracek was certainly a player that provided a good amount of energy in Tuesday's game and came close to ending the game with a shot that hit the crossbar in overtime. In the last five games, Voracek has done his share of setting up teammates with seven assists, but he has gone seven straight games with out a goal.
 
Alex Ovechkin snapped a three-game goalless drought in a big way with a pair of goals in Tuesday's win. Prior to Tuesday's game, Ovechkin had just four goals in the last 15 games, certainly uncharacteristic of him. The two-goal game may have helped him catch fire again and he'll certainly be one to watch.
 
Projected Goalie Matchup
79 Carter Hart 70 Braden Holtby
29 GP, 13-10-3, 2.61 GAA, .905 SV% 30 GP, 18-7-4, 2.99 GAA, .902 SV%

The road struggles continued for Carter Hart, who lost three games and entered another in relief. Hart's overall numbers are still solid, mainly because he has been on an elite level at home. After getting the night off in Carolina, Hart will be in goal for the Flyers on Wednesday against Washington.

Braden Holtby's last game against San Jose was a win where he allowed three goals on 28 shots. It snapped a three-game losing streak for Holyby, who struggled in his own right out of the holiday break. Holtby made 30 saves in a shootout win against the Flyers on Nov. 13.

Flyers Projected Lineup

Injuries: Shayne Gostisbehere (knee, day-to-day), Justin Braun (groin, out until All-Star break), Nolan Patrick (migrane disorder, out indefinitely), Oskar Lindblom (Ewing's sarcoma, out for season)

Scratches: Chris Stewart (healthy)

Left Wing Center Right Wing
28 Claude Giroux 14 Sean Couturier 11 Travis Konecny
25 James van Riemsdyk 13 Kevin Hayes 62 Nicolas Aube-Kubel
18 Tyler Pitlick 12 Michael Raffl 93 Jake Voracek
21 Scott Laughton 24 Mikhail Vorobyev 49 Joel Farabee
Defense    
9 Ivan Provorov 15 Matt Niskanen  
6 Travis Sanheim 5 Phil Myers  
8 Robert Hagg 59 Mark Friedman  
Goalie    
79 Carter Hart 37 Brian Elliott  

Lineup Notes

Shayne Gostisbehere is scratched with a knee injury suffered late in Tuesday's game. Mark Friedman was called up and will make his season debut on Wednesday.

Capitals Projected Lineup

Injuries: Christian Djoos

Scratches: Travis Boyd 

Left Wing Center Right Wing
8 Alex Ovechkin 19 Nicklas Backstrom 43 Tom Wilson
13 Jakub Vrana 92 Evgeny Kuznetsov 77 T.J. Oshie
62 Carl Hagelin 20 Lars Eller 14 Richard Panik
28 Brendan Leipsic 26 Nic Dowd 21 Garnet Hathaway
Defense    
6 Michal Kempny 74 John Carlson  
9 Dmitry Orlov 3 Nick Jensen  
34 Jonas Siegenthaler 33 Radko Gudas  
Goalie    
70 Braden Holtby 30 Ilya Samsonov  

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (16th), Capitals (10th)
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (13th), Capitals (3th)
  • Recent History vs. Capitals
    • Jan. 8, 2019 – Capitals 5, Flyers 3 (at WSH)
    • March 6, 2019 – Capitals 5, Flyers 3 (at PHI)
    • March 14, 2019 – Capitals 5, Flyers 2 (at PHI)
    • March 24, 2019 – Capitals 3, Flyers 1 (at WSH)
    • Nov. 13, 2019 – Capitals 2, Flyers 1 (F/SO) (at PHI)
  • Flyers Leaders vs. Capitals
    • Claude Giroux – 42 GP, 21 G, 20 A, 41 P
    • Jake Voracek – 36 GP, 15 G, 16 A, 31 P
    • Sean Couturier – 30 GP, 6 G, 13 A, 19 P
    • James van Riemsdyk – 31 GP, 8 G, 11 A, 19 P
    • Carter Hart – 1 GP, 0-1-1, 2.43 GAA, .925 SV%
  • Milestone Watch
    • Shayne Gostisbehere needs one point to reach 200 for his career.

Where to Watch
TV: NBCSN
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic

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